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New research from Page Personnel Finance has found that nearly 80% of part-qualified accountants and transactional finance candidates will look for a new job in the next six months.

The survey, based on 700 responses from finance professionals across the UK, revealed that scope of role would be the most important factor for choosing their next position, ranking higher than remuneration and career progression.

Nicholas Kirk, Managing Director, Page Personnel Finance said in the part-qualified market candidates who have the widest scope of role are at an advantage as it can allow them to fast track their qualifications.

“I’m pleased to see role scope come out as the respondents’ highest priority as relevant experience has many benefits to candidates at this level.

“On the academic side, putting into practice what they are studying within their ACCA qualifications helps the students to retain information and subsequently pass more exams. Relevant practical experience is essential to become accredited, so working in a role that is too narrow can be a real set back.

“In fact, one of the biggest challenges for newly qualified accountants looking for work is not having the relevant experience alongside their qualifications,” Mr Kirk said.

Despite searching for work in a hugely competitive jobs market, finance professionals are extremely positive about securing one that meets their criteria. According to the survey, more than half of respondents (54%) indicated that they are very or quite confident in finding a role, while one-third said they were less confident and only 13% said they didn’t have any confidence.

“The best finance professionals should be confident as they are in a position where recruitment is fluid despite prevailing conditions in the market,” he said.

Page Personnel Finance has the following tips for part-qualified candidates looking for a wider scope of role:

1. Have a clear career path – identify the skills you need which will not only complement your studies but will differentiate you from other candidates. Soft skills such as commercial awareness, which includes having good business sense, being aware of what’s going on in the industry and being able to clearly demonstrate ROI for different types of business activity.

2. Employers like reliable candidates so if you have a history of short tenures why not explore opportunities in your current role before you jump ship – you can get a wider scope through secondments, shadowing, and putting your hand up for extra responsibility.

3. Look for opportunities which will build up your IT skills - a lot of our clients are looking for candidates that can hit the ground running so advanced excel skills and knowledge of accounting software such as Sage, SPSS and Crystal Reports are very important.


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