There will always be a place for the auditor on the London job market, both within the public and private sector, with data from the Randstad Financial and Professional supporting the theory that audit jobs are recession proof in revealing an increase of 11.5% of the total salary bill across the full-time accounting profession since 2002.
Professionals in London within the audit function continue to be much in demand, topping the hiring agenda for the majority of companies, particularly in the face of ever-steepening regulations and need for effective corporate governance. 2016 has been heralded as a year of resurgent demand for accountants with up to 5 years’ experience across reporting, accounting and analysis as investors ramp up the pressure for companies to prove their worth and strength when it comes to issues of cyber security, board performance and risk oversight.
The ACA and ACCA qualifications are typically desired by the majority of companies filtering potential candidates through their doors, but they are looking for individuals who have gained their experience within a multi-partner practice during which time prospective employers expect them to have had a considerable amount of exposure to audit. Technical proficiency is equally important when it comes to applying for audit jobs in London, in being able to demonstrate a good knowledge of current internal audit requirements and best practice. And as investors lay their expectations bare when it comes to strong shareholder engagement, audit professionals must have proven strength when it comes to communication, problem solving and the drive to deliver across all areas of their role.
The Big4 undoubtedly holds a vast number of audit opportunities in London’s public practice sector, and while the likes of EY, PwC, KPMG and Deloitte serve the higher end of their salaries to their advisory contingent, the comparatively lower audit salaries are entirely dependent on the individual’s specialist sector. Thus it is worth bearing in mind that while some areas of public practice auditing, such as charities and the like, offer lower pay, if you’re auditing banks or TMT companies you stand to earn a great deal more.
Though companies, including the Big4, are moving a number of their services into more regional locations to combat the growing cost of London living and property prices, audit jobs in London are plenty. This is of course largely in part to the onslaught of upcoming regulations and directives, including MiFID II, AIFMD, Form PF and Basel III, which call for firms to increase their risk oversight and thus employ a substantial internal audit strategy. Understanding of these directives, and prior experience with regulations including Basel II and III is essential for those looking for private sector audit jobs in London, with financial services firm and private banks demanding expertise in CASS, wealth management and specialist expertise that encompasses one or more areas when it comes to regulatory compliance, FS reporting, data management, private banking or the audit of risk functions or compliance.
Skills for success in an audit role in London largely come down to sector expertise, but equally as importantly is the ability to confidently and persuasively influence actions and decisions across many levels of a business via report writing and verbal dialogue. A skill which goes hand in hand with an individual’s competence in liaising and working with senior management, as well as presenting his or her findings to the business’s operational managers in a way that is coherent and logical.