It’s true to say that there are a host of important skill sets within the finance sector, but uncertainty looms as the financial impact of Brexit has yet to be fully realised. However, there’s no need to sit back and wait, wondering how best to equip your business with the right tools.
Accounts delivery is focused on a set of key attributes. These include maintaining relationships with clients and at director level, to discuss business strategies and monitor business growth. An employee with this skill set will help your business analyse and identify threats, and eliminate them. Multi-faceted communication skills are of great use in this area too, along with a keen eye for market detail, making competent accounts delivery crucial.
UK GAAP experience
If you need a good financial accountant then it’s essential that you get someone proficient in understanding the Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in the UK (UK GAAP). UK GAAP is one of the cornerstones of the finance industry. The New UK GAAP took effect on 1st January 2015 under new rule changes and is a framework that encapsulates various reporting standards FRS100, FRS101, and FRS102.
Let’s take a look at those FRS standards:
FRS100 refers to the application of reporting standards and provides advised direction of the standards such as Statements of Recommended Practice (SORPs). It highlights the standards that need to be withdrawn from FRS100 and includes requirement transitions around IFRS, FRS 101, 102/105.
FRS101 sets out a framework that concentrates on reduced disclosure for individual statements from subsidiaries and the financial statements prepared under FRS101 do not comply with all EU adopted IFRSs.
- Finally, FRS102 contains 35 different sections that focus on specific areas of accounting and requirements for specialised entities. Being able to interpret and report financial data accurately is a key ingredient in preparing the monthly or quarterly management accounts for your business under UK GAAP.
As we move into a new EU relationship as a consequence of Brexit, having Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) knowledge in your team, is more essential than ever. So what is BEPS? It relates to strategies of tax avoidance that directly exploit gaps in tax rules that in simple terms, enables the shifting of profits to low tax or non-tax locations. Expertise in this area, coupled with knowledge of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) action plan on a universal coordinated approach to this, has risen in demand since the implementation of Brexit. The big companies will want to prevent any misconstrued perception of practising international tax avoidance techniques that lead to reputational damage.
Commercial awareness among members of your team goes much deeper than just basic company financial awareness and basic knowledge of the company position, and economic threats. This mode of analysis is important for actuarial, retail banking and insurance roles. If you are interviewing for a new financial role, ask the candidate to explain their understanding of the business and demonstrate their knowledge of your company’s competitors. Knowing the market that you operate in will better help them accurately price and run a commercial project, one that covers costs and yields a positive return. If a company is doing well or not so well, they should be able to identify the reasons why. If there are any significant factors that have affected your industry then they should know what they are and how might they impact the business. They’ll also need a firm knowledge of the current marketplace. If successful, they’ll be able to hit the ground running and better serve your business.
Audit project management
Having someone to competently project manage an audit is essential for your business and it requires a great deal of attention to detail, as well as organisational ability. Audit project management knowledge gives a good technical grounding in corporate finance delivery. Competency in these type of audits is crucial as they tend to assess whether a business has succeeded in meeting agreed measurable goals and objectives.
The successful implementation of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) requires in-depth strategic planning knowledge, as well as an analytical mind and attention to detail. The merger process, in essence, sees two companies joining together under one umbrella name, while an acquisition, generally speaking, is when one company absorbs another into their organisation. This includes a large amount of legal and administration checkpoints to be aware of. It’s a detailed process and one which needs a professional approach. With analysts predicting an upswing in global mega-mergers in 2018, following a slow second half of 2017, professionals with well-worn experience in this area will continue to be highly sought after.
IR35: a working knowledge
Your team should be familiar with IR35. It’s a new anti-avoidance tax legislation geared towards correctly taxing ‘disguised employment’, a distinct set of tax rules that apply to a member of staff who works for their employer through an intermediary in the public sector. This intermediary can be a limited company or personal service company, so if your company deals directly with those affected by the legislation that has to pay significantly more tax, then this is definitely an area of tax for your business to get a specialist in. It remains to be seen whether the IR35 rules will be rolled out to the private sector in 2018 or beyond
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK’s financial regulatory body that operates independently of the UK government. Having a team keep up-to-date with the finance regulation changes that are on the horizon, safeguards against financial instability and economic losses for your company. With new rules being brought in all the time, for example, the Senior Managers and Certifications Scheme which came into force in 2016, staying up to date with changes, and the ripple effect they can have on an organisation's operations, is a necessity. Key roles can include advisory, reform and compliance positions.
Fintech software knowhow
The impact of software has been just as great in the finance industry as it has in other industries. Bookkeeping has now been digitised and your team should have knowledge of fintech software applications such as CCH, Alpha Tax, and Xero is pivotal. CCH accounts production software produces accounts to new standards and reduces risk. Alpha Tax offers a complete tax solution for UK and Ireland, and many businesses require Xero expertise. It's a cloud-based solution that allows for integrated collaboration and a real-time view of business cash flow.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is a transferable skill and the old saying that ‘the devil is in the detail’ has never been more relevant. Simply put, attention to detail is a skill that is prized at every level, in every organisation and in every industry. With more decisions than ever being data-driven, knowing where to look for information and what to look at - with supreme, unfaltering accuracy - is crucial for success across all sectors.
We have a proven track record of successful assignments and work closely with both SMEs and blue-chip multinationals. Our experience of over 40 years in recruitment, combined with the expertise of our specialist consultants, means we are ideally placed to ensure your team includes the best talent in the market. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today and find out how we could find the skilled candidates you need to drive your business forward in 2018, and beyond.