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The jobs market

The last year has been busy for taxation recruitment. Employers are beginning to feel more confident in the economy and there has been strong demand, particularly for specialist skill sets such as expat tax, employment tax, VAT and international tax. In further good news for the economy, the Big Four and larger FTSE companies are looking to fill Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and transaction related roles, which can often indicate improved market conditions.
In the London commerce market, there was high demand for top calibre tax professionals at newly qualified to manager level throughout 2012. This was also true in the Home Counties and South East. With some notable exceptions, the senior end of the market remained relatively stagnant, with candidates opting to stay in the security of their existing roles whilst the recovery rate from the recession remained uncertain.
Hiring activity for personal taxes and private client areas, particularly in the Home Counties, has been high. Contact networks and strong business development skills are increasingly important. As the operating environment remains uncertain, these entrepreneurial skills will remain highly valued by professional services firms.

Salaries and benefits

Salaries and benefits have not fluctuated significantly over the past couple of years, whilst the supply of job seekers has typically outweighed demand. Again, the biggest increases have been for candidates with the specialist, harder to find, skill sets. Salaries have typically risen only in line with inflation and 2012 bonus levels in industry remained similar to 2011. However many accountancy firms started paying out bonuses to their high performers across all levels, and the amounts being paid did increase.
In 2012 many firms were reluctant to let their best people go. Some professional services firms adjusted salary bandings to allow greater flexibility to keep or attract top talent. Companies are structuring packages to allow flexible and home working as well as career planning, training and the opportunity to specialise.

Looking to the future

Whilst the market has not undertaken a full scale recovery, and in some cases the budgets for headcount are still closely guarded, the general indication is that there is increased confidence in the market, both from the perspective of the employers looking to hire into/expand their team and the candidates looking at the market with a view to moving. This is likely to lead to increased activity and improved market conditions over the course of 2013 and into 2014. As in 2012, candidates with specialist skill sets will remain in greatest demand and are more likely to see rises in salary levels, but in general salaries on offer will remain at the same level until demand starts to outweigh supply.
 

                                  

 London

UK

Level

Personal tax

Corporate tax

Personal tax

Corporate tax

A level entrant

£18-20,000 £20-22,000 £15-19,000 £16-20,000

Part qualified ATTs &

Graduate trainees

£20-30,000 £21-32,000 £18-25,000 £20-28,000

Qualified ATTs &

Part-qualified CTAs

£25-35,000 £26-35,000 £23-30,000 £24-32,000

Newly qualified CTA

£36-46,000 £36-50,000 £30-42,000 £32-45,000

Assistant manager

£45-55,000 £48-58,000 £40-50,000 £42-52,000

Manager

£55-70,000 £58-75,000 £50-65,000 £52-70,000

Senior manager

£68-85,000 £70-95,000 £60-80,000 £65-85,000

Principal/Director

£90-120,000 £95-140,000 £68-85,000 £70-90,000
 
All salaries in table above are approximate figures to be used for guidance only. 

About the Author

  • About Will Hepworth: Will Hepworth is a Manager, In-house Taxation at Morgan McKinley.

Will Hepworth

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