Despite the challenges around skills shortages reported in June this year, the latest report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which surveys almost 2,500 SME businesses quarterly, shows confidence is at a record high with year-on-year gains seen across the whole of the UK. This has again been led by London and the South East and the most confident sector continues to be Financial services.
The London job market saw a significant increase in job openings and applications in September, as candidates refocused on seeking new opportunities following the summer holiday hiatus. According to data released in early October by CV-Library, the UK's leading independent job board, this growth was largely driven by the accounting /financial / insurance sectors. Their data shows a significant 52% year-on-year rise in the number of jobs posted or renewed in the London area, with an increase of 20% in the last month alone. One of the top three sectors which attracted the most candidate activity in September was accounting / financial / insurance. These industries have seen a growth of six per cent month-on-month and seven per cent on 2013.
Three fifths of the small businesses that the FSB surveyed (61%) are expecting to grow in the next 12 months. One in 10 (11%) expects to grow rapidly. These results make it the seventh consecutive quarter that small businesses have been positive about their outlook, again underlining the pivotal role that SMEs have played in the economic recovery. Respondents also report good news on their turnover, profits and job creation. One third of businesses expect their turnover to grow in the next quarter and almost a fifth (17%) expect profits to rise. Job creation is robust too, with hiring intentions at an all-time high. A significant number of small businesses increased headcount in the last quarter, which is a trend that looks set to continue in the next quarter and beyond.
Likewise, the annual Sage Business Index, which questions more than 13,000 managers from small and medium sized businesses across 18 countries, found that the optimism of UK companies concerning the prospects for their own business has risen to a four-year high, with almost half planning to focus on hiring in the coming months.
Leslie Walters of Arlington Resource Management, a specialist recruiter for the Central London and Hertfordshire Financial and Accountancy communities, says, “Demand for high calibre Accountants in Practice has risen to a 6 year high and our clients in commerce have also stepped up their recruitment activity for Accounts staff. This is a good time for an Accountant to be looking for a job, especially at the recently qualified level, although many clients are still being particularly selective.”
- Assistant Accountant - Retail - £25,000 to £28,000
- Credit Controller - Insurance - £23,000 to £25,000
- ACCA / ACA Junior or Semi Senior - Practice - £28,000 to £35,000
- Payroll - Practice - £28,000 to £35,000