Blog

Jun 11

ACCA Qualifications

Posted by Daniel Abbay on Wednesday, June 11, 2014

THE ACCA has opened up their starting point of their syllabus for free, using an online social learning platform to provide content.

ACCA have struck a deal, where the institute's content will be made available through a social platform, creating a massive open online course (MOOC). The University of Exeter will develop an open online course, called ‘Discovering Business in Society', sponsored and accredited by ACCA. Those that pass the course will be granted exemption from paper F1 (Accountant in Business) of the ACCA qualification.

Individual organisations saw a bottom line boost of around £2,000 per apprentice

ACCA will work with FutureLearn to provide base content for other university partners. Helen Brand, chief executive of the ACCA, said: "We're delighted to be working in partnership with FutureLearn, and the University of Exeter - from where I graduated. We'll be working together to provide access to MOOCs for people who wish to obtain foundation knowledge in finance and business.

"This could be the start of professional training towards a prestigious and respected global qualification. But it doesn't stop there - MOOCs can also be used by our members to meet their needs for continuing professional development throughout their careers."

Jun 09

APPRENTICESHIPS

Posted by Daniel Abbay on Monday, June 09, 2014

Apprentices delivered around £1.8 billion of net economic benefits to UK organisations last year according to the latest research.

The report, compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), found that apprentices offer UK businesses a significant return on their investment, with economic output often exceeding average wage and training costs.

Individual organisations saw a bottom line boost of around £2,000 per apprentice

The research report The Value of Apprentices (PDF) presents a compelling case for organisations to take on even one apprentice: every time they do they receive, on average, a bottom-line boost of around £2,000 once wage and training costs have been factored in. This benefit per apprentice was shown to be highest in London where organisations enjoyed an average net benefit of £2,621 per apprentice.

Businesses report benefits while apprentices are still in training. Crucially, the research highlights that businesses don’t have to wait in order to realise the financial gain of hiring an apprentice, with many companies enjoying economic benefits while their apprentice is still in training. Once the apprentice is fully qualified employers can expect to see further productivity improvements while apprentices can expect to benefit from increased earnings potential.

Employers reported improved product and service quality

The latest findings are validated by recent research from The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (August 2013), in which high percentages of employers reported numerous benefits from hiring apprentices, including improved product and service quality (72 per cent), enhanced productivity (68 per cent) and even increased morale and organisational reputation.

SMEs still lack awareness of the Government’s apprenticeship offer

However, despite these encouraging findings, the research also highlights that a lack of awareness of the Government’s apprenticeship offer and its benefits, particularly amongst smaller companies, means that many organisations are currently missing out.  Around 60 per cent of small businesses surveyed as part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ August 2013 research were found to be lacking a basic knowledge of the Government’s programme and the support available such as subsidies and expert advice.

Commenting on the research, Jane Scott Paul, Chief Executive of AAT said: “Take-up of apprenticeship schemes has grown sharply over the past five years, as more and more organisations enjoy the benefits that apprentices can bring to the workplace; this is benefitting their business and bolstering economic recovery and growth.

“We now need to do more to engage with smaller businesses - to break down the misconceptions and make it easier for smaller enterprises to unlock the full potential of training apprentices on the job and to gain specific skills relevant to their business. Our research clearly reveals that apprentices far from being a cost to business are often a tangible benefit and, what’s more, they’re flourishing in non-traditional sectors such as business, administration and law.  By quantifying the value of apprenticeships in this way we hope to encourage all sectors of business to open up their recruitment policies and address the skill shortage.”

Commenting on the research, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Delivering the best skills is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan for Britain. More apprenticeships mean more opportunities for young people, giving them financial security and Britain a better future.”

Aug 19

In-Demand Skills

Posted by Daniel Abbay on Monday, August 19, 2013

Professionals with prior group accounting experience have been in high demand, as well as candidates with a strong fundamental technical skill-set, specifically IFRS experience due to legislation changes in reporting standards. There has also been a continued drive to secure candidates at all levels from a business partnering background who have demonstrable experience of adding commercial value as employers seek to gain a competitive advantage in the market. As a result of this trend, industry-trained newly-qualified ACCA and CIMA candidates have been in high demand. At the part-qualified and transactional level, most demand has been for general rather than highly specific positions – specifically, accounts payable, credit control and general part-qualified professionals. This is indicative of the majority of hiring at this level primarily being the result of a rise in workloads across-the-board rather than growth in a particular area.

Aug 10

Outlook for Second Half of 2013

Posted by Daniel Abbay on Saturday, August 10, 2013

Given recent growth in the FTSE, we anticipate greater activity within the corporate market. Technology, media and retail businesses are likely to continue recruiting at high levels as they seek to grow into new areas. Commercially-focused finance professionals will remain in demand for these reasons. Based on trends in the first half of the year, candidates with strong technical experience will also remain in demand. With the best professionals being extremely sought-after and now proceeding with two or three applications at the same time, strong competition will exist for the best candidates. As a result, employers with the quickest recruitment processes will stand the best chance of securing the most sought-after talent.

Aug 02

Accountancy Industry

Posted by Daniel Abbay on Friday, August 02, 2013

London finance job levels have increased at the qualified level compared to 2012. This resulted from a slight improvement in optimism from the Bank of England due to a return to economic growth. Finance teams have therefore started to selectively hire again as they seek to ease workload pressures. At the part-qualified level, we have seen greater demand for professionals on an interim basis. This is primarily due to workloads increasing as the market improves after teams had cut their finance resource in previous years. However, the volume of permanent part-qualified vacancies has also been steadily increasing. As businesses continually seek to cut costs, senior roles that become vacant are often being re-recruited or replaced at a more junior level.