June, 2005

As we hit the mid-point of 2005, it really seems that the market is powering on, fuelled by the increasing demand for tax specialists across all areas of the market. The demand for candidates at the Tax Accountant/Adviser level and Tax Manager level within commerce, industry and banking is particularly strong.

With job opportunities coming up within our FTSE 100/250 clients, there is particular interest in the ACA tax backgrounds due to specific pressures relating to the IFRS transition. The interim/contract market for tax advisers is also very busy, with companies needing to bring in tax experts at short notice to troubleshoot in areas such as VAT, transfer pricing, IFRS and general corporate tax compliance burdens.

Candidates with good quality UK/international tax experience are no longer looking in the market very long before receiving job offers, in a lot of cases multi-job offers.

On the candidate supply front, we now seem to be back to a climate where there is a shortage of newly qualified ACAs and CTAs emerging from the Big 4 accounting firms – this is no surprise, as the market crash of 2001-2002 clearly led to a vast reduction in graduate recruitment.

Ultimately, this is all good news for the tax candidate currently looking to further their career. You are very much in demand, and should hopefully start seeing healthy salary increases over the next 6 – 12 months.

For the employers looking to recruit tax expertise, it is a major challenge to secure the best candidates. You need to really sell the opportunity to prospective candidates, you may well see offers turned down, and there will be an increased pressure to offer higher salaries to compete.