Big Four Appeal Creates Auditor Shortage

Friday, February 17, 2012 Print Email

The appeal of the Big Four is creating a dearth of skilled audit candidates for small and medium sized firms, says recruitment specialist Badenoch & Clark.

According to the recruitment consultant’s monthly Talent Spotlight there is also an increasing hunger for firms to take on talented graduates, with the intention of preparing them for future leadership roles.

Peter Howath, operations director, at Badenoch & Clark said: ‘The demand of the Big Four for highly skilled professionals has been driven by two factors. Firstly the big audit firms reduced their intakes during the recession of 2008, and this has led to a reduced number of accountants qualifying and completing their three year training contracts in 2011.

‘In addition, big corporate clients have maintained their demand for newly qualified accountants, seeking both the up to date technical accounting skills, but also the intellectual capacity and ability to learn and adapt that newly qualified accountants display, and which is so key to the ever-changing business landscape that big businesses face today.’

Howarth believes the auditor vacuum for smaller firms, created by the Big Four, is also forcing firms to ‘compete aggressively’ for quality candidates and so bringing about a return of salary inflation to the industry.

In a saturated recruitment market, as it is now, Howarth sees the firm’s offering of professional development programmes for future leaders even to ‘graduates in only their second or third year in the workplace’ as an understandable response.

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