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ACA qualified? Choose your career path

04 December 2014

Many congratulations. Your hard-work has been rewarded. You’re ACA qualified! What’s next?

Now’s the time to think about your future and getting ahead of the curve.

Know your worth

  • ACA is an internationally recognised, highly regarded qualification
  • You now have the edge that puts you ahead of the competition
  • ACA prepares finance candidates for a wide range of careers

The skills that you have gained through your training will be highly sought after by some of the global market-leaders in:

  • Commerce and industry
  • Financial services
  • Public practice
  • Not for profit

You know your skill-set is desirable. Now it's time to make yourself marketable so you can turn every opportunity into a career prospect.

Choose your career path now

As a newly qualified ACA you can follow a number of routes depending on your training and specialist practical experience, including:

Commercial, reporting and strategic finance roles:


  • Utilizing your analytical, planning and strategic skills.
  • Typical roles range from management accounting and group accounting through to Finance Manager and Financial Controller positions in smaller companies. 
  • More commercial focused positions are available, particularly if you have skills in modeling, M&A/corporate finance or financial analysis. These roles are key to supporting and driving business performance.


Specialist accounting roles:


  • Drawing upon the technical elements of your qualification and experience, some entry positions into commercial firms are either as a Financial Accountant or Group Accountant. 
  • These roles provide excellent grounding for a move into an FD role later in your career.


Roles within practice:


  • You may be lucky enough to secure a new contract with your current employer and contemplating the next step to managerial level.
  • If not consider whether you want to specialise, or if you would rather have a wider remit.
  • Decide whether you are looking for the challenge of working for a higher-ranking practice, or a smaller, more intimate environment.


What salary can I expect?

Salary levels will vary by sector and the type of experience you have, whether you want to move into a corporate or SME. Corporate finance experience does have a premium.

Read our salary guide for average salary rates by sector and market insight into which sectors offer the most opportunity for career progression.

How do I choose what’s best for me?

With many options open to you it can be difficult to decide on the next best step for your career path. Ask yourself:

  • Are there long-term opportunities with my current employer?
  • What experience will help me develop the skills I need to continue to develop?
  • What sectors have I been exposed to during my training, and are any of those of interest to me?
  • Is there a specific part of my current role that I would be interested to do more in?
  • Have I looked at job adverts to find out more about what opportunities are out there?


What motivates you?


  • It may be that the higher remuneration packages of the corporate and financial services sector appeal to you, or maybe you’re looking to play an integral role in a not for profit organisation.
  • You may prefer the size and scale of a FTSE corporate, or the challenge of working in a growing SME.
  • You may enjoy diving into detailed numbers, being recognised as a specialist or having a broader role that spans the whole business.


What do I do next?

Ensuring your CV is up to date, effectively demonstrates your skills and experience and is tailored to the role and industry for which you are applying is key.

Then, once your skills get you through the door make sure you’re thoroughly prepared for that all important interview.

Speak to someone who knows the market. At Morgan Hunt, we understand what clients look for in newly qualified candidates, and have helped hundreds of candidates at your level with their career.

We offer you unbiased advice on what the current market conditions are across your sectors of interest, as well as provide some insight into the day-to-day roles you may be interested in pursuing.

Your skills are in demand – now is the time to make the most of them and further develop your career. Get in touch today – call Rob Anderson on 0207 419 8909 or email [email protected].


Becoming a charity trustee

03 December 2014

Louise Parkes, Director of Fundraising at the British Heart Foundation, was recently appointed as a new Trustee to the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, joining the board to take on the exciting challenge.

Working with Morgan Hunt recruitment agency, Louise secured her role as Trustee in September 2012. With Louise now nine months into her trusteeship, she talks about her motivations for pursuing the role and what advice she would give others looking to become a Trustee for a high profile charity.

The Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust enables disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track and benefit from the skills, expertise and experience of world class athletes through a range of personal development programmes. The charity, founded in 2008 by Dame Kelly Holmes, has helped more than 50,000 young people to lead more positive lives.

The DKH Legacy Trust has recently been awarded £6.9million in funding from Sport England to support the roll out of the charity’s successful Get on Track initiative nationwide over the next four years.

With the charity moving forward with ambitious plans for growth and a new strategic direction, a new Trustee was required to play an integral part in realising the DKH Legacy Trust’s long-term growth and development goals. As a national supporter and proud partner of the DKH Legacy Trust, Morgan Hunt was approached to recruit for this exciting position.

How did you hear about the Trustee post at DKHLT?
"Morgan Hunt was involved in the recruitment for a senior role at the British Heart Foundation and Ben Pountney approached me directly with the Trustee role at the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust."

What influenced your decision to apply for the post?
"Having previously been a Trustee of a small charity, I was looking for a trusteeship for a cause I was passionate about, where I felt I could make a valued contribution."

With DKHLT being one of the fastest growing charities in the UK it must be an exciting time to be on the board. How does the charity plan to build on this success and continue to grow and develop in the future?

"It is a very exciting time to be involved with the Trust. Part of my role is to provide support and guidance on fundraising. Managing rapid growth and ensuring it is sustainable can be challenging, but the Trust is ensuring that it diversifies its income generation activities to provide a stable base moving forward."

How does your role as a Trustee differ from your role as Director of Fundraising at the British Heart Foundation? What are your typical responsibilities as a Trustee?
"The role is quite different, but there are some similarities. As a Trustee I have responsibility for governance and strategy, but I am also able to provide support, guidance and expertise in fundraising."

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role?
"The most rewarding aspect of the role is seeing and hearing the difference that we make to the lives of young people. Some of the stories are quite inspirational."

How do you feel your skills and experience complement those of your fellow board members?
"It is a fantastic board of Trustees, with each bringing different skills and experience to the table. Some of the Trustees have been involved in the Trust since it started, and have managed and guided the organisation through phenomenal growth. Understanding where an organisation has come from is a really important part of supporting its development in the future."

What qualities and attributes do you think are essential for anyone looking to get on the board of Trustees for a high profile charity such as DKHLT and what advice would you give for those wanting to pursue a Trustee post?
"Different organisations will be looking for different skills and attributes, depending upon the type of charity and the current constitution of the board. It can be incredibly rewarding, but it is also a significant commitment. Make sure it is a cause you are passionate about and can fully meet the expectations of the role and the organisation. I would recommend to anyone who cares about making a difference and has skills to offer to pursue a Trustee post."


Making the switch between the public and private sector

03 December 2014

The number of people working in the public sector is the lowest it’s been for the last 15 years, or at least the lowest within a comparable series.

Labour market latest estimates show overall employment continuing to rise with unemployment falling. The switch between sectors has never been greater in recent times.

If you have spent most of your career within either the private or public sector, the prospect of moving between sectors and adapting to a different culture and environment may be a daunting one.

Generally speaking since private sector organisations are driven by profit, they tend to be more fast moving, while the public sector is more cost and results driven with a higher emphasis on budget control, targets and productivity, albeit the current government’s pledge to simplify some of the targets.

There are however a lot of similarities between the two sectors, with some areas of the public sector wanting and needing to be more commercial. Providing you do your research there are many transferable skills you can draw on if you are looking to make the switch.

It is important to spend time outlining exactly what you are looking for in your next position. Identify not only the type of role and responsibilities that you want to focus on going forward but also the type of organisation with which you want to engage. If you know what you want from your next job and the type of organization you want to work for, that hurdle seems manageable and even appealing.

So, what’s next?

Tailor your CV

It’s always advisable to tailor your CV to each individual job application you make, and this is particularly the case when looking to make the transition between the public and private sectors.

Avoid using any language or terminology which is indicative of the opposite sector you want to move into as this will suggest to the employer that you are less able to adapt to your new environment. Analyse the job descriptions and person specifications to gain an idea of the sort of language used, comparing like-for-like jobs in both sectors to understand the differences.

Do the research

If you have a particular position or company in mind you should do as much research into these as possible. However if you are moving from public to private sector or vice-versa it is important that you also look into the change of environment and culture more generally. There are strong cultures that influence both sectors in different ways, bridging this is more tricky than you might imagine. Get a job plan together here.

 As well as helping to tailor your CV effectively this will also give you a better understanding of the direction in which you want your career to progress.

Manage your social profile

Neglect social media at your peril. Make sure you are managing your social profile and actively use it as a tool to build your online brand. There’s no denying social media is here to stay and it is important that you familiarise yourself with these types of channels. Check out our tips on creating the perfect online ‘brand’.

Don't forget the basics

As well as taking steps to ensure you are prepared specifically for making the switch between sectors it is important that you don't neglect to do the same things you would for any other job search. This includes making sure your CV and covering letters effectively demonstrate your passion and suitability for the role you're applying for, as well as approaching companies speculatively to get on their radar for current and future opportunities.

So if you're looking to move between the public and private sectors, contact us to find out more about how Morgan Hunt can help you make a smooth transition. We work across both sectors and can advise you on the nuances of each.


Building a future in construction

03 December 2014

The construction industry was one of the first to be hit by global recession.

Construction downsizing can have a major and an immediate effect on; employment, government tax collections, and general confidence among the mass population. As private investors pulled back, the public sector put the plug on funding, leaving many employees; blue and white collar, junior and senior, concerned with job loss. Morgan Hunt Director, Dan Taylor, shares his construction market insights.

During a long period of recession a large volume of the workforce left or moved on and those entering the workplace didn’t see construction as a desirable or stable profession. The latest UK Construction PMI shows the construction industry expanding for the eighth consecutive month. With new optimism among clients, construction companies are looking to invest, not just in housing demand but in private sector infrastructure projects and commercial building work. 

Construction jobs

An increase in construction output is good, but challenges will arise in sustaining this if the skills required are in short demand. Fewer candidates in the market have the effect of pushing up salaries, making projects more expensive and more variable to price. A strong demand for skills can put the supply chain under pressure and put projects in financial jeopardy should they fail to meet deadlines.
Competition for skills will be fought in the battlegrounds of who is the; ‘best company to work for’ and ‘best at paying suppliers promptly’. A failure to understand these finer points may result in no ‘man’ on site. There is also a need to improve the image of the UK construction industry and its attractiveness to potential employees. All this however has a positive effect for the candidate as they will have more choice, and better pay and conditions.

Jobs in demand

Experienced people are in short supply across nearly every trade and skill level. The industry is reporting a strong need for quantity surveyors, chartered surveyors, estimators, architects, qualified contracts managers and construction engineers. Two very severe and long recessionary periods in as many generations has simply not brought sufficient numbers of these through the building construction colleges and universities which is now taking its toll but will get worst as the industry picks up into full swing over the coming year.
There has never been a better time to become involved in the building and trades field. For those who are seeking long term jobs and reasonable security, the construction industry appears to be a safe bet. People who trained to do construction during the economic crash were able to take advantage of the fact that many had left the industry. These professionals were exposed to big projects at an early age. With the new projects coming in they will be able to take advantage of the demand for senior members of staff.

What is the future for construction professionals?

Generally the future looks bright for construction workers. Now is the time for companies to improve their employer branding to compete in what will become a candidate driven market. With promises of new construction projects and therefore long term employment opportunities, the industry will lure back some of those who left, but this may not fill the void completely. Employers will need to be more flexible, offer better incentives, think about what their future workforce will look like and be prepared to nurture their talent pool to resemble that vision.
The largest construction project in the UK being Crossrail, and looking further ahead there are prospective construction projects that include; the High Speed 2 (HS2) line and Crossrail 2, all of which will consume large quantities of professional skills, trades and labour.
Morgan Hunt offer a consultative service to help your organisation with their employer branding and to compete for the best talent . For more information email [email protected]


Know your worth

08 January 2014

Has the New Year got you thinking about your value to your organisation and how best to boost your earning potential in the charities and not for profit sectors? 

Our own Charities and Not For Profit Director, talks to the Guardian about dedication to the cause versus remuneration and knowing your worth in order to advance your career development. In this Guardian Global Development Professionals Network blog post, we offer insight into how to approach the topic of salary review and look at alternative ways to advance your career opportunities and overall worth. 

The full article offering advice on raising awareness of your organisational value in the third sector can be viewed here.

Find out more about Morgan Hunt Charities and Not For Profit.