Whether it’s absence or a busy workload, temporary (temp) accounting and finance workers have long been the solution for finance teams in need of help. But is it always the best option? And is there another route to explore that might actually suit your business better?
Figuring out how to recruit to support or fill a gap in your business’s finance team can prove stressful.
After all, finance manager and teams have important roles to play.
And financial deadlines (like year-end financial statements or audits) are strict.
Previously, the temp finance and temp accounting jobs market has been the place to turn to for help.
But Hutcheon Mearns, an expert finance advisory firm with offices in Aberdeen and Dundee, is all about offering more finance recruitment options to businesses.
Common problems faced in finance recruitment
Claire Clark, like the founder of Hutcheon Mearns Craig Hutcheon and other members of the senior management team, is an accountant with personal experience working in finance.
“One of the things we picked up on, there’s not really a lot of option when you’re working in industry for back-up resource if you’re caught short,” explains Claire, who heads up the specialist service at Hutcheon Mearns.
Four of the most common problems often faced when it comes to finance recruitment include:
- Time and workload management when someone resigns.
- Managing anxiety around maternity leave.
- Reducing stress after unexpected employee absences.
- Sourcing extra help with discreet finance projects.
Pros and cons of temporary finance workers
Whether you’re dealing with one of the above problems or another tricky situation, the temp market is the obvious option for short term finance recruitment.
You can find good people this way, but one con is that you’re beholden to who is available as a temp at the time.
Plus, other disadvantages of recruiting for temp accounting jobs is that it can be a time-consuming process interviewing and vetting candidates.
And you don’t know the quality of the temps or their commitment to staying with you.
Claire says: “You can get very good temps but the reality is there are other factors. Quite often they’re not there because they want to do project work, it’s circumstance and they’ll leave for an alternative assignment or permanent work.”
Hutcheon Mearns does provide temps – it is an option that’s right in some cases, especially if you have a tighter budget to work with.
What is an alternative to recruiting finance temps?
When establishing Hutcheon Mearns, founder Craig identified the common problems that come with the temp market.
And set up the Hutcheon Mearns specialist service to address these concerns. The result is a unique, valuable and viable alternative.
“What we have that’s quite unique is a team of practice trained accountants, all ICAS or ACCA qualified accountants. They’ve worked for accountancy firms and they’ve also been in industry, so they understand the dynamics of an industry environment,” explains Claire.
“The idea is they are a call-off resource that’s available to companies who find themselves in a situation where they’re either short a member of staff or they’re not going to get something done. They know they’re going to get somebody of a high calibre who’ll come in and do the job.
“And that resource is very rarely available in the temp market, which has traditionally been their only option.”
The team of specialists is now 10 strong and growing to keep up with demand.
There are many advantages to Hutcheon Mearns’ specialist service.
The specialists are:
- Highly qualified. The calibre of Hutcheon Mearns’ specialists can’t always be found in the temp market.
- Trained to add value. The specialists have added knowledge of best practise from their past experiences and can use this in their role. They’re not just keeping things ticking over, they are adding value (I.e. by identifying a solution or time-saving strategy.)
- Committed. They won’t leave before the agreed project or contract is finished.
- Flexible. You can extend how long a specialist stays with your business. They can also come in part-time, for a couple of days a week. Whatever works best for you.
- Hassle-free. The specialist will hand over their job when finished and ensure their departure is smooth and disruption free for the business.
How to choose the right temporary finance recruitment option
Still unsure of what the right temporary finance option is for your business?
Hutcheon Mearns is unique in that it offers both options – temps and specialists – for businesses of all sizes, from owner managed businesses up to listed PLCS.
Factors to consider when deciding what option is right for you include:
- Risk you’re willing to take (i.e. by accepting the unknown in a temp situation)
- Value (how much temporary recruitment will cost versus the value it could add to your business)
- How important the role is and the level of expertise needed
- Where you’re at as a company (are things busy and stressful already? This might affect how much risk you’re willing to take)
What are the IR35 implications
around temp accounting jobs?
In April, changes were made in tax laws relating to contractors versus employees.
It’s worth considering the IR35 implications when recruiting short term for your finance team.
The great thing about using the Hutcheon Mearns specialist service is that there are no IR35 implications. Claire explains: “They’re our employees, they’re on our payroll – they’re not a contractor.”
Get an expert opinion on finance recruitment from Hutcheon Mearns
There are lots of options to consider when it comes to short term and temporary finance recruitment. It can also be a stressful time.
The good news is expert companies like Hutcheon Mearns are there to help and offer advice, whether you’re looking to grow your business, want to determine the correct salaries for finance teams or are facing other recruitment challenges.
Claire urges anyone in this position to pick up the phone for a no-pressure, no-obligation chat.
“I’d rather people phoned and had a chat with us, and explored their options than not. If it doesn’t work, that’s fine,” adds Claire.
Claire has been where you are, so understands the situation you are in.
And Hutcheon Mearns is committed to helping its clients find the right, tailored financial recruitment solution.
Check out the Hutcheon Mearns website to find out more about the unique specialist service on offer.