Queens Court, 24 Queen Street, Manchester, M2 5HX
- Specialism: Compliance
- Sector: Public Sector
- Office: Manchester
Type a day in the life of sellick from Bulqees Majid
Earlier this month the government finally announced plans for a review of the proposed IR35 reforms that are due to hit the private sector in April this year, however the news has been met with very mixed responses. With a little over two months to go before the reforms are implemented we are still unsure as to the true impact they will have, and it is unlikely that this review in its current form will alleviate the worries of our contractor, candidate and client base. The timing of the review is wrong. A thorough independent review that will look at the issues that have been raised, consult the market and detail amendments simply cannot happen in the short time left until the planned implementation date. I therefore worry that the government will use this ‘review’ as an obligatory pre-election promise and will not look closely enough at the implications this will have on the contractor market across the UK. I am also concerned that the basis of the review isn’t right. In late November, campaigning for Tory votes, Chancellor Sajid Javid said that he wanted to “look again at the proposed changes to IR35 to make sure that they are right to take forward”. Now, however, it looks as if the review will probe the reforms’ implementation, not the reform as a whole which is a mistake in my opinion. At our IR35 briefing event in November last year, we heard the concerns of contractors first-hand, and many of the same worries still stand and are unlikely to be solved unless the implementation date is delayed, and a more thorough review is launched. They raised concerns such as businesses not being ready for the changes, a lack of client understanding and a blanket ban on limited contractors by many clients across all sectors. Another issue that the review will likely skim over is the impact on ethical behaviour across the contractor market, something that is hugely important in my opinion. In a recent Recruiter article, Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said: “Pushing ahead with an approach to taxing contractors that is not fit-for-purpose will punish ethical businesses, incentivise non-compliance and harm workers. I wholeheartedly agree with this comment, and it is becoming an even bigger worry for me and my team. If this review is going to work, it must consider monitoring and regulating non-compliant umbrella companies. We have a list of preferred umbrella companies for a reason. Each one is vetted to ensure that our contractors, our clients and we are protected as far as possible from both financial and criminal liability. The government also needs to look closely at the mistakes that were made in the public sector roll out. A lack of communication, panic and timing all culminated in several key issues and many contractors are still feeling the adverse effects as a result. The government needs to learn from these mistakes, and at least adopt a phased approach to the private sector roll out and offer some clarity to businesses around what the implications will be for them. My worry is that there is a similar feeling of panic and unrest with the current plans, and there are a number of extremes across the market. On one hand some clients are panicking and putting a blanket ban on contractors stating that they will only work with temporary staff through PAYE, with others using this review as another excuse to delay their plans, something that we have been advising them not to do. Organisations and contractors need to be doing all they can to prepare and seek advice from recruitment professionals like Sellick Partnership. Finally, the review needs ample time to consult the market and appease any concerns businesses, contractors and recruiters have about the roll out, and I don’t believe that is the case. For a thorough, independent review to take place the reforms will have to be delayed giving everyone time to prepare. Without these preparations, and a decent consultation process, we are in danger of heading for the same mistakes and challenges we faced in 2017, which would be very damaging for the private sector contractor market. If you are worried about IR35, or would like some advice, head over to the dedicated section of our website. Alternatively, you can get in touch with myself, or a member of my team and we will be more than happy to help.
The NHS is renowned across the globe for its workforce, and the career opportunities on offer across the organisation are endless. From clinical roles to office jobs, the NHS can offer ambitious talent a wealth of opportunities and rewards employees with great benefits and an opportunity to build a long and successful career. Public Sector Manager Adam Rouse recently sat down with Scott Jarvis, one of four Deputy Directors of Finance at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust to find out why he has stayed with the NHS for 32 years, and what he feels the NHS offers candidates looking for a fulfilling and lengthy career. Can you tell me a bit about your career and experience to date? My career started a long time ago. I graduated university in 1987 with a mathematics, statistics and economics degree and at the time didn’t know what I wanted to do. I wrote to some local employers and ended up getting a meeting with the then deputy treasurer of Southern Derbyshire Health Authority. At the time he was looking for a trainee to join his team, and after that initial discussion we both agreed to ‘give it a go’, so I started the following Monday. While working as a local district trainee Southern Derbyshire Health Authority allowed me to take time out to complete my CIMA qualification and gave me exposure to various departments, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Once qualified I was promoted to Senior Management Accountant and looked after all the corporate HQ budgets. This gave me good access to the Senior Management Team and helped me increase my presence within the organisation. I then took a secondment to the Family Health Services Authority (FHSA) and moved all their hand-written bound ledgers and day books onto spreadsheets. During this time we did a lot with GP fund holders and I managed a number of staff. When the FHSA merged I took a secondment to the Derby City General Hospital giving me a real feeling of working and doing good for the NHS. I joined as a Directorate Accountant and worked my way up to Head of Financial Management. Soon after I joined we merged with the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, implemented a new ledger for day one of the merger, applied for and got first wave Foundation Trust status and built a large PFI hospital. All the experience I ever needed was in Derby, so I never moved. More recently Derby has merged with Burton Hospitals and we now have five sites and over 12,000 employees. I’ve been working here now for over 20 years and deputy for about 15 of them. Does the NHS have exciting career progression opportunities? Yes. At school and university I never had the ambition to be an accountant and certainly never considered the NHS as a career. I ended up working for the NHS by accident because someone gave me a break, I studied and qualified and then never looked back. I was lucky that at the time the demands on NHS Finance departments were growing faster than the supply of qualified accountants. Since then the importance of finance has grown enormously and the service has become far more organised and professional as a result. There is an excellent NHS graduate training scheme but also far more opportunities to start as an apprentice in your local area and work your way up. Is it easy to find out what opportunities for progression are available? Most job vacancies are advertised on the NHS jobs national website and it is really easy to register an account and then to receive alerts for roles that come up in the locations and role types that you are interested in. Also, once you are in a role in a department there are often opportunities in other areas of finance within that organisation or nearby. The NHS is the sort of organisation where you will either love it and stay forever or move on if you decide it is not for you. Because the NHS is a large group of individual organisations it is very possible to have a long and varied career and to remain within the larger NHS throughout. What do you put your success in the NHS down to? I have always been open to doing more than was written in my current job description. The NHS moves surprisingly quickly sometimes so you just have to adapt and keep up. Political announcements can be made one day and the ‘rules’ changed overnight. Be prepared for constant change and you will be fine. I have always tried to maintain a large group of contacts within the NHS finance community and this has been greatly helped by being actively involved with networking events run by the HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association), both locally and nationally. What do you think makes a successful NHS employee? In NHS finance and the NHS in general it’s just about trying your best to do the right thing. The regime and rules and targets and financial pressures make the job difficult but at the end of the day, the NHS is full of people doing their best every day to do the right thing by patients. Even in the finance departments. The NHS has a good track record for holding onto its employees, why do you think this is? It’s a vocation, a job for life. However, you got into the NHS, if you are bitten by the bug then you’re quite likely to stay for a long time. I still work with some people who were already here when I joined all those years ago. It’s a big family. Some of the people I work with now I met as babies as they were born to colleagues! Will this success continue? Do you think the next generation of NHS workers will have the same commitment/longevity that you have enjoyed? Like with many jobs nowadays, the younger generations seem to be happy to switch jobs, employers and even careers, much more than my generation. The NHS finance community is large enough to accommodate this and should support them more to switch between organisations and roles. It will be beneficial for the organisations if the employees have wider experiences of other parts of the NHS. We need to balance this with organisational memory though. A lot of my success has come from being here long enough to know why we did something! What do you think about the current NHS staffing crisis and what can we do to help the NHS attract the talent it needs? We don’t train enough people to be the NHS staff of the future. This isn’t such a problem with finance roles as all industries employ finance staff so if the offer is good enough we will always be able to recruit. For clinical staff this isn’t the case. The NHS is to a large extent, the sole employer in the country for some types of staff. If we don’t train enough then each organisation will be competing with every other one for a limited supply. We must think longer term and train more people. Why do you think there is such a strain on NHS talent at the minute? The demands placed on the NHS by the public continue to increase year-on-year. For an aging population this is not really a surprise. Reductions in services provided by other areas of the public sector have also massively impacted on the NHS. As it is “always open” it becomes the safety net as more and more people seek help that is no longer available from other sources. If you had a single piece of advice to NHS candidates what would that be? My advice is always the same, take all the opportunities that present themselves, listen to the people who have been doing the job for years regardless of their grade or position, don’t assume you know everything already, join the HFMA and go to events and build long-term relationships in your networks. Your networks will help you in the future. What next… If you like what you hear and are interested in a job within the NHS, please get in touch with myself or a member of our NHS recruitment. Alternately you can check out our latest NHS jobs here.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in corporate finance, or are you wondering what you need to do to build a successful career within the sector? Our Newcastle Practice recruitment team recently sat down with Carl Swansbury, Partner and Head of Corporate Finance at Ryecroft Glenton, to find out what he attributes to his success, and to get his views on what finance & accountancy candidates need to do to thrive in this service line. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your experience to date? I joined PwC straight from sixth form College on the AAT/ACA fast-track course, which is a challenging but very rewarding four-year programme. I initially started out within audit and assurance, qualifying at the age of 20 and left PwC shortly after in December 2006. I always knew I wanted a career in corporate finance or consulting, so I decided to join RSM Tenon in January 2007 to pursue it. As with any new career, I started in a junior role as a Corporate Finance Executive and progressed accordingly within a four-year period, being promoted to Corporate Finance Manager, Corporate Finance Senior Manager and then Director, all during my time at RSM Tenon. In May 2011 I joined Ryecroft Glenton, successfully established the Corporate Finance function and consequently progressed to my current role as Partner and Head of Corporate Finance. What does a typical day look like for you and your team? Working within corporate finance keeps me very busy. Generally, I am on my laptop for around 7am and ready to start taking calls and attend meetings by 8am. I like to start as soon as I can in the morning so I can look at what needs to be done that day, and then plan my time accordingly. I usually start my day by going through my emails to ensure nothing urgent needs to be actioned, and then from 8am I am usually in back-to-back meetings with shareholders and funders. No two days are the same, which is part of the reason I love working in corporate finance. In terms of my team, they will be providing expert advice and guidance to clients, producing business plans, carrying out detailed research, preparing detailed financial models and leading transactions. What is the most influential thing you have learnt/been taught in your career so far? Working within any fast-paced role is enlightening, and I have learnt a great deal throughout my career, but there are two things that really stick out as being vitally important, especially for those looking to carve a successful career in the sector. The first is to always be mindful of the need to deliver clear and concise advice in a strategic way. Secondly, corporate finance professionals need to keep their knowledge up-to-date, be aware of what is going on around them and always remain optimistic. It is very easy to give up or think that giving your best is pointless in the face of adversity, however that is not true. For example, in the current political climate with Brexit looming, many finance professionals are apprehensive of what might happen, and some have let this impact their decisions. However, at Ryecroft Glenton we have remained positive throughout and have managed to achieve our best year yet, showing that a positive outlook can be hugely beneficial. Longevity at your firm is fairly obvious, what is it that’s kept you with the business so long? Being part of a full-service firm and working for a company that is results driven and committed to being a market-leading advisory firm has made my decision to stay and progress at Ryecroft Glenton very easy. The clarity of our firm’s vision is exciting and demanding, making it a very interesting place to work. Another aspect is the autonomy I have been given from stakeholders to lead at Ryecroft Glenton’s corporate finance function and drive this forward. They have recently hired two new heads into the corporate finance team and are willing to grow despite the current climate to drive the business forward, something many other firms are not doing. What are the key things that you look for when you’re looking to hire? When looking for people to join the firm it is a given that we look for individuals who are academically and technically astute. This is essential in our line of work. We also look for candidates that are likely to fit in with our core values, as cultural fit is almost as important as technical ability. For example, we look for conscious individuals who will care about our clients and colleagues and we look for candidates we can trust, so we will consider anyone that has been in a trusting position in a previous role. It is important to us to find people who are aligned with these values because we remunerate and appraise against them. What are the key challenges that you face when recruiting? Attracting talent who have the above values combined with the technical skills from the small talent pool in the area is very difficult. What learning and development opportunities are available for employees with Ryecroft Glenton? We employ candidates straight from school/university and will assist them through any official accounting or tax qualification (ACA/ACCA/CIMA/AAT/ATT etc). During their studies candidates will work with us and be mentored to ensure they have the best possible foundation to build a successful career in the sector. We also offer a four-year internal training programme within advisory. In addition to this, we also put a great deal of time and energy into ensuring our employees have the best possible chance for success. Once qualified, our employees have access to additional on-the-job coaching and additional qualifications through Accelerate to help them further their career and progress with us at Ryecroft Glenton. How do you think your business differentiates itself from the many other practices in the North East? There are several things that I believe differentiate us from our competitors. Firstly, our heritage. We are a very well-known and established firm with a clear growth strategy. Secondly, we are a market-leading firm providing full advisory services including all six service lines. There are very few other independent firms in the North East providing a service like this other than the Big 4. Finally, we can provide a national and international service from our regional location in the North East, giving people a great opportunity to travel and gain exposure to various types of businesses. How do your tailor your benefits, employee recognition and rewards to ensure you attract the best talent? We benchmark ourselves against our competitors to ensure our benefits are in-line with the rest of the market. We also carry out an annual internal survey to ask our employees if there is anything they would like to see implemented, which allows us to cater for the wants and wishes of our employees. In most firms, individuals tend to become a ‘specialist’ in a service area (Tax, Audit for example). Is it then possible for these individuals to move into a different service area? It is of course possible to change service line focus within practice. For example, we recently had an employee move into a Corporate Finance Senior Manager role from audit and assurance. Candidates just need to have a good working knowledge of the sector and be able to show a drive and determination to learn and succeed. I believe it is also important to give candidates exposure to multiple job roles and practice areas so they can make an informed decision on their career path as early as possible. To assist with this, we offer all trainees the chance to work in various service lines and offer secondments within the firm, so they can get a feeling for where they see themselves working longer-term before making any final decision on their chosen career path. What advice would you give to anyone looking to secure or advance their career in practice? To build a successful career in practice, candidates need to be technically strong and have a full set of soft skills in addition to technical prowess – skills such as communication skills, leadership capabilities, organisation skills and problem-solving skills for example. In addition to this, they also need to have a broad professional network and a drive and passion to help lead both clients and colleagues to success. Can we help you… If you would like help securing a role within corporate finance or other service areas within practice, then please get in touch. Alternatively, you can check out our latest North East Practice jobs here.