38 Collingwood Street, Collingwood Buildings, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1JF
- Specialism: Finance & Accountancy
- Sector: Commerce & Industry
- Location: Durham, Darlington, Cleveland and North Yorkshire
Type a day in the life of sellick from Kathryn Heeler
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear | Contract/Interim
Sellick Partnership are currently assisting a fantastic client in Sunderland in the recruitment of a Finance Assistant on a fixed term basis for 6 months. Reporting to the Finance Manager the successful Finance Assistant will be immediately available and have experience of working as a Finance Assistant, specifically previous responsibility reviewing the banking and reconciliations, within high volume and fast paced working environments. Key Skills: - Inputting purchase invoices - Raising purchase orders - Reconciling purchase ledger - Supplier statement reconciliations - Processing expenses - Journal entries - Dealinig with supplier queries - Bank reconciliations - Ad hoc duties delegated from Finance Manager Person specification - AAT 2 qualified and above - Competent user of Excel (Pivot Tables & VLookUps) - Attention to detail - Good communication skills - Previous experience of the key skills in it's entirety For more information please contact Kathryn Heeler at Sellick Partnership. Sellick Partnership is a market-leading professional services recruitment specialist operating across the UK. We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from candidates of all backgrounds and circumstances, including minorities and those with disabilities. Please note our advertisements use years' experience and salary levels purely as a guide. We are happy to consider applications from all candidates who are able to demonstrate the skills necessary to fulfil the role. If you do not hear from us within 48 hours please assume that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion. For information on how your personal details may be used by Sellick Partnership, please review our data processing notice which can be found in the footer on our website.
Are you interested in finding out what skills are in demand across the Finance & Accountancy sector? Senior Consultant Liam Cox spoke to one of his clients who told him what skills finance candidates should be concentrating on, and offered his insight into what hiring managers might be looking for in the future. It can be hard to build a successful career within any sector, not least a sector that is becoming increasingly caudate-led. As a result, candidates looking to secure a job within Finance & Accountancy need to set themselves apart. A good way of doing this is by ensuring they develop and showcase the key skills many hiring managers look for across the sector. Finance professionals that continually build on their skills and react to the market are always the most sought after, and generally do very well throughout their career. But what skills doe hiring managers within the sector look for? Senior Consultant Liam Cox spoke to one of his key clients to find out the skills he is looking for, how candidates can showcase their experience during the application process and also what skills he thinks will become increasingly important in the future. What are the key skills you usually look for in candidates joining your team? There are a number of things we would normally look for, especially in junior candidates joining our team. One of which is confidence and how they come across. This is becoming increasingly important because of the direction that the sector is taking. The Finance & Accountancy sector is moving towards more of a “business partnering”, so we look for candidates that have a higher commercial acumen that we did previously. Candidates that have excellent communication skills, and that are able to relay financial data to stakeholders at varying levels is also highly important. We also want to try and test their team fit; how they will operate in a close knit environment and if they’re willing to help others. This is especially important to us as we have a small team and everyone we employ needs to get stuck in and help where possible. We tend to do this by asking scenario questions throughout the interview process. Experience is also a bonus. It isn’t always essential depending on the role but we can teach them what they need if they demonstrate they’re flexible and willing to learn from us. How have the skills of Finance & Accountancy candidates developed in recent years? The main difference tends to be that candidates nowadays lack “qualification skills”. We tend to find that candidates have a broader, more varied skillset rather than specific knowledge that you would likely gain through qualifications. This can swing both ways, it can be a bonus for a role that is likely going to have a lot of variety as they will have generally already had some good exposure. However, the higher up the ladder you go can have a detrimental impact as senior candidates generally need to be qualified and have some specific, niche training and experience. Having said that, I do think that the personality of some new accountants has definitely developed over the years, which is great to see. I think there is a much greater focus on soft skills now than there was when I first started my career, which will stand people in good stead moving forward. What skills is your team/the industry lacking the most? I don’t think my team is lacking a huge amount of skills, as I tend to ensure I hire junior candidates that I can develop and ensure they learn the skills we need them to have. We assess their capabilities of picking things up quickly and how open they are to learning from the interview stage and generally try and hire candidates on that basis. In terms of the sector as a whole, the biggest shortfall is the lack of qualified accountants on the market. My peers across the industry often talk to me about the struggle they have finding qualified candidates that are the full package, and have the right mix of technical ability and soft skills that they need. When looking at a CV to shortlist a candidate, what are the main things you look for? I generally look at a CV and score each section out of four in-line with the person specification and job description. This gives me a really good understanding of if the person is right for us, and usually helps me come up with a strong shortlist of suitable candidates. In terms of specifics, experience is the main thing I tend to look for, but the level of experience varies depending on the role. I then look for someone that I feel has the right personality and will be the right cultural fit for our business. To decide this I usually look to see if they have added any extra-curricular activities to their CV as this can give you a different perspective and can make one candidate stand out over another. I also appreciate that some younger candidates may not have achieved as much at work, so it can be nice to see candidates mention why they are looking to move on and what they are looking for in a new role. Generally it tends to be for progression, but it’s good to see. Are you looking for some support on writing your CV? Check out our CV guide and downloadable CV template here. What would you ask a candidate at interview to find out if they have the relevant skills/experience for your business? We would try to see if they’d done any research on both us as an organisation and the sector before the interview. With the financial pressures within the Public Sector at the moment, we need to know that a candidate is sure this is the right move for them and that they show a willingness to join us. Also, if we’re going to be investing in their long-term future, we need to know they’ve made an effort to show us they want the role. The kind of questions we would ask to find this out are: What do you know about us as an organisation? What kind of pressures do you feel the sector is facing at the minute? Who would our clients or customers be apart from the obvious? We would also ask specific personality and scenario questions related to the skillset of the role. As I’ve said, team fit is a big part of what we try to operate so we would definitely be asking about how they would see themselves working in a team environment when the pressure is on. Still not feeling prepared for your next interview? Why not head over to our Candidate Resources page for interview advice and common interview questions to prepare. What do you think the future holds in terms of skillsets and candidates joining the market? I think we will continue to see a drop in the number fully qualified candidates on the market, which is why we are trying to put more emphasis on training people who show an interest in becoming qualified. The training and programmes we provide are really beneficial for all parties. Hiring finance professionals in this way also means that we get qualified accountants that know how we work. Candidates are also going to want to work for businesses that will invest in their future, something that has become synonymous with the sector. So although I think the number of qualified candidates may drop, I think the number of candidates that will want to pursue a career in the sector will continue to increase. Employers will therefore need to be able to show candidates what they can do to invest in their future in order to continue attracting the best talent on the market. Do you think you have the skills required to pursue a job opportunity within Finance & Accountancy? If so we would love to hear from you. Get in touch with our team today, or check out our latest live vacancies here. Alternately, you can find more advice, blogs and resources specifically written for Finance & Accountancy professionals on the insights section of our website.
Roles in fintech are growing, and recently we have seen a massive increase in the number of Finance & Accountancy professionals utilising their skills and entering this growing sector. In this article, Nicholas Harding, CEO of peer-to-peer lending platform Lending Works, offers his advice for people with financial backgrounds who may want to transition over to fintech or secure a role in this growing sector. The fintech industry in the UK is booming, generating an estimated annual turnover of £20 billion (IG) and creating many new, exciting jobs. So, it is no surprise that so many people aspire to work in fintech, whether they are soon-to-be graduates or have been working in other areas for a long time. In this new industry, you will need a range of hard and soft skills, which you may have already acquired if you started your career in finance. Below, I will take you through just a few of the skills that makes people with financial backgrounds so desirable in this industry. Financial knowledge You do not necessarily have to be an expert in technology to do well in fintech. What you may find, is that employers are more interested in your financial knowledge, because you can provide insight into areas that could be improved by technology. You can also advise them of regulations and other limitations they will need to be aware of. You will likely have experience using finance-specific tools and technology to complete your daily tasks, whether that is Excel or a custom-built accounting software. Having a comprehensive understanding of these tools can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates, especially if you can come up with ideas for how they can be improved or used for other purposes. Hard skills Hard skills are the talent and expertise you acquire through training or experience that allow you to perform well in a certain job. They are usually easy to prove by earning certificates, such as degrees or diplomas as evidence of a formal education. But hard skills also include things like additional languages and computer literacy. One of the key hard skills finance workers pick up in the industry is data analysis. Fintech roles are usually very figure-driven, so having a strong data analysis aptitude will allow you to better use numbers to make business decisions. Financial reporting and forecasting are also important traits to have — plus, as there has been a shortage of candidates with this skill in recent years (Jobsite), it will make you more desirable. Your role in finance should provide you with plenty of opportunities to practice developing the right hard skills, but you could consider looking into online courses or asking your employer to recommend some to hone your knowledge. Some can take a few years to complete, such as accountancy qualifications, but they will provide you with concrete evidence of your capability. Soft skills Do not forget that the ideal candidate also needs to have excellent soft skills, which are things like communication, networking, creative thinking, and time management — these are equally important in any role. Make sure you jump at every opportunity to exercise these whilst you are working in finance by volunteering to attend industry events and getting involved in optional projects. It can also help to perform regular skills gap analysis. These are usually done employer-to-employee, but you can conduct one yourself to identify which areas you need to work on. For example, if you have had less experience putting together professional graphs or struggle to produce cleanly formatted charts, you can focus on developing your design skills. Frequently undergoing skills gap analysis and topping up your experience can help you become a more well-rounded and versatile employee. When you decide to move on to fintech, it is also important to highlight any project management experience you may have picked up that can give you even more of an edge compared to other candidates, as these leadership skills are just as important as they are in other industries. These are just some of the ways a career in finance can prepare you for a new role in fintech. From useful hard skills to crucial soft skills, there are plenty of transferable talents for you to acquire by working in the financial industry. Can we help? If you are looking for your next vacancy, or are interested in joining a leading fintech firm, please get in touch, we would be more than happy to help.
This year International Women’s Day is spreading the message #EachforEqual and is looking at how “we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements”. This is a great message and something I feel is hugely important today, especially within the finance and accountancy sector which I predominantly recruit for. Finance has been associated as a very male dominated sector for a long time, but more recently female finance professionals are proving that anyone can reach the top and succeed in this highly rewarding sector. I work with a number of strong female professionals across my NHS client base, many of whom are striving to make the sector a more diverse and inclusive place to work. I recently sat down with Beth Fleming, Head of Strategy, Planning and Partnerships at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust and HFMA Chair, to find out about her career and to get her thoughts on what it takes to be a success within public sector finance. Can you tell me about your career and experience to date? This year is my 30th anniversary of working within the NHS after joining in 1990. I started as an Internal Auditor for North Derbyshire Health Authority and, after nine months, was successful in being accepted onto the Graduate Regional Finance Trainee scheme. I qualified as a CIPFA accountant in 1996 which was one of the proudest moments of my life to date. I then worked my way up the career ladder in various roles across the NHS and in 2013, I became deputy CFO for NHS Hardwick CCG. In 2016, I was approached by my now manager in Derbyshire Health Service NHS FT to see if I would be interested in taking a role which was more strategic, whilst maintaining a financial link through contracting, income and commercial development, which I gladly accepted. I have also become responsible for the procurement team whilst in post. I am now in my fourth year in this role and absolutely loving it. I have the opportunity to challenge myself every day and stretch my knowledge which is so important to me as a female finance professional. What motivates you to be successful? I have two daughters and I want them to see how important it is to have a fulfilling career and a voice in society. It doesn’t matter to me what they do as long as they do it to the best of their ability and they are happy, fulfilled and kind to people along the way. The NHS has always been an exceptional employer to me and I feel that I owe it to them to be the best that I can possibly be, and I hope my two children grow up to have the same mentality wherever they end up working. As a manager I am also incredibly motivated to see my team developing. I absolutely love how supportive we all are of each other, which means we get to try new things and work together towards a common goal. This is hugely important in any environment, especially one as stressful as public sector finance. No two days are the same within the NHS – which I wouldn’t change for the world – but you need a solid team that you trust around you in order to get the work done and really make a difference. As a woman working in the NHS and finance industry, have you ever faced any discrimination or felt you had fewer opportunities? NHS finance is traditionally a male dominated environment – as is the finance and accountancy sector in general – especially when looking at it at a senior level. In 2017, just 28 percent were women and women are still largely under-represented at bands 8c and above, although they account for 61 percent of the workforce overall. I know this is something the NHS is working towards addressing, and we have made huge strides in recent years, but I do believe more needs to be done to balance everything out. The HFMA works hard to understand this dynamic and puts programmes in place to support women and people in ethnic minorities to be successful. The East Midlands Branch of the HFMA recognises this and, at our recent conference, invited Sandra Easton, Director of Operational Finance and Performance of NHSI/E, to present on “Diversity in NHS Finance”. This was a fantastic opportunity to hear from someone incredibly passionate about EDI and gave us lots to think about as to what we can do to support more women and minorities into roles across the NHS. It is also great to see support mechanisms being introduced across all sectors to support more woman working towards senior leadership roles. The NHS leadership academy is a great example of this. The NHS leadership academy actively promotes strong female role models from within the NHS and offers the support that leaders need to achieve their ambitions. Although this is open to everyone, they do have a specific focus on helping women and minorities, which I think is admirable. How does it feel to be appointed as East Midlands HFMA Branch Chair? It is an honour to be appointed. It is also amazing to see so many women represented across HFMA. I recently attended a national HFMA Branch Chair's meeting and six out of the seven new chairs were women. A fantastic achievement! Is there anything you want to achieve as East Midlands HFMA Branch Chair? I would like to develop an HFMA ‘champion’ in every organisation within the boundaries of the branch, much like the Future Focused Finance (FFF) value makers. I would like to see a nominated member of each finance or procurement team who could take responsibility for becoming HFMA members, sharing HFMA news bulletins, encouraging team members to attend events and generally spread the news of this valuable resource within our health communities. I would also like to develop the nascent relationship between FFF and the Skills Development Network (SDN) so that our vision and objectives are shared between the three bodies and within the wider community. What advice do you have for women looking at your success and wanting to achieve the same? Work hard, use the resources available to you through your employer, professional accountancy body or HFMA and ensure you build and motivate a successful team around you. There is a wealth of support out there to help you achieve your career aims, and if you ask for help, and use what is available I’m sure you will achieve great success. Can we help you? If you are looking for a finance opportunity within the NHS or would like advice on how you can build a successful career, get in touch. We would be delighted to help. Alternatively, you can browse our latest NHS jobs or check out or dedicated Candidate Resources section to help you with your next career move.