CIMA and all the professional Accountancy bodies including the ACA/ ICAEW and ACCA and AAT are working hard to ensure that their members have access to useful training courses. At this unprecedented time, we feel that this is great for all qualified or studying accountants to keep motivated, keep challenged and keep growing!
Yes we know things are hard, but we will emerge from this and for those in the finance and accounting professions, it has never been more important to ensure you are up to date with the latest advice and information.
Something to keep your mind active.
Some useful links are below for your convenience…
Click HERE to access CIMA’s latest free online activities for their students and qualified accountants to access while self-isolating or remote working.
Click HERE to access the ACCA’s portal for training, information and more.
Click HERE to access the ICAEW’s website and view their latest tips and advice to their accountancy students and members.
Click HERE to access the latest news from the AAT for all their accountancy and finance students.
With a successful career in recruitment spanning over 20 years, it has been great to welcome Richard into Astute’s team just a few, short months ago. In that time, his warm, professional manner and Northern sense of humour have endeared him to all of our team but also to many a candidate and client.
The whole team and our owners, Sarah Stevenson and Mary Maguire were delighted to announce Richard as our Employee of the Month.
His natural ability to build relationships with employers and candidates across the East Midlands areas including Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, and Staffordshire, is second to none.
In the current crisis, discover how remote workers can add value in your business & how to make this happen
Change is different, but together we can adapt to new ways of working
In the current crisis, businesses across the land are struggling to keep apace with developments. Here at Astute Recruitment Ltd, we have been working on scenarios to help both clients and candidates at this unique time.
Remote working is a working style that allows professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment. It is based on the concept that work does not need to be done in a specific place to be executed successfully.
We can provide candidates for temporary and permanent work who can work remotely from home. Using Microsoft Teams, Skype and other platforms, our interim candidates can attend virtual meetings and online training sessions to enable them to pick up quickly what needs to be done.
Currently, we are working with several clients to overcome the social distancing guidelines and still enable a business to carry on.
Contact our Interim Specialists Sarah-Louise Wykes & Richard Bowe to learn more about how we can help you find smarter ways to find the staff to work remotely in interim assignments.
Why remote workers add value to your business and how to make this happen!
Remote working doesn’t lend itself to every role and business, but a lot of companies and employers are acknowledging that there are clear opportunities for working remotely to improve their flexibility and enable their staff to enjoy greater working autonomy. Less experienced, more junior employees, will benefit from more traditional hands-on supervision, training, and support. Similarly, employees whose work is highly sensitive and confidential should perhaps be required to keep their work in the office. However having partnered with several local Derby and Derbyshire businesses on key talent acquisition projects, we are delighted that large and small firms have embraced ‘on-demand, online training’. These empower their employees to access the training and development they need when they need it.
Remote working is conducive to business efficiencies and there can be significant benefits in offering employees the opportunity to find their ‘second desk’, wherever that might be!
No commute! Cutting out the commute can offer a huge boost to employee productivity. Without office distractions or extended coffee-break chats, staff can become a lot more efficient. It can also provide them with a greater sense of autonomy if they feel less monitored at work, which encourages job satisfaction and loyalty.
Instead of monitoring time spent at work, consider changing to alternative models where your employees’ output can be measured instead. Providing the work is being done, and their deadlines are met, should it really matter where the work is carried out, or what time of day or night it gets done?
Increased talent pool
Remote working completely transforms your talent pool when your people no longer need to live within commuting distance to the office, and can even live on the other side of the world. Recruitment suddenly just got a lot more interesting. The flip side of this benefit, of course, is being mindful of local employment laws, payroll and taxes for the country in which your new employee is based.
Bigger cost savings
Depending on how easily your business lends itself to a remote working model, you could be looking at potentially huge cost savings. If more and more of your desks are empty on a regular basis, you should consider moving to a smaller office space, or even doing away with it altogether.
Beware the loneliness trap!
A common frustration employees tend to experience with remote working is a feeling of isolation, loneliness or lack of team camaraderie. Employers would be well-served to be mindful of this, encouraging team get-togethers and frequent interaction, either in person or via face-to-face technology. Microsoft Office Teams is an excellent way of teams getting together online to share better work practices and engage socially and enjoy some team ‘banter’.
Accept there will be teething problems
As with the introduction of any new policy or business model, you should expect some teething problems. However, once things settle down and your team becomes more familiar with virtual meetings than physical ones, your business, and your staff can start to enjoy the numerous benefits remote working has to offer.
Dos and don’ts
Companies and businesses thinking of implementing remote working should:
Ensure the appropriate technological tools are in place. This includes rigid data security measures and confidentiality procedures;
Update employment contracts if needed and create a new remote working policy to help set boundaries, manage employee expectations and support all-important team culture;
Risk Management: Think about whether remote workers will need to complete short health and safety assessments for their chosen work location. Always remember that employers will continue to have some responsibility for employees’ work environments, even outside the office;
Insurances: Ensure an Employer’s Liability insurance policy is updated to cover remote working.
Don’t forget to check national & international employment laws and payroll laws as relevant. (Full compliance with the employment laws in the remote worker’s location is essential);
Don’t expose the company to data breaches. Remote workers should be educated about inadvertent disclosure when working in public spaces, and the implications of taking work abroad and unintentionally transferring confidential data across borders;
Don’t treat remote workers and onsite workers differently. All staff, whether office-based or remotely working must be treated equally otherwise this could put the company in breach of discrimination laws and leave remote workers feeling isolated;
AND FINALLY, Don’t expect remote workers to be constantly logged in. Remote working culture risks blurring the line between work life and home life and could breach employees’ rights under working time laws.
Originally published on LinkedIn, March 17th, 2020 by Mary Maguire
The inspiration for this piece came from Sarah-Louise Wykes, so huge thanks to you and your husband!
In the current crisis, how to utilise remote working in your business? One of my team – Sarah-Louise discussed this idea with me and this article was born.
At Astute we constantly seek to educate and highlight the very latest recruitment trends and issues for our clients and candidates.
In the current climate – tips on how to set-up and keep an engaged workforce working remotely will be high in the minds of employers everywhere seeking to ensure their teams can and are working. I hope this article is useful and provides some inspiration to teams, employers and businesses in what are clearly difficult and unprecedented circumstances.
To survive and thrive, we need to make sure that businesses keep doing business and staff can do their jobs.
At Astute, our teams are fully briefed with candidates able to jump in and help support your team.
With more and more workplaces cancelling meetings and face to face interviews, companies are increasingly turning to Skype and other media to play an increasing part in the recruitment process.
Here at Astute, we thought this would be more crucial than ever. An online interview can either be audio or visual but most employers prefer Skype, where a potential candidate can be interviewed ‘remotely’. As with any interview in person, there are do’s and don’ts that every candidate should know.
Below are 5 Skype interview tips to help you nail that job: –
1.Dress the part: You might not meet your potential employer physically in person, face to face, but you will still need to dress professionally. Your interviewer can still see you and of course, you can see them! Make sure you have a chosen outfit ready for you to wear the night before.
2. Don’t be late! Be ready an hour earlier so that you can prepare in advance. As with any interview you need to ensure you have allowed plenty of time to become calm. Make sure all radios, TVs and mobile phones are set to silent at least 15 minutes before your interview begins so there is no distracting background noise.
3. Ensure your network is working! Make sure your computer and network are functioning well. Test your microphone and camera beforehand to prevent glitches. The last thing you want is to just log in to Skype and find that you can see your interviewer but cannot hear them or vice versa!
4. Setup your environment and surroundings to look professional. Create a clean, tidy background that represents your organisational skills. Sounds obvious, but make sure that the view of your area behind you which your ‘interviewer/ interviewers’ can see looks ordered, clean and clear.
5. Focus on the camera. Tricky one this – as the natural tendency is to look someone in the eye, whether on screen or face to face. On camera, on an online interview, this means you having to look straight into the camera as a way of keeping eye contact with your interviewer and NOT looking the person you are talking to directly in the eye on the screen. Our advice? Practice, practice, and practice again. You can ask a friend to be on the other end of the camera as a practice Skype interview exercise, allowing you to practice this in real-time. Even better, get your friend to ask you proper interview questions.
Your CV Profile –
Increasingly for candidates, anything that can flag a CV to a potential employer is great.
But what to include? What to specifically cite? How to keep things concise but genuinely show you have made a difference and why you stand out?
Below is part of the profile for an experienced Finance Director who Astute Recruitment has worked with for a number of years.
Experienced SME Finance Director with a proven track record of success, supporting strategic objectives with financial acumen and operational pragmatism.
Facilitated ‘fundraise’ with PE – pre and post-acquisition
Pro-active manager and influencer, empowering staff to take ownership
Providing coaching, training and mentoring to build cohesive teams and business partnering senior management.
Proven experience working alongside MDs and Senior management teams driving businesses forward
Focussed on achieving individual targets and company objectives and offering excellent relationship management skills.
Experienced in financial and corporate management to ensure the achievement of commercial goals within budget.
Extensive SME experience and management of external relationships with banks, insurers, suppliers and investors.
“Driving business projects to deliver business strategy”.
This is someone who one of our Directors has personally known for a while and who has sat on both sides of the client/ candidate fence. Their words and the way they succinctly covered their key attributes was great and we wanted to share this.
The candidate identifies specific, key deliverables and specific, defined savings they have made to the business and specific ways they have delivered success in their previous roles. They did this citing in percentage terms, the differences to the profit and balance sheet of their company. Where they had saved time – they cited the exact amount of time. They were clear that they had taken ownership of the improvements cited.
Another key part of this is to ensure that all the Job Boards you are registered with and your LinkedIn profile also all reflect accurately the most up to date version of your CV. Often we discover a candidate’s online profile varies to the latest CV they forward to us. Consistency in all things applies – especially in terms of your own candidate CV, personal profile and branding online.
For obvious reasons – we cannot state the identity of this eloquent person, as they are still in a permanent role!
Nor can we cite specific deliverables or critical success factors for confidentiality, but if you are reading this and your business needs someone like this – let our Qualified Team know and we will gladly facilitate an introduction!
We hope the above provides some inspiration for those struggling to write up / update their own profiles/ CVs.
Richard Bowe – Senior Consultant Interim Qualified Accountancy
Tom Norton – Senior Consultant Permanent Qualified