What does an impending recession mean for your accountancy career?

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave this summer (which let’s be honest might have been cooler), you’re likely to know that the UK is heading into the first recession since the crash of the financial markets in 2007.

But just how close are we to a recession?

The Bank of England have told UK business owners to anticipate that the UK will fall into recession in the last quarter of 2022 and remain in it for most of next year. Some economists argue that it might not even take that long to get there and on the flipside, potential future Prime Minister Liz Truss has argued that we should be wary that we don’t ‘talk ourselves into a recession.’ Just a week ago it was announced by the Office of National Statistics that the UK economy shrank by 0.1% in the second quarter of the year and if it shrinks further in this quarter (the results of which will be announced in October), then the recession will have begun earlier than anticipated. The USA is in a similarly precarious economic situation.

In this article we wanted to consider the impact that this recession is likely to have on the job market for accountants in practice and what action you should take to safeguard and promote the career you’ve worked so hard for.

So, spoiler alert – we still expect accountants in practice to be in high demand this time next year. In an industry that is mission critical to the private and public sector you can aways be fairly certain that, if there are not enough skilled workers (which there are not), those that have taken the time to build up their CV and qualifications will likely always be in demand.

So the good news is that we don’t expect that those of you employed in thriving, modern firms need worry about losing the roles that you already have. But, if you had planned to apply for something new, either just for a change of scenery or for an upward promotion, we do advise you to get started with your job hunt sooner rather than later.

And the reasons for this are many.

1. Though accountants will still be in great demand (it’s arguable that there is no more important time to work with a trusted accountant than during a recession), clients will be faced with rising inflation, consumer caution, unpredictable cashflow and limited growth. And there will be businesses who do not make it through, so it’s only reasonable to expect that your firm will likely lose some clients in the middle to longer term. Fewer clients means less recruitment.

2. The best firms will be planning early which means they will be mixing things up in their workforce structures now to ensure they are robust, agile and able to withstand the impact. So expect major succession planning and restructures to be taking place at the firms you really want to work with. And take advantage of these exciting news roles now before they are filled and we see a potential stall in the appetite for change and risk.

3. We all very much hope that this will be a short lived recession. The economic impact of COVID, some would say, had to present itself in a big way at some point.  And forewarned is forearmed so there is reason to be hopeful that UK business of all sizes who are adequately prepared will weather the storm and bounce back better. And when that happens, if you’ve already leapt towards promotion number one before this year is even out, you’ll be ready for promotion number 2 when business is booming again. Why wouldn’t you want to be two steps up the ladder rather than one?!

So in short, just like the very best businesses will be doing in board rooms up and down the country right now, it’s time to get prepared. Do all that you can to be in a position where you’ll still be standing tall and proud in 2024. Work with the experts in niche accountancy recruiting and secure a position with a strong and buoyant firm before the year is out.

In fact, if you upload your CV today, we think we stand a pretty good chance of landing you that role before the end of the summer!

Why not book a registration call today? We’d be delighted to hear from you.





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