Few berths across the Channel

Not so long ago, it seemed as if every accountant was heading east to cash in on the huge demand for financial skills in the countries of the former eastern bloc. The situation was doubly fortunate for the big British firms that were the chief source of supply, because it coincided with a sharp down-turn in their domestic fortunes. Without that new avenue of work - which admittedly does not always result in great profits - they would have had to respond to the recession of the early Nineties with much more dramatic cutbacks than they did.

Now, though projects in eastern Europe remain, there is less mention of it - simply because the domestic market is rejuvenated. A survey published last week showed that in the buoyant UK job market, public practice is particularly short of the recruits it needs. This means that not only are the best-qualified accountants encountering few problems in obtaining jobs; they are also being wooed with huge pay rises. However, those keen to spread their wings over continental Europe find that the job market is patchy.

Jeff Grout, managing director of Robert Half, the firm of financial recruitment specialists that published last week's survey, says that this was because the economies of the Continent were generally not as buoyant as Britain's. "The most sluggish is France. You could argue that Paris is still coming out of recession, rather than being in a post-recessionary boom," he says, adding that pay rises there are accordingly "pretty flat".

In other parts - such as Germany and southern Europe - the situation is not as bad, but there is still not the level of activity being reported in the UK.

Inga Muylaert, of the Brussels office of a rival consultancy, Robert Walters Associates, tells a similar story of generally slower continental growth. However, she points out that things are busier in Brussels and in Amsterdam, at least partly as a result of the introduction of "co-ordination centres", designed to lure the headquarters of corporate operations with fiscal advantages.

Pointing out that the term "accountant" is confined to bookkeepers in most parts of mainland Europe, she adds that in those areas there are so many opportunities for people experienced in financial analysis, corporate finance and strategy that her office is having to hire staff to cope with the demand.

However, she and her counterparts are becoming as selective as those in London in terms of the sort of people they will attempt to place with clients. "Before, the demand was more in terms of executors, whereas now we are looking for more creative people," she says.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Citifocus Ltd: Product Development - Asset Management

    £Attractive: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with significant product d...

    Citifocus Ltd: Credit Ratings - Banking Sector

    £Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Leading global bank seeks experienced credit analy...

    Citifocus Ltd: Economic Crime Investigation & Analysis

    £Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with a high degree...

    Citifocus Ltd: Snr Risk Analyst - Capital & Liquidity

    £Attractive: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with superior academics an...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital