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Looking ahead in 2018: what can businesses expect?

15th January 2018

The start of a new year is often a time for businesses to look ahead and prepare for future challenges and opportunities. Whilst 2017 has continued the trend for uncertainty and caution, 2018 looks set to restore some optimism to the political and economic landscape. Amidst a rising tide of positivity in the UK, the Grafton Banks Finance team are looking forward to the new developments that 2018 will bring!

What's going on in recruitment?

We've discussed the benefits of temporary work previously, and temporary roles are continuing to grow in popularity and credibility. With the rising use of social media as a professional networking and job hunting tool, it's now easier than ever to find high-quality professionals to fill temporary positions.

We are also seeing a shift in candidate expectations when it comes to job-seeking. More than ever, candidates are looking to build relationships with companies before considering employment with them. This means the way a business presents itself to and engages with the public should no longer just focus on customers, but take into account potential employees too. Prospective applicants want to see that, should they take a job, they will be valued and respected as part of a positive company culture.

This is particularly true when it comes to the new generation of professionals, who are primarily looking for roles within businesses with a purpose. With this in mind, it's important to remember the options that are now available; the rise of start-ups and SMEs means there are now a broad range of finance roles on offer, many of which are well-suited to a younger demographic. Nurturing the talents of graduates, part-qualified and newly qualified staff can be a strong long-term investment for a business, so ensuring and promoting a positive company culture and training and progression opportunities is vital.

In a bid to inspire this next generation to enter accountancy and finance training, the industry is also looking to shake off a reputation for being potentially less exciting than other sectors.

Where is the accountancy sector heading?

The word on everyone's lips for 2018 is compliance. Whilst the finance sector has always been heavily regulated, 2018 will see the introduction of several new pieces of legislation, including MiFID II and GDPR, which will have a major impact on businesses.

As technology continues to evolve and deepen its involvement in our lives, business owners and individuals alike are expecting to have more and more data and services at their fingertips. With the overall cloud adoption rate in the UK already at 88% and 65% of UK accountancy practices using, or planning to switch to, cloud accounting software, the cloud is due to become a major part of any accountant's day-to-day life.

The cloud will also bring about new efficiencies in managing data, so businesses should be preparing to migrate from existing hard drive systems.

Preparing for GDPR

You'll no doubt have heard these four letters more times than you'd care to count in the past year. The big day is now fast approaching, as GDPR is set to come into play on 25th May 2018. All businesses will need to be more vigilant about the ways in which they gather, store and use customer information. What's more, everyone using this data needs to be fully up-to-date on exactly how the information is being used, why the business is storing it and for how long it can be kept.

What are we excited about?

Crossrail is coming

Crossrail will have a big impact on finance professionals travelling between the South East and London, as well as revolutionising transport across the capital. This will bring greater opportunities for employers and candidates to broaden their horizons and explore wider options than they may have had access to previously.

Artificial intelligence is coming on leaps and bounds

AI is becoming a strong influence in a wide variety of sectors, and recruitment and accountancy are no exception. In terms of recruitment, we're excited to see the continued development of AI that supports human brains in matching the right candidate to the right business. For finance, AI will make compliance, analytics and data organisation even easier; especially important with GDPR looming.

With ample experience in the ever-changing world of recruitment and finance, we're looking forward to new opportunities in 2018! If you'd like to find out more about how we can help you, please contact Nigel Jeyes on 01273 229499 or email for an in-depth, confidential consultation.

Should you wish to contact us out of hours, please call 07714 765482.

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