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istock_retirees_Martin Barraud

Azets unveils plan to recruit accountant retirees


Leading accountancy firm Azets this week announced plans to recruit retirees looking to reignite their accountancy flame within the firm's Scottish business branch.

18th Aug 2021
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Accountancy and business advisory firm Azets this week unveiled a recruitment scheme to lure retirees back into the workforce

The initiative comes at a time when many in the profession have been considering throwing in the towel on accountancy for good after a treadmill year of furlough woes, Brexit stress and MTD for income tax on the horizon.

To counteract these visions of doom, Azets is adopting a flexible, work anywhere approach that could open new opportunities for any ex-accountants itching to get back into the game. The advisory firm believes its remote working strategy will give retirees a stress-free shift back into employment and help it add 250 staff to its team in Scotland over the next five years.

Already boasting more than 6,500 partners and 120,000 clients across 15 sectors after a string of acquisitions and a rebranding exercise, Azets now calls itself the largest regional top 10 SME accountancy and business advisory firm across the UK.

Recruiting retirees

The B&Q-style recruitment policy is focused on the Azets Scottish network, which boasts 500 partners and staff across 10 offices. During July, Azets promoted 30 employees within its team to its Scottish business

Azets’ chief executive for Scotland and the North Peter Gallanagh commented that there is a growing presence of ex-accountants who miss their careers and would enjoy sinking their teeth back into number-crunching.

The firm is keen to re-spark the flame in any pre-practicing professionals who have experience and an established aptitude for accounting. He estimated that around 10% of vacancies have the potential to be filled by retirees in the next few years. 

To support these recruitment plans, Azets is funding a multi-million-pound investment package into remote-working technology. The improved infrastructure will support an improved working environment and be an added lure for accountants to return to the ledgers and tax returns. 

MTD and retirement

The profession has seen a surge of accountants considering retirement in recent years, particularly after the onslaught of MTD for Income Tax and VAT.

The stress from the transition to MTD has been so apparent within the profession that AccountingWEB member Hugo Fair recently launched a poll in our Any Answers forum to find out what accountants planned to do in terms of retirement plans.

The poll had three options:

  • Accelerate your intention to retire (or wind-down provision of services).
  • Reduce your practice to size your resources can service (despite impact on profits).
  • Keep going and seek growth opportunities (even if how isn't immediately obvious).

The majority of respondents went for option 1, preferring to jump ship rather than keep sailing into the seas of MTD.

“I would have retired anyway next year and I didn't want to go through the process of setting up systems for clients which their new accountants would then go on and change,” explained member lionofludesch of his vote.

“Although it's a little earlier than I was contemplating, I think most people need some kind of trigger to retire and I guess this will be mine,” added another member. “For me, dealing with MTD for ITSA is not an option.”

However, for some the prospect of MTD was less daunting: “MTD is just another challenge which we all should be able to deal with. It won't be easy (life never is) but we're professionals at dealing with this sort of thing,” commented an Option Three voter.

Another member added that there was ample opportunity to increase fees with the impending increase of accountants seeking retirement, meaning they were willing to keep the doors open on their career for the foreseeable future.

Whether you’re looking to tackle MTD head on or are nearing the edge of your tether, Azets’ retiree recruitment plans could be the answer for those in the profession who have already thrown in the towel, but might be interested in returning to work with a more relaxed approach.

Replies (1)

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paddle steamer
23rd Aug 2021 14:31

For some it may be alluring, chugging along, maybe part time, without the responsibility of running a firm, but for me when I hang up my calculator if I do still want to work (and I am not sure I do) I think I would want to do something very different from hands on accountancy or tax, even a lifestyle business .

Something like The Gordon Arms at Yarrow (Get to do the books to keep my hand in) which is still on Rightmove Commercial when I checked at the weekend, effectively return to my first serious job, become a barman. (I even have an out of date City & Guilds Certificate as a Personal Licence Holder from 2009)

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