Jordan Marsh is a consultant of the Professional Services team at Marks Sattin.He currently recruits accountancy professionals throughout the Yorkshire region. For more information about accounting and finance roles in Yorkshire, please do not hesitate to contact the Professional Services team at Marks Sattin, by clicking here.
To fight the extant threat of corruption that is tarnishing the reputation of and casting shadows over the business world, a new piece of legislation was introduced by the coalition government earlier this year. The Bribery Act 2011, was brought into force on 1st July 2011.
Under this act, the Serious Fraud Office has the power to prosecute both individuals and companies (UK and foreign owned) for offering or accepting bribes. Companies may also be liable to legal action if they fail to prevent the incidence of bribery and/or are found to be abetting to acts of bribery.
The introduction of the Bribery Act 2011, has put the UK government at the forefront of global efforts to tackle unethical business practice, and demonstrates the importance of Corporate Governance in today’s business world.
However, no additional requirements have been made to the statutory audit and external auditors will be required to assess and comment on companies’ procedures in greater depth, with paperwork no doubt increasing twofold. So in retrospect, the Act may well benefit the accounting profession and those looking for work in that sector because companies will be compelled to spend more time, money and resources on compliance as a result of this new legislation.
According to the Financial Reporting Council, firms registered to carry out statutory audit work decreased significantly between 2004 and 2009 as an upshot of the audit threshold being increased. With fewer organisations requiring audit work, there was also a considerable drop seen in the number of young finance professionals qualifying for accredited accountancy bodies, and a scarcity of available qualified staff ensued. Consequently, there has been a significant increase in audit fee rates.
Given these circumstances, audit candidates who have a good knowledge and understanding of the Bribery Act are likely to stand a far better chance of obtaining jobs with reputable accountancy practices in the current economic climate. Expertise in this area will give a candidate competitive advatage and differentiate them from the rest of the talent pool - it will demonstrate to prospective employers that they have a commercial awareness and a genuine interest in the industry which they are seeking to venture into.
So, despite commentators painting a rather gloomy picture of 'auditors' career prospects, there will always be audit job vacancies in the market place, and candidates who train towards their professional qualification within audit roles will find that they are very much in demand after they qualify.
Skills such as legal awareness and analysis of accounting procedures (derived from newly acquired audit based skills) will stand you in good stead for jobs in consulting, transactional services, forensic accounting and corporate finance as well as audit work itself.
 Bribery Act 2010
 The Financial Reporting Council, Professional Oversight Board, Key facts and trends in the accountancy profession, June 2010
Marks Sattin is a leading specialist financial recruitment company, with offices in 7 countries around the globe and over 150 consultants. With over 20 years of proven recruitment experience with some of the biggest international brands in the market, Marks Sattin provides its employees with a lively and fast-paced work environment where hard work and dedication are generously rewarded.