Banks hiring tax experts in record numbers as UK economy rebounds post-covid

Nov 30, 2021 | Accountancy, News

  • 98% year-on-year increase of new vacancies for tax specialists 
  • Hiring levels for in-house tax roles in the banking sector up 162% year
  • Tech and telecoms and retail/consumer goods saw the highest sector increase
  • EY continues to dominate as the busiest recruiter for tax

New jobs for tax experts in England and Wales are at record levels as firms bolster their accounting teams to cope with the post-pandemic surge in business activity, new research suggests.

According to data gathered by global recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley and data analytics firm Vacancysoft, professional vacancies for tax accountants have now nearly doubled compared to 2020 — and have also risen above pre-pandemic recruitment levels.

Firms published over 2,800 new vacancies for tax specialists by October this year, an increase of 98.1% year-on-year and 21.4% up in relation to the whole of 2019. The banking sector is leading the charge for in-house roles, with hiring levels up 162% year-on-year. Banks account for 40% of all in-house tax appointments, a rise of 8.4 percentage points in two years

Kathryn Swan, Head of Professional Services, Morgan McKinley, says: “Hiring for tax accountants has grown significantly over 2021 across both the practice and in-house markets. With investment at an all-time high, businesses are strengthening their tax capability to prepare for regulatory requirements — and to arm themselves as the market recovers post-covid.

“With no signs of the market slowing, we anticipate Q4 and 2022 to show continued growth across accountancy firms and in-house teams, with considerable appetite to both retain and recruit experienced tax professionals with diverse technical backgrounds.”

Tax expert vacancies in technology and telecoms (173 new jobs), and retail/consumer goods and services (171 new jobs) grew by 61.7% and 76.3% year-on-year, respectively. Each account for just over 16% of overall tax specialist vacancies in England and Wales.

Among accountancy firms, EY continues to dominate as the busiest recruiter for tax experts. The 440+ new jobs published by the firm in 2021 constitutes a 36.8% year-on-year rise. PwC is experiencing rapid growth in vacancies (426% year-on-year), and is the only Big Four member to record an increase in new tax specialist jobs in relation to 2019.

 Top 10 Accountancy Firms – Tax Specialist Vacancies, England & Wales

# Company 2019 2020 2021 YoY (%)
1 EY 586 323 442 36.8
2 KPMG 307 116 268 131
3 Deloitte 304 124 239 92.7
4 PwC 126 38 200 426.3
5 BDO 81 50 145 190
6 Azets   24 95 295.8
7 Haines Watts 30 18 61 238.8
8 RSM 32 29 56 93.1
9 PKF Francis Clark 9 11 54 390.9
10 Blick Rothenberg 5 10 50 400


[Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash]

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