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UK accountants home to roost now job freeze is thawing

When the economic bubble burst, the UK felt the effect more than most. The large financiers based in London, the global epicentre of seismic shifts in currency for many, contribute much to GDP.

No surprise, then, that when the money market went belly-up, the capital was in line for the sucker punch.

In the years that followed the meltdown, it wasn’t only wages that froze. Thousands of workers, full-time, part-time and contractors alike, felt the pinch as employment nosedived.

It’s hard to feel sympathetic towards accountants, we get that. But with a workforce on its last legs, the need for accountancy services dies with it.

Feeding off those slim pickings was all that UK accountants had to sustain them. For some, that buffet was either not to their taste or insufficient to maintain their lifestyle.

But anyone who’s ever hired an accountant will know they’re nothing if not resourceful. It’s an attribute that goes with the territory. In the case of finding work post-2007, it was indeed the territory that changed for many self-employed accountants.

Accountants flew south for the winter (of discontent)

Resolute limited company owners, keeping their heads above water, knew that it was a buyer’s market. Rather than compete in a Dutch Auction for that business, many accountants spread their wings and took flight to the Continent and beyond.

The progress industry was making in the United Arab Emirates left the scorching desert heat in the shade. Many British accountants found a huge demand for their services; they did indeed make hay while the sun shined.

But Dubai and the UAE’s progress couldn’t continue at that pace. Eventually they too felt the squeeze. As much as we can guarantee growth at that rate is unsustainable, we’re equally confident in the City (of London). It doesn’t know the meaning of the word defeat.

Its resilience has seen the money markets once again a vibrant place. Yes, there have been parties too eager to perform who’ve sailed close to the wind. But that naivety is an exhibition of the competitiveness that thrums beneath every paving slab layering streets once again paved with gold.

The need for savvy accountants has returned with the jobs and the bustle. Book keepers who’ve had their day in the sun abroad are beginning to drift back to Blighty. The exodus is under way; accountants are repatriating themselves with the good old British workforce.

Economy no longer leaving us in a jam has just published an overview of their research results, detailing the trend of stay-at-home accountants. For the third year in succession, fewer are tempted by sunnier climes.

Instead, they’re preferring England’s pastures green and the metaphoric pretty green, with which Paul Weller once alluded his pockets were lined. Almost forty successful years on, the Woking singer’s coffers are, one would suspect, now like London’s streets and likewise lined with gold.

Here then, at a glance, is the snapshot of the three-year drop-off of numbers of UK accountants touting their trade abroad. With the job- and salary-freeze gone from our shores at least for the time being, one would suspect that 2015 will continue in the same vein:

Graph: Decline in percentage of UK accountants seeking work abroad, 2011-2014

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