Mitchell Adam is growing it’s team. To help support this growth we welcome Kuran Jandu – he now heads up Mitchell Adams practice team UK wide!
1. So, Kuran… Tell us a little bit about your background, how did you get into recruitment?
Having graduated from Coventry University with honours in HR and Law, I fell into the usual dogma of settling for any job that came my way – I guess I was still in lackadaisical student mode and didn’t think too much about career planning!! A year or so went by doing this without really achieving much and I decided to make a change – I planned a 1,3 and 5 years goals clearly defined and I reverse engineered from my goals to the present day (I’ve done this ever since and it’s never failed me.)
I knew my strengths which tied in well with what I’d learned about recruitment so I took the step into the industry and haven’t looked back! Numerous people have helped me throughout the industry and it’s important to note not all experiences are pleasant in business but it’s crucial to take the best from every experience – this is the only way you can maintain an equilibrium and develop high level emotional intelligence.
2. What made you join Mitchell Adam?
Simple answer – Mitch and Adam.
Two guys who have proven that you can grow a recruitment business on good morals, transparency and excellent service. My ethos is to invest in and grow your people; in turn they’ll grow your business! That’s exactly the blueprint here.
The industry has some amazing businesses but its crucial not to get blinded by a shiny wrapper and delve deeper into understanding what exactly the business model is – choose the people, not the business.
3. What do you enjoy about specialising in this particular market?
Learning! My client base is amazing. Let me elaborate…
I cover the professional services division and surrounding myself with knowledgeable business leaders, commercially minded sector specialists and entrepreneurs who lead many of the businesses I work with can only be a good thing, right? Yes.
I speak with Partners and Directors across the country on a daily bases and have forged some amazing relationships where, by default, I find myself in a circle who may have 10 years on me but learning from these professionals is how I’ll understand my market best.
The take away message here is no matter what position or status you acquire, be humble enough to surround yourself with people who are more successful than you.
4. What do you think are the biggest growth areas in practice are for the year ahead?
Big data, restrictions on auditing and the rise of narrative reporting are boosting the value of the profession’s top performers.
It’s well known in the trade that the best accountants are always in demand. These professionals are highly skilled, experienced and have strong relationships with their client base which takes years to develop. Naturally, they command a premium. That demand just went up a notch!
A few trends drove this upward swing. The first is regulatory changes. Principles such as the move to FRS 101 and 102, mean that not all accountants are up to speed. Those that have mastered the new regime and can advise on its implications are valuable.
Technology is changing the nature of the job. We’ve seen innovations, such as XBRL, change the way accounts are presented online. Companies want accountants who are comfortable with big data analytics and can squeeze business insights out of the numbers. Big data is cutting-edge stuff, usually implemented by PhD mathematicians, but needs the support-talented accountants to really deliver value. Any accountant comfortable in this world is going to find themselves in a remarkably strong negotiating position.
The rules on auditing changed. Eligibility to do audit work tightened, giving the market a bit of a nudge upwards.
And narrative accounting is coming to the fore. Investors want more than a list of numbers. They want annual reports that tell a story and explain the direction of the company; that is increasingly the job of the accountant. Bodies such as CIMA and ACCA have been promoting narrative reporting for a while and now it’s going mainstream. Accountants with a reputation for excellence in the field are going to lead the profession.
The surge in demand for top accountants triggered a reaction in the profession. Companies made more internal promotions, as well as investing in training and development. They really don’t want to lose their top performers right now.
Some of the top practices bolstered their appeal with M&A. Post-Brexit everyone seemed to tentatively tread almost like the morning after a huge blizzard – now confidence is regained in the local market where £145bn worth of deals were completed, down over 50% from the previous year so I expect a surge within the market.
Larger firms have the opportunity to cross-sell, to serve clients who are spread over a larger geographical area and have a much stronger marketing power. I can see M&A continuing.
The trends that shaped 2016 are going to be in evidence next year, only more so. My forecast for 2017? More mergers, more use of technology in accounting and a real hunger to hang on to partners and diversity to the workforce. The war for talent is just beginning.
5. What advice can you give someone looking to move within practice?
The perfect time is always now!
It’s imperative to choose the right partner(s) and infrastructure to support your career goals. Whether its audit, tax, deals or recovery, searching for the right role is tough, but as I previously suggested it’s crucial to work for a company that matches your level of ambition – and that is dictated by its leadership team.
Naturally, someone looking to be exposed to a broad portfolio of clients across a number of sectors – practice is perfect. Towards the more senior end, those with a flair for business development and networking tend to be able to write their own cheques!
6. What are the biggest challenges for small practices attracting talent in 2017?
If it was me looking into the crystal ball right now, I think there are some challenges for that middle-tier accounting practice to keep pace with technology and also to keep pace with how to attract and retain talent.
If you see previous trends, there’s usually a substantial difference to keep up with the capex between small firms and the larger ones.
They have great growth and great clients but trying to actually find more talented people to support the infrastructure always proves difficult – this leads me to hold the view that there will be more mergers between practices this year creating a larger belly in the mid tier space.
7. Finally, what are your plans for 2017?
To lead Mitchell Adam Professional Services to a profitable growth year and hiring amazing people to support my vision.
We’ve got some great plans here to grow our brand UK wide and we will lead with this business arm to do so. We’re working with some amazing firms across the country with a strong hold in Birmingham and London where I can forecast considerable growth.