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Small accounting firms 'can fill graduate vacancies with top talent'

Published: Friday, 10 September 2010   Category: Banking and Finance

Smaller accounting firms should adopt a different attitude if they want to secure the best UK talent on graduate placements, it has been suggested.

The 'big four' accountants are generally thought to snap up the most impressive candidates when they leave university, fostering a 'them and us' mentality among their rivals.

However, Robert Bruce explained that small companies can thrive by thinking and behaving like a larger firm, while also retaining the advantages of working in a less populous environment.

Writing for the Financial Times, he cited Rees Pollock - a 60-staff firm which was formed from the merger of Ernst & Whitney and Arthur Young 20 years ago - as a prime example of this approach.

"The key to recruitment was having the same quality of graduates that we had been ourselves in Ernst & Young," retired founding partner Andy Pollock told the newspaper.

"That meant that when we were doing work in the City particularly, they saw the quality of the people on our side of the table when we were helping on a deal."

One of the 'big four', PricewaterhouseCoopers, announced this week that it will create 800 new jobs in the next 12 months, on top of its graduate programme.

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