Market Update: Tax and Treasury

The global economic uncertainty, political changes and market disruption of the last few years have had a significant impact on organisations of all shapes and sizes, and in particular, on the Tax and Treasury function. Norman Broadbent has seen an increase of 62% in hiring of Treasury, Tax and Audit professionals over the past six months.

First the Covid-19 pandemic, then Brexit and now the war in Ukraine, have caused significant disruption to the global supply chain. Between localised shutdowns in China causing a shortage of critical materials to the shipping crisis caused by the Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal in 2021, organisations have had to scramble for flexibility. Related to this, there have been numerous fluctuations in foreign exchange. All of which has combined to drive a high demand in hiring tax and treasury leaders.

Given the growing demand in this technical and highly specialised function, it is no surprise that the market for these individuals has become candidate driven. Competition for senior tax and treasury leaders has seen long-serving senior employees being tempted to pastures new with significant salary increases. Workplace flexibility is also proving a key motivating factor, with candidates negotiating not just for salary increases, but also flexibility in working schedules or location.

A recent candidate survey shows that over 68% of candidates had recently been approached about another opportunity. With this high demand, it means the market is also moving very quickly and highly skilled candidates are being approached frequently. In such a market, moving swiftly and efficiently is key to securing the very best talent available. In this ongoing “war for talent” some employers are responding assertively to candidates resignations – we are seeing a significant raise in counter-offers to entice high-calibre individuals to stay. It is more important than ever that candidates are managed efficiently and professionally through a Search process, and that the offer and on-boarding process is also swift and friction-free to avoid such opportunities for backsliding.

A recent review conducted from CFOs in listed environments show that over 75% of CFOs would move to counter offer rather than going to market. A number of those who wouldn’t move to counteroffer because they have gained a higher expectation of Tax and Treasury professionals. They feel as though they need to be more strategic than previously required and bring more value to the business being less risk adverse.

Given the shortage of highly skilled finance candidates (due to excessive demand), many clients have struggled to replace existing members of staff. Norman Broadbent have supported clients via an interim to bridge the gap and keep business as usual.

Many organisations are utilising the big four management consultancies to support with the ongoing automation and digitisation of tax. Norman Broadbent have supported several clients to bring on board an interim professional with expertise in automating and enabling technology processes to support Tax functions, prioritising their time on driving value.


Lyle Stewart, Principle Consultant, Financial Leaders Practice

M: +44 (0) 7483 015 603