It’s coming up to the year-end closing period – should I take on a contract role?
When it comes to contracting, it’s becoming increasingly popular within the finance and accounting world due to the many pros that come with it, including flexibility, higher income, skills development and much more.
Year-end closing is peak time for businesses to take on contractors to fill in resource gaps within their financial and accounting teams. Taking on a contracting role in this period will be extremely valuable for your skills development and career progression and will allow you to contribute your expertise during a period of heightened activity.
Here are the benefits of taking a year-end contracting role:
High demand for expertise
Due to the busy and often stressful period of year-end closing, extra employees tend to be required to support teams through workload. Certain levels of expertise will be required to support the financial processes and projects. Competitive compensation will be offered as many businesses will be competing for the top talent that matches their requirements. If you have said experience and expertise, you will be in a great position, and this will give you the upper hand when it comes to negotiating contracts.
Year-end closing is a notoriously stressful and busy period so you must be prepared for intense work with tight deadlines. You’ll also need to adapt to the business processes and systems so having year-end closing experience or familiarity with certain processes and systems will be valuable for your CV and interview stage.
As contracting roles are temporary, hourly, or daily rates will be higher than normal permanent salary rates. This also applies to project-based pay. Contract tax status also differs to permanent workers which will enable them to take home significantly more net earnings.
If you are highly skilled in relevant year-end processes such as audit, analysis, or accounting, you will also be able to leverage a higher rate as previously mentioned due to the value you’ll be bringing to the business.
Your agreed contract rate will depend on variables including experience, duration, IR35, the industry and the market conditions. It’s important to note that contract working means you don’t get paid for holidays and not receive the same benefits and perks as permanent employees such as pensions and medical insurance.
Working on year-end financial tasks will enrich skills in reporting, accounting, audit and compliance. These skills will significantly contribute to your professional development and enhance your CV, making you more desirable for future employers looking for contractors in peak business periods.
Each time you start working for a new business or industry within finance, you will be exposed to finance professionals with varying skills, experience and seniority levels that will lead to connections, potential job referrals, or even offers for permanent positions.
Flexibility is one of the greater benefits that contract working allows for especially if you prefer short-term engagements or to fill employment gaps while seeking permanent employment. Contract work also often leads to permanent positions if you’ve shown the value and skills you can bring to the business.
Contract work is also often remote working or flexible working which would suit a flexible lifestyle. Therefore if you want to make time for travel, training or personal hobbies and commitments, a contract might be for you.
Contract work also means you can choose projects that suit a preferred location or time frame and often means you can take multiple jobs at once depending on the scale of the project or role.
You need to be adaptable and comfortable with short-term or project-based work so if you’re looking to start contracting, we suggest you start during a quieter period so you can familiarise yourself with the process and style of working.
Contract roles in general mean you get to work for a range of companies and industries, and this applies for the finance and accounting world too, Year-end closing can encompass a variety of projects e.g. reconciliations, closing activities, financial statement preparations and regulatory compliance. This allows you to pick roles that keep the work challenging and provides the opportunity to explore various specialisations within finance which you can then use to map out the journey to your end career goal. As there are no long-term commitments, it may help you figure out which direction to take your career in.
Meeting new people, starting in a new business and learning new systems and processes over and over again can be overwhelming and often stressful due to the level of change so you must be mentally prepared to meet these challenges.
If you’re looking for autonomy, you won’t find this in permanent work. Contracting work provides the freedom to manage your own business, set rates, negotiate contracts, and select both preferred clients and projects.
Taking on a contract role can be a strategic move for finance professionals, especially those looking for a flexible arrangement. It’s a fantastic opportunity where you can show your skills, expertise and value to a business, supporting year-end closing processes, enhancing efficiency and leveraging success to the business.
Year-end closing is a high-demand season for contracting, offering benefits such as competitive compensation, skills development, networking opportunities and so much more. It’s important to be prepared for intense work, adapt to different business processes, and navigate the complexities of contract working. Ultimately, contracting provides a pathway to enhance skills, build a diverse network, and enjoy greater autonomy in managing your career.
Here at IN2, we can support you in finding a contract role that meets your requirements and level of experience. Our team of specialist recruiters have vast experience placing candidates in temporary roles (whether on a temporary or contract basis) with both new and existing clients. Don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can discuss the type of role you’re looking for and the specific requirements you’re looking for.