Banks waving cash at temporary accountants

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IT temps may be earning less than they used to but accounting temps are still raking in the cash - according to recruiters.

Matthew Wilcox of WH Marks Sattin says competition for accounting contractors is now such that the best candidates in hot areas are being encouraged to stay put with counter-offers woth 10% more than they're currently earning.

A regulatory accountant with five years' experience can now earn 300, which is up 20% on last year.

However, recruiters urge caution on those accounting temps who find themselves tempted by a generous buy-back. "Clients may perceive that they're just in it for the money," says Aaron Gustofson of Joslin Rowe's temporary team.

Wilcox says counter-offers tend to come about when employers think throwing money at the problem is the only way to respond to the announcement of a valued contractor's departure. "We always advise that temps ask themselves what the real reasons were for looking to move in the first place. If they weren't purely financial, then will extra cash really solve the problem?"

According to Gustofson, temporary candidates are still less likely to be tainted with disloyalty than permanent people. He says most employers realise temps must keep an eye on hourly rates in the absence of pensions and bonuses - even if completion bonuses are offered. But, he warns, "There are limits - breaking an assignment early can be damaging."

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