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Halliday Marx Visions

HM Visions aims to provide you with all the latest accounting recruitment news, jobs and careers advice

There are numerous challenges for SME businesses and small finance teams, among which is finding and retaining staff. Not only is the talent shortage ever-present, but to make matters worse they are competing against larger teams often in bigger companies for the same talent. 

John Marx, Director of Halliday Marx says “Until recently, smaller teams have been pipped to the post on deal breakers like salary, flexible and home working along with extra benefits such as bonuses. Now, they’re able to offer all of those things and much more.”

So, what has changed, and should you consider working in a small team?

Broader Role

If you are still unsure about working for a smaller company and in turn a smaller finance team remember this: being part of a smaller team will give you more experience across all facets of accounting. More importantly the role will get you out of bed in the morning knowing that no two days are going to be the same and your skillset will be broadened. 

Rather than being in a team of 5 that does only one aspect (management accounts / purchase ledger etc) you might be the only one that does 2 or 3 roles in one. This gives you more exposure to different parts of finance, providing an opportunity to specialise later. 

By comparison, someone in a large finance team will be more constrained on a day to day basis by being siloed early in your career.

Increased Flexibility and Responsibility

There are always busier periods within finance teams, noticeably at month ends and year ends, but being a part of a smaller team can mean it is often less intense. The offer of flexi-time and hybrid working and the possibility of complete, remote working is something that can be elusive in the Top 100 companies.

Competitive Remuneration

“Wages have changed significantly over the last 5 years. Previously the wage gap between larger and smaller firms was reasonably large, but smaller companies have upped their packages to better compete for talent and increase retention. And it’s working, remuneration is more often determined by the sector you’re working in rather than the size of the business.” says John Marx, Director of Halliday Marx.


The smaller the firm, the greater the chances that you are part of the decision making process. So the work, planning and advice you do genuinely changes businesses for the better. This direct impact makes you an important part of the team. Furthermore, a big part of your professional development is the level of exposure to mentors within the company.

Being in a smaller team means you will have a far greater access to the CFO, if not working alongside them. Watch and learn how they work, ask questions, be curious, earn their respect and in turn they will impart their knowledge to you in a way that’s impossible in larger organisations, where you might only see the CFO quarterly for a town hall.

At Halliday Marx, we know that some like the structure and thrive in the rigidity of a large regional or Top 100 practice and others strive for the variation that working in a smaller team brings, if you would like any more advice on applying for your next role please contact us on 020 7096 8200 or email us at [email protected]

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