Senior Finance Interim Day Rate Market Bounces Back

After the challenging years of 2020 and 2021, Rutherford Cross has seen a steady recovery in the demand for interim senior finance requests from clients over recent years, and we have started 2024 with our highest number of interim placements in a single month since 2019. Last year saw Rutherford Cross experience its best trading year since it was first launched 10 years ago.

In an extremely busy permanent market, interim and contract placements contributed to a quarter of the overall Rutherford Cross revenue in 2023, which was an improvement on 2022. Market confidence and a busy permanent market have made completing interim assignments particularly challenging over the last couple of years. Recent market uncertainty and an increase in candidate availability have resulted in the growth of our interim business over the last few months.

In 2023 at Rutherford Cross, the split between day rate assignments versus fixed-term contracts was 40 / 60, with the day rate placements largely being PAYE, removing any IR35 considerations or concerns for clients and candidates alike. Whilst a  PAYE day rate does not offer any tax benefits to the workers, it is still attractive to candidates as a hassle-free means of being paid and affords a degree of independence which has long been seen as one of the benefits of working as a contractor.

For the client, the benefits of engaging a PAYE day rate worker can be wide ranging, from utilising a flexible resource as long as it is required (especially if the duration of the requirement is unclear, therefore only paying the days / weeks worked) to allowing our clients to tap into a small, but very talented pool of dedicated interims, whose strong preference is not to be employed on the payroll.

We have also completed a handful of Ltd Company day rate assignments over the last year when the determination has landed outside IR35. The determination is made by the client, and we have approved documents that we share with all parties to ensure the appropriate outcome. If the determination lands inside IR35, a PAYE day rate or FTC solution is used.

In the one-month snapshot of January 2024, 70% of the interim assignments appointed by Rutherford Cross were day rate placements. This is hugely encouraging as we look to rebuild a talent pool of tried and tested workers who can be offered to clients, as and when requests are made. These individuals are highly valuable and sought after, as they know what great looks like having experienced a wide variety of working environments and best practices.

Over the last year, our interim requests have come from a wide variety of clients from SMEs to large corporates across sectors such as FMCG / Manufacturing (21%), Public Sector (18%), Not for Profit / Charity (17%), Financial Services (11%), Utilities / Energy (9%), Pharma / Healthcare (6%), with the remaining 18% being spread across Transport, FM, Leisure / Retail, Tech, Media, Engineering and Business Services.

The level of assignments completed over the same period covers the full range of positions within the finance department:

  • Interim Finance Director / CFO (10%)
  • Head of Finance / Group Financial Controller (9%)
  • Finance Manager (10%)
  • Group Financial Accountant (8%)
  • Senior Management Accountant / Finance Business Partner (7%)
  • Financial Accountant (10%)
  • Management Accountant (12%)
  • Project Accountant (9%)
  • Finance Analyst (6%)
  • Assistant Accountant (9%)


Other assignments completed have included Systems Accountant, Group FP&A Manager, Commercial Accountant and Group Treasury Manager. We have handled interim roles with salaries ranging from £25,000 – £125,000 p.a. or day rate equivalent (although we have completed 3 interim FD assignments in the £150,000 p.a. + bracket over the same period).

It certainly feels like the interim market in Scotland is in growth mode, but we have some way to go to get back to interim placements being over a third of total Rutherford Cross revenue, as it was in 2019.

At Rutherford Cross, we are delighted to have grown our dedicated interim team to four consultants, displaying our commitment and confidence in the value and continued growth of this market in Scotland. We also plan to hire a fifth team member this year.


For more information, please get in touch with the interim team at Rutherford Cross.


Derek Lauder (Senior Appointments – Scotland): [email protected]

Christina McLean (West / Central Scotland): [email protected]

Euan Bodie (West / Central Scotland & Aberdeen): [email protected]

Mollie Rogerson (East of Scotland): [email protected]