PROSPECTS LOOKING UP FOR ACCOUNTANTS
Plans for recruitment drives and a return to pay rises amongst accounting and finance professionals are the latest signs of optimism for a successful 2010 in the sector. The latest Workplace Study from Badenoch & Clark has revealed signs of a return to a more active talent market.
40% of accounting and finance employers are planning to shun the recruitment freezes that characterised 2009, and bring in new talent in 2010. At the same time almost half (42%) of all employers are expected to offer pay rises in 2010 an indication that the wider economic recovery is beginning to have a real impact in the sector.
This confident outlook marks a departure from the widespread redundancies and pay cuts of 2009. The knock-on impact of these measures have left many employers lacking the skills needed to grow again, hence the upturn in recruitment activity. One in five (20%) employers said they lacked the accounting and finance skills needed to reach their future objectives as a direct result of instigating recruitment freezes.
Employers ranked commercial awareness (21%), as well as strong communication skills (18 %) and technical accounting skills (16%) amongst the skills they are most in need of as they look to grow in 2010.
The figures are from the latest The Commercial Challenge: building accountants skills report from international recruiters Badenoch & Clark a study that involved over 1,500 accounting and finance professionals throughout the UK.
Lynne Hardman, executive director at Badenoch & Clark, comments: Now the economy is officially out of recession, we are seeing accounting and finance employers embrace the future with a renewed vigour. Many have weathered the storm by cutting back in a number of areas, and so now theres a real need to bring new, high calibre people on board to ensure the recovery continues.
The study shows a positive picture of the profession, but sight mustnt be lost that competition remains incredibly fierce. The profession continues to move on, and employers are demanding their accountants deliver more than simple technical expertise. Commercial awareness, communication skills, relationship building ability all of this is needed from todays accounting and finance professional.
Things are looking up for many in the profession, but to make the most of these new opportunities, candidates must continue to focus on developing the range of skills they have to offer.