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Overall accounting job market in Russia is still candidate driven, says Antal

Experienced and qualified candidates continue to dictate and receive quite a lot of offers to choose from. In the past three years, along with employers adding various points to their wish lists, we have seen a considerable increase in accountants’ average salary.

Companies seeking a chief accountant most often require candidates to have experience in economic analysis and planning, as well as to be familiar with international accounting standards. The latter is also due to the fact that our domestic standards are slowly converging with the international ones. Requirements are becoming more and more specific: detailed attention is being paid to a candidate’s specific experience, qualification level and the availability of additional education and professional certifications (ACCA or DipIFR is an advantage). Professional competences are the second most important aspect after experience. For instance, a chief accountant from an international firm has to be able to work under tight deadlines. This is crucial for timely reporting to the head office.

Svetlana Motalova, senior consultant at Antal Russia, commented, “Most popular on the market at the moment are so called "field accountants," or professionals focusing on a specific area. A high demand for specialists is being seen in the "supplier-buyer" and "payroll" fields. One can also observe an increased demand for truly qualified experts for the deputy chief accountant position. The market for chief accountants is calmer, with a chief accountant hopping jobs once in 5-6 years on average, while accountants and deputy chief accountants are ready to change jobs once in 2-3 years. Obviously, considering that there is only one spot for a chief accountant in a company, most vacancies are for specialists and managers.”

Employers value not only knowledge and experience, but also specific professional qualities. Thus, they look for a candidate's willingness to work in a team and their readiness to solve non-standard problems. Some employers are now spending a lot more of their time filling vacancies, as they try to get as close to the ideal profile as possible. Minimizing the risk of hiring new people is becoming more and more important for companies. Therefore, they pay more attention to getting recommendations for candidates and actually talk with two or three references provided from previous employers.

Taking into consideration all the factors mentioned above, it’s obvious that the people who fit most of the criteria are more valuable on the market. While there was no substantial movement in the salary levels of chief accountants from 2010 to 2013, the market value of more specialized professionals is increasing. Chief accountants are motivated to complete interesting tasks and projects, while area accountants and recent students strive to improve their financial position. Candidates also pay attention to the brand and the company’s reputation as an employer.

“When switching jobs, accounting professionals expect a salary increase of 10-20%, or sometimes even 30-40%, which is more common for positions of a specialist nature or middle-management level” – adds Irina Kalkina, senior manager at Antal Russia. From companies' prospective, they are ready to offer such an increase for "ideal" candidates. As such, the accounts payable accountant gets 70,000 - 120,000 rub/month (gross), and payroll accountants are looking for 80,000 - 110,000 rub/month (gross). Since there is a huge demand for deputy chief accountants, but the availability of such specialists on the market is low, candidates have the power to demand their own conditions on the market.

Svetlana Motalova, senior consultant at Antal Russia offered her predictions for the year. “In 2014 the market will most likely stay on the same level, and the highest salary growth level might reach 7-8%. In addition, there will probably not be any steep jumps in compensation package levels. Next year is unlikely to bring many changes. The accounting market is one of the most stable and specialists in this area are in demand in every company. Such demand will certainly be continuous, but we will most likely see some changes in the requirements of both employers and job seekers.” 


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