New year, new job opportunities

Many employees are treating the New Year as an opportunity to rethink career prospects, with 52% of accountancy and finance professionals planning to move jobs over the next 12 months

The survey by Hays Accountancy & Finance of over 3,000 respondents working in accountancy and finance in the UK suggests skills shortages are leading to above salary increases inn some jobs, with accounts assistants, accounts payable clerks and credit controllers in particular demand, along with finance managers and payroll administrators.

Also featuring in the top ten roles that finance employers are looking for in 2019 are financial controllers, finance business partners, assistant accountants, management accountants and bookkeepers.

Karen Young, director of Hays Accountancy & Finance, said: ‘In our latest Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2019 guide, the majority (89%) of accountancy and finance employers said they had experienced a skills shortage of some kind in the past year, highlighting the continued challenge when trying to attract and retain the skilled finance professionals needed.

‘From our top ten list it’s evident that several roles remain in demand due a lack of available talent but also as a result of companies’ focus on tightening financial controls and the changes in international financial reporting standards.

‘Ongoing legislation and regulatory changes such as GDPR, gender pay gap reporting, auto enrolment and off-payroll working means that payroll professionals will also still be highly sought after in the year ahead for example.’

Job market research from CV-Library, an independent online job site, shows  advertised salaries in the accounting sector increased by 5.1% in Q4 2018, when comparing year-on-year data.

The report, which compared data from Q4 2018, with data from Q3 2018 and the same period in 2017, found that average pay for new roles was also up quarter-on-quarter, rising by  1% across the industry.

Accounting vacancies were up by 12.7% when looking at year-on-year statistics, but applications were not keeping pace, seeing a decrease of 8% in Q4, when compared with data from Q3 2018.

However, the data also indicated that despite businesses offering higher salaries, advertised jobs saw a dip in Q4 2018, falling by 5.8% quarter-on-quarter.

Lee Biggins, CEO of CV-Library, said: ‘It’s a turbulent time for the UK right now. Following this month’s failed Brexit vote and Theresa May narrowly holding onto her leadership, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the future of the nation’s economy.

‘This has had a knock on effect on the recruitment space, with candidates in the accounting sector feeling nervous to move around the job market and businesses temporarily slowing down their hiring efforts until an outcome is reached.

‘That said, those whose are hiring are pulling out all the stops and offering some of the most competitive salaries in order to attract the top talent.’

The report also revealed that despite applications being down, the amount of people registering their CVs to the job site rose by 8.5% year-on-year. This suggests that candidates are feeling more confident than they were this time last year and looking for new prospects in 2019.

Biggins said: ‘Despite this uncertainty, it’s positive to see that professionals are preparing for their job search. This is something that often happens nearing the end of the year, with many looking to land a new role in the New Year. As such, we expect to see job vacancies and application rates picking back up next quarter.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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