Future of the Accounting Profession is bright

Source: Katarina Krempova¸ PKF Malta¸ 4 January 2012

Although the world has to get to grips with these times of high unemployment and recent financial slump¸ this is the right opportunity to enter the accounting job market and start a well-paid accounting career. An accounting job is one of the hottest jobs in the field of finance and makes not forgetting the stability and security that comes along with it – exactly what we wish at this time of economic slowdown and low morale. In addition¸ an accounting career can be diverse in nature and exciting too. This profession is split into a wide choice of different branches such as tax accountancy¸ financial analysis¸ government accountancy¸ financial analysis¸ audit and many others.

Successful enterprises know that a strong and reliable accounting department is the backbone of any business and are therefore planning to increase their hiring of accountants in 2012 yet again. In a global survey of senior accountants recently carried out by the International Accounting Bullentin¸ 58% of employers (mainly accountancy firms) expect to hire more full-time accountants in 2012 compared to 2011. By job type¸ most recruitment is anticipated in audit and assurance services (60%)¸ in core accounting (18%) and in taxation (17%).

In 2011 compared to 2010¸ more than half (56%) of the respondents surveyed claimed to increase their hiring of accountants and only 22% respondents said to have cut jobs.  

Moreover¸ even if only 43% of European firms said they expect to increase their recruitment of new accountants in 2012¸ the accounting job market in Europe is still booming after a quiet couple of years. This is a result of increasing complexity of corporate transactions¸ international mergers and acquisitions¸ as well as growing worldwide cooperation in tax and financial matters.

Despite the strong demand for accounting staff in the last couple of years¸ firms are often unable to recruit enough accounting professionals. It is important to keep in mind that accountancy jobs are no longer just about preparing financial reports and tax returns¸ but also about advisory and business analysis. This trend has led to an increase in entry-level hiring targets of employees requiring additional skills¸ such as:

  • initiative¸ adaptability and versatility;
  • soft skills¸ such as strong communication skills¸ motivation skills¸ the ability to adapt itself to the culture of the organisation and to work as a team¸ as well as the ability to influence key decision makers;
  • IT skills and technical knowledge;
  • a thorough insight of national and above all global accounting rules IFRS;
  • specialist knowledge¸ such as better understanding of customer needs and of industry practice;
  • and of course the traditional accounting skills.

According to the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report¸ the next years will be also characterized by continuous churn for the accounting profession resulting from rapid demographic¸ social¸ economic and technology shifts. “This shift will drive consumers and businesses to turn to accounting and tax professionals for competitive strategies to navigate the global marketplace.”

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