Accounting & Finance Market Update Q2 2017

Dave Riordan / July 4, 2017

Q2 Market Update Accounting & Finance

General Observations

In this quarter, there has been a lift in the Senior Managerial / Exec / C-level market with a positive increase in the number of roles available for experienced ACA / FCA / ACCA / FCCA / CPA / CIMA professionals. However, competition for these roles remains strong as sector-related experience is one of the main requirements for most employers at this level.

Also, we have seen an increase in demand for finance leadership roles with €80k – €140k salary base which is a significant rise from the 2016 market.

Presently, there is strong competition in the market for Head of Internal Audit roles, in particular with Financial Services clients. Overall, the demand for roles across Risk / Internal Audit and Regulatory Compliance has remained high, especially in the Insurance and Banking sectors. Furthermore, we have seen an increase in competition for experienced Accountancy professionals with strong commercial exposure and strategic influence in their sector.

The highest demand in Q1 was primarily for the following roles:

  • Senior Financial Controller
  • CFO
  • Finance Director
  • Head of Internal Audit
  • Tax Senior Manager / Head of Tax
  • Senior Finance Business Partner

For candidates on six-figure salaries who are specialists in their field in Financial Services or Industry, we advise now is a good time to examine the job market, benchmark your worth and stay a tuned to potential next-step career opportunities. In relation to bonuses, we have noted that bonuses of 10-25% are increasingly becoming the norm in remuneration packages for senior level candidates.

To date, it has been difficult for accounting professionals to transition between FS and Industry employers. However, for high calibre ACA/ACCA’s it is now becoming more feasible with clients being more open minded and are seeking a strong track record of performance in their interview processes.

Industry Accounting & Finance

Lincoln’s industry client base covers a wide range of sectors including; Technology & Software, Energy & Environment, FMCG & Manufacturing, Legal, Consumer Services Pharma and even Public Sector. Businesses within these sectors are maintaining their need for experienced Accounting and Finance professionals.

Over the past six months the highest volume of opportunities came within;

  • Group Financial Accountants
  • Finance Business Partners
  • Project/Commercial Accountants
  • Financial Analysts / FP&A
  • Internal Audit
  • Accounting Operations (Accounts Payable/Accounts Assistant).

We have seen the greatest growth in demand for accounting professionals in the Construction & Engineering, Technology and Pharmaceutical industries

While newly qualified accountants are regularly considered for FP&A and accounting positions, there has been a distinct increase in businesses seeking candidates with 2+ years ‘hands-on’ PQE experience. Our experience in Lincoln so far this year is that finance teams across the industry are keen to build and develop their internal capability, particularly around financial modelling, planning and forecasting especially due to recent economic events and Brexit. Demonstrable experience in financial analysis & business partnering continues to be a growth area, offering significant career prospects with organisations.

Industries in which we have seen the greatest growth in demand for accounting professionals are Construction & Engineering, Technology and Pharmaceutical.

The market remains highly candidate driven, resulting in competitive bonus and benefits packages. Salaries for newly qualified accountants have increased with the average minimum being offered at €55,000 to an average max at €60,000.

Junior Market

We have seen a demand for junior roles such as experienced Accounts Payable Associates, Assistant Accountants and Part Qualified Accountants. This increase in demand and skills shortage has resulted in salary increases at this level and candidates are seeking additional fringe benefits in order to move roles.

Temporary Contracts

On the temp and contracts side, we have noted candidates are now focused on securing permanent roles and temporary and contract openings are taking longer than usual to fill. Candidates are prepared to wait for that right permanent road rather than take a short term temporary position. Long term contract roles this quarter have risen due to candidates being assigned to specific projects, maternity leave cover and importantly holiday leave.

Financial Services

For the first half of 2017, the Financial Services Accountancy Recruitment market has been very active. There has been increased growth across the Banking, Insurance, Funds and Aircraft Leasing markets. With new regulations and requirements from the central bank, there continues to be a large focus on financial reporting, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), business partnering and internal audit within the banking sector.

The funds market continues to be highly competitive with in-demand roles being within Internal Audit and Financial Reporting. The lucrative aircraft/aviation leasing market has seen increased activity and has received a lot of interest from qualified accountant within the FS market.

We have also experienced continued growth in the insurance sector resulting in greater candidate confidence and movement within the market. The main demand in the insurance sector is for roles across Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and FP&A space with experience within captive insurance and Solvency II.

Salaries

Salaries and bonus levels for accounting professionals within financial services remain largely stable and those moving roles are typically doing so for career progression. Bonuses and benefit packages across financial services are now very competitive. Newly qualified to 5 years’ PQE candidates continue to be in high demand, with preference still being shown to qualified accountants coming from ‘Big 4’ firms. Salaries at this level range from €55,000 to €75,000.

Senior Opportunities

In relation to senior opportunities, we have seen a recent influx of activity within Banking, Internal Audit, and in particular, Finance Manager and Finance Control positions. There has been a lot of speculation and media coverage with regards some of the world’s largest financial services companies in London relocating their headquarters to Ireland, however, this has yet to be confirmed. There is a perception however that some of the more senior positions currently on the market are as a result of the Brexit vote and future planning. This would also benefit hugely the qualified accountants working within the financial services sector, but we will have to wait and see. Currently, the ‘hot spot’ in the Financial Services accountancy market is between the €55,000 to €65,000 bracket with companies looking to add highly skilled and motivated talent to their team.

At Lincoln, we expect the job opportunities across all levels accountancy market to continue to grow for the remainder of the year. If you are thinking of a move in Accounting & Finance this Q3,  please contact Dave Riordan on driordan@lincoln.ie or call 01 661 0444. If would like more information on temporary or contract opportunities, please contact Concepta Cadogan on  ccadogan@lincoln.ie or call 01 6610 444.

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