Accounting Industry & Commerce Salary Survey & Employment Overview 2016

admin / January 27, 2016

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Accounting Industry & Commerce Market Overview

2015 has seen the Accounting and Finance recruitment market gain momentum on trends seen in 2014 and the latter half of 2013. Companies continued to hire across all levels but it is evident that the “tide has turned” and it’s becoming increasingly more an employee-driven market.

The market is witnessing a shortage of qualified Finance professionals and as demand exceeds supply, companies have had to steadily increase salaries and benefits to attract the best talent. Returning immigrants, mostly from Australia, London and Canada, have, to some extent, helped fill some gap of expertise that is missing in the market. People that emigrated in 2010 are starting to return to the market, hearing positive news of our bright new economy, and are finding their way onto employers’ radars.
Demand for Finance professionals across all levels is being witnessed across all sectors: Shared Services, Multi National, FMCG, SME etc. Skills in demand include, qualified accountants with commercial finance experience, strong ERP knowledge, and strong technical accounting skills.

Skills Shortages

Demand for Finance professionals across all levels is being witnessed across all sectors: Shared Services, Multi National, FMCG, SME etc. Skills in demand include, qualified accountants with commercial finance experience, strong ERP knowledge, and strong technical accounting skills.
Our research also highlighted a shortage of skills in the Accountancy and Finance market, with (70%) of employers surveyed saying they have experienced a shortage of experienced candidates in the market. Employers are now addressing this through growing talent, more than half (62%) of firms are investing in training and 71% are looking to promoting employees internally with the potential for development.

Part-Qualified Market

We have witnessed similar observations in the part qualified accountants market where we have seen a significant rise in newly created vacancies throughout Industry and Commerce. Conversely, there has been a
decrease in the number of part qualified accountants and finance support professionals coming to the market reiterating once again the candidate driven nature of the overall market.
Demand is high specifically for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Specialists from entry level roles right up to managerial levels. Moreover, there is a demand for part qualified accountants with strong financial analysis and advanced excel skills. The candidate at this level has become a lot more specific in terms of location, organisational structures, industries and roles.

Salaries

For the first time in a number of years, 2015 saw employees start to drive the market and, to an extent, dictate their salaries and overall packages. Salaries have begun to creep up across the board for qualified accountants. Generally, this year has seen increases in base salary levels for accountants across the board – 65% of our accountancy candidates surveyed said that they have seen a salary increase this year. For the majority (31%), this was an improvement of 5-10% in their base salary.

“In summary – the qualified accountant is more in the driving seat than ever before.”  

Benefits

In today’s competitive workforce environment, the key to retaining the best employees means offering a total compensation package. Multinationals are in a better position to offer the highest total compensation package and to a lesser extent, SMEs are struggling to attract the same talent. The ever-emerging standard benefits package now includes contributory pension and health insurance as well as paid professional fees, performance related bonus, cycle to work scheme and receiving over 25 days annual leave.

The three main areas of concern for accountants currently, and their primary reason for returning to the jobs market, is due to a lack of adequate compensation and benefits for the level of responsibility, career progression and inadequate work-life balance. Our survey ascertained that 59% of Irish accountants are not satisfied in their jobs, with 39% of accountants admitting they are unlikely to continue working at the same company in the next 2 years as a result of this. These accountants will be more aware of their options and precise in what they are looking for in prospective employers in 2016.

The Year Ahead/ Future predictions

The green shoots that we experienced in 2014 and early 2015 have now all sprouted and if we are to focus on results from our own salary survey respondents, a lot of people are seeking to move roles with the next 12 months. The Accountancy market, as one of the largest professional communities nationally, is poised for a significant pick up in 2016 as increasing foreign investment coupled with company expansion will result in the continued creation of new opportunities in organisations. Further gaps will emerge for employers as employees take up new these newly created roles. This will likely result in a continued wave of opportunities in favour of the accountancy candidate community well into 2016. Employers will need to get ahead of potential talent gaps, evaluate where the business is expected to grow or shrink over the next 3-5 years, analyse how the composition of the workforce may change and what the implications are for sourcing new talent needs. In summary – the qualified accountant is more in the driving seat than ever before.

For a full list of opportunities in Accounting & Finance, please click on the following link. If you wish to discuss opportunities contact the Accounting and Finance team at Lincoln: Industry and Commerce; Dermot O’Sullivan, dosullivan@lincoln.ie, Temporary and Contract; Concepta Cadogan ccadogan@lincoln.ie, or Practice Tax and Advisory; Ben Latchford blatchford@lincoln.ie or on 01-661 0444.

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