2017 Accounting Industry & Commerce Salary Survey & Employment Overview
Accounting Industry & Commerce Market Overview
2016 was another solid year in terms of the volume of industry accounting and finance roles that came to the market throughout the year. Employer demand for accountants remained steady as staff turnover in finance roles remained low and this was predominately due to natural attrition.
During the year, it tended to be additional hires that were employed for a finance team, rather than replacements. On many occasions, an employer hired a qualified accountant because of an internal promotion or the current incumbent had moved to a new position within the business.
This was the case for newly qualified accounting roles, as well as those positions that require an experienced accountant with a number of years PQE. On the senior side, senior management roles (FC, FD, CFO etc.) arose on a more ad hoc basis.
An accountancy qualification is the foundation for many finance professionals who undertake a wide range of business roles within commercial organisations. Qualified Chartered, Certified and Management Accountants continue to perform an essential and integral role in the success, growth and progress of private and public companies in Ireland, from project management to mergers and acquisitions, leading a system implementation / upgrade to business and financial planning analysis. The past 12 months demonstrate again that an ACA, ACCA or CIMA qualification is the platform to a diverse range of career opportunities.
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.
This year it has tended to be an additional hire for a finance team, rather than a replacement.
While base salary is an important factor in the decision to accept a position, the overall remuneration package will most definitely be considered, including benefits (pension, health cover etc.), the potential for annual bonuses and annual leave days. There was little or no change to salary ranges in 2016, with employers taking the cautionary step of not hiring new employees with over-inflated salaries. This leaves room for rewarding performance with salary increases internally as an employee develops within the role. The finance team structure, working environment, staff amenities and company culture are all significant considerations for qualified accountants when they decide their next career step.
On the infrequent occasions that our industry clients seek our assistance to recruit an Internal Audit Manager or a Treasury Specialist, these candidates can take a significant time to source.
If either of these areas are your specialism, remuneration packages are often quite generous when such opportunities arise within commercial businesses arise, and usually a solid career path is available to the professional within the organisation.
For breakdown of salaries in this sector please click here
The Year Ahead/ Future predictions
Our expectation is that blue-chip Plcs and multinationals will certainly continue to require finance and accounting roles, but at a more steady pace. Improving economic conditions clearly indicate there will be an increased need for finance headcount in many organisations.
However, this will remain closely monitored to ensure there is no over-hiring. Accounting and Finance teams are busy, particularly as reporting deadlines approach.
The year ahead is going to be dictated by a shortage of skilled accountants in the newly and recently qualified market and by certain skill sets. Recently qualified accountants of up to 5 years PQE are a scarce commodity across all areas, including Commerce and Industry, Financial Services and Professional Services. It is not unusual for these recently qualified accountants to have as many as 3-5 offers at any one time from prospective employers.
Within these specific skill sets, both internal and external audit, commercial business partnering and financial planning all remain in strong demand, while professional practice still has high requirements across all disciplines.
As a result, organisations will need to have a clear, concise hiring strategy to attract these candidates going into 2017. It is imperative that this group of highly sought after professionals have access to the best advice possible in order to help candidates discern the merits of the varying job offers.
For a full list of opportunities in Accounting & Finance, please click here
To view the full survey results please click here.