Latest Lincoln Accountancy market insights April 2013
Lincoln Recruitment Specialists have completed in-depth analysis and research of the accountancy market for year to date 2013 and results highlight a number of heightened demands for niche and specific skillsets in the Accountancy market. Key requirements include:
- strong systems skills
- tax structuring ability
- an advisory focus to non-finance divisions and
- Previous exposure to MNC or plc firms (relevant only for those interested in pursuing a career in such sectors).
Whilst sector specific experience is still of interest to companies, we are seeing really strong demand for professional accountants with previous experience implementing and testing new systems, particularly ERP systems as firms further enhance and develop their accounting systems. Candidates are now expected to demonstrate strong IT and excel skills.
Additional nuances surrounding structuring of new entities in a tax effective manner is coming to the fore also as a number of companies are organically expanding their international operations. Such skills are very niche and really only developed through practical, hands-on accounting roles in the market.
Business partnering has become a strong focal point over the past couple of years with an ever increasing demand for qualified accountants to provide financial support to various divisions of an organisation in addition to completing traditional accounting responsibilities. Companies tend to analyse a candidate’s ability for this by assessing their communication skills and commercial acumen throughout an interview process. Strong analytical skills, coupled with excellent excel skills have been highlighted as two additional prerequisite requirements for effective business partnering.
Additionally, multinationals and plc firms have maintained their preference for sourcing candidates with previous experience in this market. For those who don’t have this previous in-house experience, typical profiles of such candidates successfully leveraging into this sector include Practice-trained Accountants who built their knowledge auditing such MNC / plc clients. They have highlighted their strong technical accounting experience (exposure to US GAAP / IFRS / SOx compliance etc) and ability to work in a deadline driven, results focused environment.
It is a given that companies want to hire top talent and retain such talent within their organisation. A company’s culture varies from organisation to organisation but our research demonstrates common consensus in terms of specific “soft skills” in strong demand. Such traits include initiative, ability to work to your own autonomy, ambition and a desire to become an integral part of a business. Such traits are often hampered in an interview process as nerves take over but it is important to keep in mind that companies have a really strong focus on fit when sourcing suitable candidates for their organisations.