Public Practice Advisory & Taxation Salary Survey & Employment Overview 2016
Public Practice Advisory & Taxation Market Overview
2015 was another buoyant year in the Accountancy Practice arena, with practices of all sizes expanding and creating opportunities across the board. We have seen a marked expansion across Audit, Consulting, and Corporate Finance departments throughout the year from the Big 4 to small and medium sized practices.
For the first time, we have heard talk emerge about the similarities between this year and the “good times”. By contrast, the focus is now on talent quality rather than mere necessity that was so prominent previously. Companies have learnt from rapid hiring mistakes of the past and are willing to put in the time and wait for the right candidate to improve divisions.
The demand for Consulting professionals continue to be very high, particularly with strong interest in Management Consulting, Finance Transformation, Risk Consulting, Regulatory Affairs and Financial Effectiveness. Candidates from a variety of backgrounds including Industry or Audit have moved seamlessly into these roles
This has been one of the most challenging years for firms looking to hire qualified Tax professionals, with particularly high demands within Big 4 / Top 10 firms for individuals across all Tax heads. The key areas of growth are Transfer Pricing, Financial Services, Personal and VAT. Tax positions within the industry have seen a significant increase in Q3/Q4. Industries such as Tech, Financial Services, Aviation, Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical have all looked to add Tax specialists to their Finance Division.
“We expect the Practice arena to remain strong in 2016 as we start to see regular job announcements and notifications of increased trainee intakes, thus helping to secure the future supply of accountants in this area.”
There has been substantial demand for candidates with strong Audit experience this year. The traditional move from smaller firms to Top 20 / Big 4 continues to be a popular route. We’ve seen a lot of opportunities for recently qualified accountants looking to gain more exposure to larger Audit Engagements / IFRS / US GAAP / Multinational Clients, with a view to potentially moving to industry at a future point in their careers. Interestingly, recently qualified Audit candidates have decided to stay in practice to gain 1 / 2 years PQE experience. With this additional experience, candidates are in a better position to obtain Finance Manager/ Assistant Financial Controller roles in the industry, in addition to receiving 10%-15% higher salaries than if they left as an Audit Senior.
A Candidate Shy Market
Over the past number of months, there has been a challenge in finding suitable candidates to move within firms in the Practice market. The reason for this is that candidates for the first time in a long time, have multiple options and offers being dangled in front of them.
Our salary survey also reiterated this fact, whereby astonishingly 82% of accountants surveyed have had more than one job offer in 2015, and 19 % of these were subsequently counter offered by their own firm in an attempt to keep them. These figures, in conjunction with the 42% of Irish employers who have lost talent to a competitor in 2015, should come as a stark warning for employers to put measures in place before they lose their top employees.
In summary, we have seen a consistent level of roles come up across all areas in 2015. We expect the Practice arena to remain strong in 2016 as we start to see regular job announcements and notifications of increased trainee intakes, thus helping to secure the future supply of accountants in this area. Strong candidates are high in demand, and companies will pay extra in an effort to retain them. Professionals have had a lot of job opportunities over the year and this is set to continue. Going forward, clients will be interested in ensuring that their workforce remains satisfied, interested and engaged if they are to keep their top performers.