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As we head into the second quarter of 2024, it seems that the demand for accountants and finance professionals, and the skills they have to offer an organisation, remain in high demand. And research shows that this demand is set to continue. The need for talent in this area is global, so we thought it would be interesting to see what a few of the recruitment agencies are saying about this ongoing trend.

The UK job market

According to Robert Half’s 2024 UK salary guide, finance professionals are benefiting from a tight job market in the UK. The guide states: "Finance and accounting managers show little sign of stopping hiring in 2024, yet challenges continue. Whilst the economic downturn may be on many employers’ minds and is likely to impact the hiring market to an extent, intense pressure to find new talent remains. New skill sets and new mindsets will be required as companies meet new regulatory and ESG standards in 2024.” And the research goes on to say that nearly 50% of employers intend to recruit finance and accounting staff this year.

The gap between supply and demand

UK recruitment agencies such as Morgan McKinley state that the gap between supply and demand for finance and accounting skills is widening. As well as key technical skills such as financial planning and analysis, financial modelling and regulatory reporting, employees are also seeking key skills such as communication, business acumen, business partnering and problem solving. The well-rounded accountant who focuses on developing their technical skills alongside their interpersonal skills appears to be very desirable for a recruiter and this is a trajectory that doesn’t look set to change.

Australia and the US

According to recruitment agency Hays in Australia, accountants have emerged as the most in-demand professionals in 2024, ahead of software developers, business analysts and engineers. Asia Pacific CEO Matthew Dickason said accountants shot to the "top of employers’ wish lists” due to a tight skills market and fewer students studying accounting degrees. He says "…it’s clear that certain skills are sought after more than others. These roles are at the top of employers’ wish lists, with the ongoing skills shortage amplifying existing attraction and retention challenges for organisations.”

In the US, agency Pedagog Recruiting and Careers says "Accounting professionals are in high demand, and the trend is expected to continue. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a steady increase in the employment of accountants and auditors over the coming years. This demand extends across industries, including finance, healthcare, technology, and government.” The agency goes on to say that trends such as technology integration, remote working opportunities, and niche areas such as sustainability, cryptocurrency accounting and forensic accounting are gaining prominence.

A changing profession

The industry is changing, with accountants being required to keep up to date with the latest in areas such as AI, technology, data analysis and sustainability. If finance professionals are able to complement their well-honed technical skills by equipping themselves with new skills in these emerging and growing areas, as well as ensuring their interpersonal skills are strong, then they look set to have a choice of roles where they can play an essential and integral part of an organisation.

Discover how to find candidates with the right combination of skills, experience, and attributes with our Recruitment and Selection course!

  1. Paul H
    Posted 09-Apr-2024 at
    My organisation is carrying out a thorough reorganisation that will affect all staff. The timetable has been delayed, so we are having to deal with significant uncertainty for a longer period; it is thus reassuring to hear that the wider market is still bouyant, as there will be a number of us who will no doubt need to be looking elsewhere for empl ...
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