By Phil Sheridan, senior managing director, Robert Half UK
Accountants are vital to the smooth running of any business. This then begs the question: do you feel appreciated in your current accountancy role?
Professionals who choose to become an accountant undergo rigorous training to prepare them for the challenges of professional life. International Accountants Day on the 10th November is the ideal time for employers to appreciate what accountants do for the business.
New research for the Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide has revealed what accountants can currently expect to earn, which skills are the most in-demand and where they sit within the UK hiring landscape. It provides a solid foundation on which to benchmark just how valued you are within your current role and whether it’s time to negotiate a more competitive remuneration package.
Accountant jobs: the current hiring landscape
Accounting and finance is one of the sectors most affected by the current skills shortage. Our research has shown that many CFOs aren’t able to find qualified accounting professionals who represent a good cultural fit for their organisation.
Finance accountants at both an assistant and senior level are still on the ‘most wanted’ list for many companies within the finance sector. The most in-demand accountancy professionals are those with niche skills sets and industry-specific experience.
Things are also looking bright for junior accountants, as more companies look to hire younger professionals with a view to supporting their development within the business. Now is a better time than any to begin your training in professional accountancy services.
Must-have accountancy skills and qualifications for 2018
Unsurprisingly, traditional accountancy qualifications continue to feature as key skills for many accountancy roles. These include ACCA, CIMA and ACA qualifications.
As digital transformation projects evolve workplace processes, accountants will find that their skill sets also need to change. Professionals who have experience using cutting-edge finance software systems will become important in assisting with workplace automation and are in high demand.
In order to offer true value to businesses, accountants will need to hone their soft skills as well as their technical abilities. Employers are now looking for finance professionals who have excellent analytical abilities and a high emotional intelligence.
Accountants salary and benefits
Research for our latest Salary Guide has shown that accountants with industry-specific skills are likely to find themselves on the receiving end of a pay rise this year. Additional trends also suggest that SMEs are reassessing entire remuneration offerings for finance and accounting professionals to help attract highly skilled talent.
Since last year’s International Accountants Day, salaries for company accountants have increased 0.9% and systems accountants employed within larger companies have typically enjoyed a 2.5% increase. Accounts assistants for SMEs have seen a salary increase of 1.3% and those working for larger companies received a 2.4% boost year-on-year.
Take this opportunity to assess how appreciated you are within your current role—review your current remuneration package and potentially negotiate a new one based on the national average in our newest guide.