The ongoing skills shortage has intensified competition for top performers in accounting and finance. According to our recent research, 40% of CFOs consider it is significantly challenging to find qualified professionals, naming finance management, financial planning and accounting as the hardest roles to hire in the current market.
Hiring speeds are coming under scrutiny as one of the factors preventing businesses from securing the best talent. As skilled accounting and finance professionals are receiving multiple offers and counteroffers for roles, so rarely remain on the market for long. Newly qualified ACCA, CIMA and ACA accountants with less than five years’ experience are in high demand at present.
It is expected that skill sets within finance will evolve due to automation and digitalisation initiatives. CFOs have predicted that team dynamics will need to change, shifting more towards a collaborative and communicative approach, and in-demand skills will trend towards adaptability and data analysis. Finance leaders are looking to hire professionals with the right skills and experience, combined with a willingness to learn and the right cultural fit.
The trend for temporary hiring in finance is strong. When asked, 38% of UK businesses said they would be using temporary or interim staff to help ensure their teams had the requisite skills. More than a third (38%) of CFOs said temporary, and contract staff were a core component in their long-term staffing strategy, and 38% said they felt a mix of both temporary and permanent staff was crucial for departmental success. In terms of budget allocation, most CFOs are considering temporary professionals to fill roles in financial management (32%), accounting (28%) and credit management (27%).
Some businesses are offering salary increases for finance and accounting professionals, but many are not able to move beyond current salary bands. According to our survey, 12% of CFOs have no plans to increase salaries in the coming year, and 11% hoped to offer a raise to 20% of their team. The majority of CFOs believed that salaries would increase by 2% for existing permanent staff in 2019.
Businesses without the means to offer financial incentives are offering flexible benefits to compete for talent. The trend for flexible working is popular among jobseekers – flexible schedules, the option to work from home, and condensed working hours are all attractive prospects. As the desire for training and development grows, more businesses are offering study assistance and allowances to support the upskilling of their employees.
2019 UK Salaries for Accounting and Finance
|Assistant Management/Financial Accountant||£20,000-35,000|