Demand for newly-qualified accountants is growing, but it’s not just the technical skills that employers are looking for. A larger emphasis is now being put on soft skills and being the right cultural fit. Robert Half give us an insight inot the salaries and benefits on offer in the profession.

Hiring in the accounting and finance landscape has seen a clear shift from focusing purely on efficiencies to improving the overall productivity of the finance function. Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are investing in finance transformation and automation as the need to improve and upgrade systems to meet the growing demands being placed on the team.

Finding the right employees with the right skills is at the forefront of this shift, with nearly half (46%) of businesses planning the creation of new teams to tackle digital transformation.

Our research highlighted that a further third (31%) of CFOs have plans to hire additional headcount. We are seeing more companies bringing in junior accounting and finance professionals to support their business growth. However, as firms increase their investment in new employees, they are doing so with a long-term lens. A significant emphasis is being placed on finding the right cultural fit alongside the right technical and soft skills during the hiring process.

As finance automation and digitisation takes effect, heavy investment is being made in IT training (43%) and on honing employees’ analytical skills (64%). Half of CFOs surveyed said that they planned to make this their primary focus over the year.

Starting salaries for accountancy and finance roles are predicted to rise increase over the next 12 months, especially for candidates with specialist skills or industry-specific experience.

Our research shows that 15% of businesses will be increasing salaries by 10% within their finance departments. Many SME businesses are looking at their entire remuneration packages (base salary, bonus, flexible working opportunities, and stock options), rather than just competing on salary alone.

Since 1950, Robert Half has produced Salary Guides to offer business owners, hiring managers and professionals’ information on prevailing starting salaries in their geographic areas and insight into the latest employment trends. Information in the Salary Guide is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half’s recruitment consultants, along with the company’s ongoing surveys of executives.,

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