Whilst salaries and benefits increased across finance and accountancy roles in 2016, it was also a politically turbulent year, which brought with it plenty of uncertainty.
However, looking ahead at the next 12 months, there is good news for those accountancy and finance professionals considering moving jobs. Thanks to on-going business change, corporate deals, growth and a number of companies relocating, the demand for a wide range of financial skills looks set to stay high in 2017.
So which specific skill sets are poised to benefit from high demand this year?
1. Part and newly qualified accountants
It goes without saying that the recruitment market is always best for candidates from areas of notable skills shortages, which is most certainly the case in regard to part and newly qualified accountants. The widely acknowledged shortage of available talent here shows little sign of abating, and considerable demand across all sectors far outstrips supply. Part and newly qualified accountants would be wise to take advantage of this high demand for their skills, and plan their career journeys accordingly: good career progression and salaries await those who do so effectively. Part Qualified Accountants (CIMA) can earn as much £35,000, and Newly Qualified Accountants up to £50,000.
2. Audit, risk and compliance
Potential new threats to businesses continue to be keenly felt. As organisations automate processes and attempt to mitigate the risk of possible cyber security breaches, there has been a corresponding increase in the recruitment of audit, risk and compliance professionals. Salaries in this area reflect the high demand, with Junior Auditors earning up to £36,000, and Head/Directors of Audit, Risk & Compliance can earn well into six figures. Demand is also high for candidates with a demonstrable knowledge of data, information security and general controls.
3. Shared service centre
Due to a number of shared service builds and strategic relocations, 2016 was pretty active for recruitment in finance shared service centres. Organisations have continued to recognise that grouping core service functions together can improve the quality of the service provided to customers and internal stakeholders, and encourage stronger governance as well as cost efficiencies. Therefore, demand for professionals with experience in shared service centres looks to continue this year.
Finally, upcoming legislation changes such as gender pay gap reporting and the apprenticeship levy will require payroll teams to process and report more new forms of data, which is further increasing demand for skills within this function. Due to these upcoming changes, many organisations have been implementing or updating new payroll and HR software, and as a result the payroll function has seen a notable increase in temporary and interim recruitment. A Payroll Administrator can earn up to £25,000, and a Head of Payroll on average up to £70,000.
Overall, the outlook remains positive for finance and accountancy candidates and indeed has increased since the turn of 2017. Widespread skills shortages may be a challenge for some employers, but they bode well for those professionals looking to move, progress their careers and increase their earning potential. To find out how much you could earn visit the Hays salary checker.
To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.
About this author
Karen is a Director and recruiting expert at Hays Accountancy & Finance. She provides strategic leadership to a team of 400 accountancy and finance recruitment professionals across 100 UK offices. With 20 years of finance recruitment experience, Karen has a track record of recruiting top finance talent for businesses across a range of industry sectors, and is a trusted industry voice on career planning and market insights.