With so much change taking place in the wider market, and digital transformation continuing to be on the agenda within many accountancy and finance departments, employers are predicting that the year ahead will remain busy in terms of their business activity.
The Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 report shows that employers are still struggling to find the talent they need to meet business demands. Our research shows that four out of five employers have experienced some form of skills shortage in their finance team over the last year, the greatest difficulty being hiring permanent staff. Furthermore, just shy of a quarter of employers do not think their organisation has the talent needed to achieve their current business objectives.
This gap in skills within accountancy and finance teams is having widespread implications such as a decrease in productivity, lower employee morale and teams struggling to deliver projects.
Employers in need of soft skills
So what skills do employers tell us they are most in need of? In terms of the technical skills in demand, technical finance, managerial and leadership and operations skills are all high on the list.
It’s not just the technical expertise that employers seek, however, as soft skills are also highly sought after. Strong communication and interpersonal skills come out as the top most desired soft skillset, followed by problem-solving and flexibility and adaptability. All these soft skills lend themselves to an age where businesses need to adapt quickly to change as digital transformation continues to make the agenda across many organisations.
Salaries rising above average for skills in demand
Employers are offering more competitive salaries for the most in-demand roles. Overall, salaries within the accountancy and finance profession rose by an average of a moderate 1.3% over the last year, however, those working in certain highly sought-after roles have received pay rises over and above this average. For example, within qualified accountancy, Business Partners and Qualified Accountants with 2-4 years’ post-qualified experience received average pay increases of 2.4% over the last year, driven by high demand for top candidates in a skills-short market, especially for those with expertise in automation.
Some roles outside of qualified accountancy saw even higher pay increases over and above 2.5% as employers compete to hire the best.
The top ten roles which saw the highest salary increases include:
- Accounts Assistant
- Credit Control Supervisor
- Semi-Senior Accountant
- Junior Auditor
- Accounts Receivable Assistant/Clerk
- Payroll Supervisor/Team Leader
- Finance Manager (qualified by experience)
- Assistant Accountant
- Finalist (Part-Qualified Accountancy)
- Credit Manager
Your role may not be in the top ten, however that does not mean that you are not due a salary increase in the year ahead. As the world of work continues to evolve, skills such as creativity, communication and flexibility will all be highly valued by employers, so focus on developing these skillsets to be in a better position to negotiate a salary rise in 2020.
Find out how salaries and recruiting trends are changing across the accountancy and finance function by requesting your copy of the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 guide.
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.