State of The Industry: Finance And Accounting

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Nov 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

Keeping an eye on industry trends can help companies mold their hiring strategy to staffing challenges in the marketplace.

In this first installment in ICS' State of the Industry blog post series, we will take a look at accounting and finance, regarding hiring trends, market optimism, and foreseeable problems.

Potential Talent For The Future of Accounting

According to the AICPA's annual Trends Report for 2017, future hiring expectations in large accounting firms continue to be strong. 16 out of the 20 responding firms categorized as "large" firms indicated their accounting hiring numbers would either remain steady or rise in the coming year, and a full eighty-eight percent of U.S. CPA firms of all sizes expect CPA staffing numbers to remain steady or grow. 

  • The Numbers Aren't Adding Up for Accounting Graduates

The number of people enrolled in accounting programs has been at an all-time high since 2014-2015, although the number of those enrolled in accounting masters degree programs is at its lowest level since 2009-2010, and accounting Ph.D. candidates are at the lowest numbers seen since 2003-2004. 

  • Practice Area Hires Rise Across the Board

Accounting and auditing hires ticked upward slightly in 2016 to 52 percent; new hires for tax jobs rose sharply to 36 percent. If proposed tax legislation becomes a reality, it will likely have a marked impact on future tax hiring. 

Finance Demands Skilled Talent

Finance jobs tend to be tied more closely to what's going on in the larger economic environment than accounting roles. In an economy that's been trending positively so far this year, finance hiring is also on the rise. Here are some of the trends affecting different areas under the "finance" umbrella:

  • Banking and Investment Professionals Need Training

As banking and securities regulators seek to leverage technology and automation to oversee and police the industry, financial services firms are also embracing FinTech and RegTech systems and tools. In addition to using such tools for regulatory reasons, firms are also embracing social media and holding client meetings increasingly using video technology. These trends mean that new hires need to be adept at using a variety of technology tools. Finance will need people who are skilled workers. However, the demand will rise quicker than the pace of training these individuals. 

  • Investment Banking Continues to Grow

In the investment banking and private equity space, hiring for growth equity firms, health care funds, infrastructure funds and hybrid funds are all trending positively. Look for increased demand in the coming year for senior operations and investment talent, as well as increased demand for staffers who have both "hard" and "soft" skills. 

Accounting and Finance Hiring Managers Need An Elevated Process

With demand increasing, it is imperative that companies be on their A-game. Candidates will not wait around for long, so the ability to act fast on top talent is crucial when the labor pool runs thin. Use our resources to help you out when the going gets tough.  In the finance and accounting space, ICS has helped many companies find their next corporate accounting professionals, bookkeepers, business analysts, finance assistants, financial analysts, fund accountants, portfolio managers, risk managers and more, connecting hiring managers with skilled, qualified talent. Please act now and contact us. 

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