Hiring in 2021 and Beyond: Finance & Accounting Edition



The MICPA recently spent some time analyzing Robert Half’s 2022 Salary Guide to explore the general expectations of today’s workforce, specifically regarding benefits and perks, and the challenges employers face not only in hiring but in retention. Of course, it is nice to have a rough idea of what the job market is doing, but specifics are invaluable. In the realm of accounting and finance, some interesting developments are taking shape.

While it may not come as a surprise that technology is a top concern among the majority of CFOs (52%), according to Robert Half, the adoption of cloud services has not only allowed reporting, auditing, and other traditionally in-person activities to be completed remotely, but employers are extending more trust to their employees by providing the resources and flexibility necessary to complete these assignments1. Professionals with exceptional tech aptitude are, as such, in great demand and companies are prioritizing growing the skillsets of current talent in these areas, with 73% of CFOs planning to increase their budget for training next year.

If 2020 taught us anything, however, it is that being people savvy is just as important as being tech savvy. Soft skills, or perhaps more appropriately named “success skills”, such as emotional intelligence and thoughtfulness are also desirable attributes for individuals at all levels, from new hires to c-suite executives. According to the 2022 Salary Guide, these are the most sought-after soft skills, tech skills and certifications1:

Soft Skills
Adaptability, change management
Collaboration as part of a team
Effective communication
Ability to think independently and critically
Problem Solving

Tech Skills & Certifications
Cloud-based systems
Customer relationship management (CRM) Software
Data analysis and Visualization
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems
Advanced Excel Capabilities
Industry-related experience

Another important trend worth noting is where a majority of hiring is currently taking place. The hottest sectors for those working within finance and accounting include banking and compliance. According to Robert Half, regulatory changes, complexity, and the current housing market are driving factors for increased demand in these sectors. Increased concerns regarding cybercrime and fraud are also contributors as risk assessment and digital security are noted as top priorities for hiring among organizations. Other hot sectors of employment for those looking to make a change include healthcare, insurance, government and technology.

Finally, employers in finance and accounting are also modifying their approach to securing new, and retaining current, talent. Data from the 2022 Salary Guide suggests that more industry employers are hiring entry-level professionals with the goal of providing on-the-job training and preparing them to become future company leaders1. Being that career transparency was recently reported by Inc. to be one of the most important elements of employee retention amid the “Great Resignation,” this accounting industry insight strikes as particularly relevant2. Further, recent graduates are being relied upon to bring new perspectives, and 71% of firms are employing reverse-mentoring programs, where early-career staff exchanges skills, knowledge and insight with senior professionals1.

Do you see these trends at play in your organization? Share your experiences in hiring amid the “Great Resignation” with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and tag @MICPA. Members can also trade ideas and strategies on MICPA Connect!

Source: MICPA

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