Current Hiring Trends For Accounting & Financial Professionals

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Today’s business environment and the current economy are such that many organizations are continuously looking at cost-cutting measures, ensuring that the organization is operating at peak state, is attuned to the rapid changes of high tech as well as on-going development of long-term business solutions and strategies. All of these tasks, not to mention the daily routines of the operations alone, create an ongoing demand for full-time and contract accounting and finance professionals to support and implement these initiatives. Accounting and   finance  professionals are needed to provide guidance to middle and senior  management , enhance operational efficiency and analyze financial data.

Companies – large or small – are seeking accounting and  finance  professionals with diverse skill set to efficiently and quickly “role up their sleeves”, assume various roles and act as the liaison between senior  management  and staff. To achieve these tasks successfully, accounting and finance professionals are required to establish rapport and work in partnership with various key staff in the organization. Hence, organizations are hiring accountants with solid interpersonal skills – those who are able to “think out of the box”, and those who bring along innovative ideas and will be active participants in new initiatives, as the organization’s needs to change. With our current economy slowing down in the past few months, we are now in what is called the “employer’s market” cycle. Some of the primary factors are: 9/11 the end of the dot-com “hysteria” massive layoffs in companies like Nortel, Air Canada, Ford Motor Company and Lucent Technologies and the volatile stock market. Among the greatest challenges companies face today, is finding qualified competent professionals with that seemingly elusive “chemistry fit” between management and staff, one of the most important keys to effective, efficient, productive and happy work environments.

In an employer’s market, there is higher supply and lower demand of qualifies resources. With this advantage employers are able to be more selective when hiring and will take their time to ascertain which candidate possesses the best “chemistry fit” for the corporate culture. We find organizations today seek finance professionals committed to the position hired for as well as to the accounting profession as a whole. As a result, fully designated candidates, or those who are working toward completing their designation are in higher demand. These include: Chartered Accountants (CA), Certified General Accountants (CGA) or Certified Management Accountants (CMA) and those who have earned the Fellow Credit Institute (FCI) designations. To be successful in our current competitive economy, it is imperative for organizations to implement all cost effective measures, be creative and innovative.

Human resources happen to be the number one major fixed cost. What are organizations doing today to make this fixed cost more practical, efficient and effective? One solution is complementing the existing permanent staff with qualified contract/project professionals. Contract employees offer organizations a tremendous cost-effective benefit by utilizing their highly specialized experience needed to complete any current initiatives as well as assisting with the implementations of proposed strategic and long-range plans. Contract/project employees are ideal for special projects – year end work, work surges, system conversions, budgeting and strategic planning, maternity or sick leaves, and bridging the gap while searching for full-time staff. In situations where the position is vacant, what a better way to observe and evaluate the contract employee for permanent consideration and vise versa!

Our experience as a recruiting firm indicates that the use of contract/project professionals is expected to increase during the next few years. Converting a fixed human resources expense into a variable expense offers a stronger foothold in the market place for companies looking to gain a competitive edge. Compensation levels in 2002 have stabilized compared to 2001. According to industry surveys, the average starting remuneration for accounting and finance professionals is expected to increase by about 3 per cent. Here are some samples of accounting and finance salary ranges, pending on the company’s size and gross annual sales: CFO $90K – $240K VP, Finance $80K – $200K Controller $65K – $160K Assistant Controller $55K – $110K Accounting Manager $45K – $ 80K Financial Analyst $40K – $ 90K In conclusion, for business in today’s environment to grow and prosper, the accounting and finance professionals they employ must possess solid technical and communication skills, adaptability as well an outstanding capability to build and develop business relationships with internal an external stakeholders. Organizations are encouraged to be careful with full-time hiring decisions and building a flexible work force through a carefully selected blend of full-time and contract employees.

For the accounting and finance professional to be successful they must possess solid interpersonal skills and diverse industry experience with progressive companies, adapt to technological advances and the ability to manage a broad range of accounting and managerial responsibilities. Be fully designated or at the very least, enrolled in a recognized accounting program. Knowing that “job security” is a term of the past be open and flexible to a wide range of employment opportunities, be it contract, temporary to permanent or full time situations.

Wishing you the best success!

Source by Tali Nizic

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