With the need for skilled talent on the rise in the accountancy sector, largely due to the ongoing skills shortage, now is the prime time for aspiring accountants to burst out of the blocks and get ahead of the pack.
Data from accountancy recruitment specialist Robert Half UK, has indicated that 38% of chief financial officers (CFO) struggle to find and retain professionals with the right skills. In addition, when asked what the greatest pressure was facing their accounting and finance function, 26% (the top percentage) of CFOs and finance directors stated a ‘skills shortage’.
To put this into context, last year, research suggested that CFOs were struggling to find and attract candidates with the requisite expertise to maximise the potential value of ‘big data’ for their organisation. For those unaware, big data is extremely large sets of data that may be analysed using advanced computer software to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions. Professionals with this know-how, alongside the ability to interpret and analyse data for business operations, are poised to be sought after this year.
The good news for those looking to begin a career in accountancy is that, if they have the aforementioned skills, they are likely to warrant a higher salary.
In addition, as employers adapt to the changing face of today’s workforce (Millennials make up a significant part of the population), they are opting to offer work perks such as flexible working, free health insurance, and social activities, in order to secure and attract the right talent, and retain their top performers.
Students and candidates who opt to study accountancy through a highly-respected body, such as the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), will gain the vital academic and practical skills needed to succeed and progress in the workplace.