Accounting and finance trends have evolved a lot over recent years – but how will the market develop further in the months ahead?

Louise Tallboy-Wood, Senior Manager for Part-Qualified Accounting and Finance Recruitment at Walters People, shares the 4 key trends she believes will shape the landscape in 2022.

Certain roles will spike

If you were to look at the market 18 months ago, when businesses had to make cuts, it was unfortunately the FP&A and commercial areas that were making teams leaner. Now, everyone wants to strategise and move forward, so we are seeing a big uplift in these roles now being re-recruited for.

Most areas are increasing in fact – financial analysis, accounts payable, transactional finance and management accounting. These roles are helping with the backlog that the pandemic has brought on, and whilst demand in these areas has always persisted, this has increased significantly since hiring freezes lifted. 

High demand means an increase in salary - and less experience required

Demand for these roles in the current climate means businesses are having to provide a lot more than just a good job advert and flexible working, with competition pushing up salaries like never before. Part-Qualified Management Accountant positions for example  have reached around £40-45k, dependent on experience and location. It really is a great time to look around or benchmark your salary if you feel like you might be underpaid in your current position.

The experience needed for certain roles has also changed – employers once required a minimum of 2 years’ experience for certain roles. Due to the pandemic, that experience is not so readily available as it once was, and businesses must accept that study-support will need to be offered to those with limited practice. 

Employers are more aware of an employee's desire to progress

We are also seeing more employers discuss with candidates what their next level and progression plan will look like at offer stage. This is another way businesses can really prove what they can do for you - and your future career. It is certainly also worth bringing this up during any interviews you may have, as it shows commitment to your potential employer – and they will be looking for candidates that they can retain more than ever. 

Employers are looking for certain skills

One skill we are coming across a lot more is stakeholder management. Having experience of partnering with teams outside of finance is what employers looking for, as it increases confidence and awareness of the business. In addition to this, businesses are looking for the ability to present information in a non-financial way. My advice to candidates is to ask for guidance on how you can best develop on this within the company – whether that be an opportunity to shadow a team member who collaborates with other teams, or reaching out to other departments yourself. Looking beyond the remit of the finance team will really benefit your career in the long-term.

It is also worth mentioning that the ability to present virtually is now extremely important. Even as we go back to working in the office more often, many meetings will still be done virtually. Being able to hold a “virtual room” will be extremely valuable when it comes to showing your knowledge and experience to the wider teams – especially when it comes to communicating with more senior professionals.

Looking to understand your worth in the current part-qualified finance market? Benchmark your salary or pay rate with the 2022 Walters People Pay Guide.

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