Demand for early career accountants has increased by 20% in the last 12 months, according to new data released by specialist accounting talent advisory and recruitment firm Barden. Defined as accountants with 3-5 years post-qualification experience (PQE), the demand for early career accountants is being driven by finance teams restructuring and reshaping themselves for the future.
At present, finance managers, finance business partners and senior financial accountants are amongst the most sought-after talent in organisations big and small. Practical accounting skills remain important but increasingly CFOs are prioritising candidates with people skills; such as the ability to influence others, to lead others, to lead change programmes, and the ability to communicate financial information to non-financial people.
Elaine Brady, Managing Partner, Barden Leinster said
“It has been widely reported in recent months that greater attention needs to be devoted to the development of softer skills, the sorts of skills that early career professionals have not had the opportunity to develop as effectively during COVID. We are seeing this on the ground, and increasingly it is these core skills that differentiate who is promoted/hired and who is not.”
This increased demand contrasts with a similar decline in available talent driven by two key factors. The first of these is a significant uptick in the number of early career professionals relocating oversees/travelling post pandemic, with the duration of their stays extending well beyond the 12-18 month mark. The second of these is a divergence in the opportunities available for accountants at this early career level as firms diversify their service lines and finance project and transformation opportunities increase in frequency.
These findings come as Barden announces a new three year agreement to support the Chartered Accountants Ireland Young Professionals group. The partnership will ensure those a few years into their careers as ACAs have access to the most up to date marketplace intelligence and expertise they need, awareness of future trends and opportunities as they come down the tracks, and what these mean for their career.
Commenting, Sinead Donovan, President of Chartered Accountants Ireland said
“Today’s announcement represents a significant enhancement of the supports available to early career accountants. Supporting the next generation as they enter the profession and build their careers was my priority when I became President. When we see a 20% increase in demand for talent coupled with a decline in available talent, it’s clear that there is something amiss.
“Part of this is better communicating exactly what we do in our profession. It is not just the traditional accounting skills anymore, it is the people skills, the non-financial reporting expertise and so much more. Our annual student recruitment campaign, underway at the moment, very much reflects this focus. We are delighted to partner with Barden to help the next generation access these opportunities.”
Elaine Brady, Managing Partner, Barden Leinster concluded
“Our partnership with Young Professionals cements our commitment to Chartered Accountants Ireland members and signals our confidence in the future of the profession. Over the coming years we hope that our insights, data and collective experience will help enable early career members to make better, more tactical decisions about their professional future. That’s what makes this partnership so important.”
Today’s announcement marks the expansion of an already existing partnership between Barden and Chartered Accountants Ireland to support trainees and young members as they move through the early stages of their careers. This partnership commenced in 2018 with Barden’s sponsorship of the Leinster Society annual salary survey and was further expanded in 2020 via sponsorship of the Chartered Accountants Student Society.
About Chartered Accountants Ireland
Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s leading professional accountancy body, representing over 31,700 members around the world and educating 7,000 students. The Institute aims to create opportunities for members and students, and ethical, sustainable prosperity for society. An all-island body, Chartered Accountants Ireland was established by Royal Charter in 1888 and now has members in more than 90 countries. It is a founding member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, the international network of over one million chartered accountants. It also plays key roles in the Global Accounting Alliance, Accountancy Europe and the International Federation of Accountants.
Chartered Accountants Ireland members provide leadership in business, the public sector and professional practice, bringing experience, expertise, and strict standards to their work for, and with, businesses in every sector. Chartered Accountants Ireland engages with governments, policy makers and regulators on key issues affecting the profession and the wider economy.
Barden is a partner led expert recruitment firm consumed with supporting companies that really know the value of their people. Barden’s expertise covers Accounting, Finance, Tax, Legal and Financial Services recruitment. Our people are trained/qualified in their expert areas, and our approach is consultative not transactional.
Barden has partnered with the Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society, for the last six years, to bring you the annual salary survey. Barden also works closely with Chartered Accountants Student Society of Ireland (CASSI) to make sure their members get access to the right information, at the right time so when they qualify they can make the right decisions about their professional future.