Julia Irvine 11 Oct 2018 11:07am

Accountants in demand in jobs market

The pre-Brexit professional jobs market may be under pressure but for those working in technical accounting and finance – particularly at partner level – there is a jobs bonanza going on

The demand for accountants with expert technical knowledge is being driven both by companies’ focus on tightening financial controls and by the changes in international financial reporting standards, including IFRS 9, Financial Instruments, IFRS 15, Revenue From Contracts with Customers, and IFRS 16, Leases.

The first two standards came into operation for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018 and IFRS 16 will be effective from 1 January 2019.

“Institutions that are moving operations to Dublin and Frankfurt are hiring in spades for stakeholder relationship management, control budgeting and forecasting,” said Hakan Enver, managing director of professional services recruiter Morgan McKinley Financial Services.

According to the latest Morgan McKinley employment monitor, the demand for such experts has resulted in an average salary increase of 20% for those who moved firms in September.

Elsewhere there is not much to cheer. The employment monitor reveals that the ongoing uncertainty about the economic landscape after the UK has left the EU, combined with the continuing high temperatures in the UK, resulted in a 2% fall in the number of professional jobs available in September – traditionally one of the high performing jobs months of the year.

Enver puts the fall down in part to a change in holiday patterns, with staycationers choosing to take advantage of the uncharacteristically warm weather and delaying their summer breaks until September.

However, he blames the political and policy disarray over the Brexit negotiations for putting employers off more active reruiting.

“The Cabinet appears to be spending considerably more time fighting one another than fighting for a good Brexit deal,” he said. “It’s time for the British Bulldog to wake up and get to work.”

While a 2% fall might not seem overly dramatic, the year-on-year decrease, at 38% is more worrying.

The number of professionals seeking jobs also fell during September, by 19% month-on-month and by 35% year-on-year.