Accounting and financial services have a positive employment outlook.
Accounting and financial services have a positive employment outlook. Think Stock

The job numbers look good for financial services

THE numbers around employment opportunities in accounting and financial services look positive, provided you have a proven track record and high-level experience.

Recruiting experts Hays Accountancy and Finance say permanent employment expectations are rising in accountancy firms, with recently qualified senior accountants topping their most recent list of skills in demand for professional practice.

Susan Drew, regional director of Hays Accountancy and Finance said that as firms add to their teams, senior finance professionals are seeing demand for their skills rise.

"Many professional practice employers previously held off recruiting or were utilising a temporary staffing resource, but are now making a permanent hire," Ms Drew said.

"However employers are maintaining high expectations when they recruit and will wait for the highest quality candidate to become available - both in terms of technical and soft skills."

The most sought after candidates are those senior accountants who have recently qualified as competition with the commercial sector is high.

"Professional practice employees who can process, bill and bring new business to a firm are especially in demand. Companies are only recruiting experienced candidates who can hit the ground running," Ms Drew said.

"Client-facing skills are very much in demand as employers lack the time and resources to train staff.

"There is a particular shortage of candidates with the appropriate technical as well as communication skills, and employers are finding it a challenge to source talent with these softer skills."

If you're at the other end of the career spectrum, and looking to make a start in accounting, hopefully you're already studying an accounting, commerce or business qualification.

If not, you probably should be.

An accounting degree is not, however, a requirement to becoming a chartered practising accountant - a background in mathematics or accounting is of course helpful, but the aim of the CPA program is to instil the required skills and knowledge to forge a successful career in professional accounting.