The New Year brings new hopes of continued economic recovery and job creation and new research may provide clues as to the positions in demand within the finance, accounting and financial services industries.
According to the 2011 Robert Half Salary Guides, many roles show promise for the coming year with salaries returning to pre-recessionary levels.
Following is an overview of 11 top finance and accounting jobs for 2011:
Commerce & Industry:
1) Financial Accountant – The downturn provided the finance function a seat at the decision-making table, with companies turning to sound financial processes to weather the unstable economic environment. As we emerge, businesses continue to seek candidates who can perform fundamental duties, such as maintaining the general ledger, compiling financial reports and managing cash flow. A qualified financial accountant with 6-9 years of experience in a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) in London can expect to see a salary range between GBP50,000 and GBP55,000.
2) Financial Analyst – As companies are increasingly seeking professionals with strong commerciality and business savvy, financial analysts who can assess borrowing structures to ensure competitive funding costs will be in demand. Individuals with expertise in evaluating financial plans, forecasts and budgets while also displaying exceptional communication skills will be in greatest demand. A financial analyst with 3-5 years of experience at a large company in the Midlands can expect to earn between GBP35,000 and GBP45,000.
3) Credit Controller - Companies need professionals who can contribute to the bottom line by reducing inefficiencies and enhancing profitability. As a result, credit specialists who can assist in the evaluation of credit risk, manage delinquent payments and help improve cash flow are seeing increased opportunity. Base compensation for credit controllers with 3-5 years of experience working at an SME in South Wales will average between GBP14,000 and GBP18,000.
4) Assistant Accountant – With hiring freezes lifting and organisations adding headcount to over-stretched accounting teams, companies are recognising employees by promoting from within. The result is additional opportunity for entry-level roles for individuals displaying exceptional data entry skills and an attention to detail. Assistant accountants are required to match invoices to purchase orders and assist with accounts payable and receivable. Those looking to enter the field with an SME on the South Coast can expect remuneration between GBP17,000 and GBP19,000.
5) Financial Controller – Commerciality and a greater understanding of how the finance function fits within the strategic decision-making process has prompted the need for financial controllers who can plan and direct operational accounting functions, improve efficiencies, evaluate controls and develop business performance metrics while also moving the business forward. A financial controller with 6-9 years of experience at a large company in Northern England will see a base salary between GBP47,000 and GBP55,000.
6) Purchase Ledger Clerk – Challenges in managing cash flow has prompted companies to increasingly rely on credit to ensure business processes remain on track. Purchase ledger clerks have seen increased demand as organisations carefully monitor business records and ensure that they do not default on payments. London-based purchase ledger clerks with 6-9 years of experience at an SME can expect basic compensation in the GBP26,000-GBP27,000 range.
Financial Services & Banking (London City)
7) Regulatory Accountant – A more stringent regulatory environment and greater need for operational transparency has prompted the adoption of consolidated and harmonised compliance controls. While demand for regulatory accountants has increased, supply remains scarce – 16% of UK CFOs report challenges securing compliance skills, well above the global average. Regulatory accountants with 4-7 years of experience should expect to earn between GBP70,000 and GBP90,000 in 2011.
8) Internal Auditors - Audit continues to be in strong demand in the post-recessionary environment, however a shortage of skilled talent exists – one in four UK CFOs report challenges finding audit professionals who can prepare reports, evaluate business processes, improve procedures and perform project management of audit teams. Internal auditors with 1-3 years of post qualification industry experience can expect remuneration in the range of GBP55,000 – GBP65,000.
9) Financial Planning Analyst – With a focus on maximising profitability and identifying emerging trends, financial planning analysts are required to analyse product lines and organisational costs, prepare profit and loss models and perform budget variance and forecasting analysis. Nearly four in 10 (37%) financial services CFOs are challenged in finding qualified accounting and finance staff and a competitive job market means that managers can expect to see base salary in the range of GBP80,000 to GBP90,000.
10) Assistant Management Accountant - The financial services sector is also looking for assistant management accountants with industry experience to help analyse budgets and forecasts as well as provide detailed information and reporting to allow management to make informed business decisions. The role is often held by part-qualified ACCA and CIMA candidates, and with 3-5 years experience, professionals should expect to earn between GBP30,000 and GBP40,000.
11) Client Services – Throughout the banking crisis, the need to provide exceptional client service was never more apparent. As organisations now turn their attention to growth initiatives and revenue generation, client onboarding is increasingly important and demand exists for professionals with exceptional communication and relationship-building skills. Professionals with 4-6 years of experience will be compensated with a base salary between GBP40,000 and GBP55,000.