Accountancy Jobs Market 2024: A Thriving Landscape for Qualified Professionals

5 Mins

The accountancy industry has consistently demonstrated its resilience and adaptability in th...

The accountancy industry has consistently demonstrated its resilience and adaptability in the face of economic challenges, and 2023 was no exception. Despite global economic uncertainties, the demand for qualified accountants remained strong, with a persistent shortage of candidates fuelling competitive hiring practices and salary growth.​High Demand for TalentAcross all core areas of accountancy, from audit and tax to financial reporting and management consulting, there was a palpable demand for skilled professionals. This pervasive demand extended beyond traditional industries, with the IT sector emerging as a significant driver of hiring activity. Big Tech companies, though less aggressive in their recruitment compared to previous years, continued to expand their financial teams, and smaller tech firms within the AI and other tech sectors were also actively seeking accountants.​Salary Inflation and Permanent OpportunitiesThe tight labour market translated into significant salary increases for accountants. Most jobs experienced a 5-7.5% boost in compensation throughout 2023, and this trend is expected to continue into 2024. The heightened demand for permanent staff has put candidates in a strong bargaining position, enabling them to negotiate favourable compensation packages and seek out opportunities that align with their career goals.​Embracing Remote WorkThe accountancy profession is well-suited for remote work arrangements, and the industry has embraced this flexibility with open arms. Approximately 90% of the accountancy jobs Sigmar have recruited for offer some form of hybrid working, allowing professionals to maintain a healthy work-life balance and expand their geographic options.​Temporary Market ResilienceWhile the first half of 2023 saw a slowdown in the number of temporary and contract positions, the second half witnessed a notable rebound. Multinational corporations (MNCs) in the tech/software/pharma sectors were particularly active in hiring contractors, boding well for the temporary market in 2024.​Salary Premium for ContractorsContract roles continue to offer a substantial salary premium compared to permanent positions, often 10-20% higher. This premium is attributed to the flexibility and reduced overhead costs associated with contractor engagements.​Hybrid Working Preferred by Both PartiesCompanies seeking to hire contractors often prioritize those willing to embrace a hybrid work arrangement, typically a 3/2 split between remote and office-based work. This flexibility is appealing to both employers and contractors, as it allows for better focus, productivity, and work-life balance.In summary, the accountancy jobs market in 2023 was characterized by strong demand, salary growth, and a growing preference for remote work. With the temporary market rebounding and contractors commanding a significant salary premium, the outlook for qualified accountants remains exceptionally positive. As the industry continues to evolve and adapt to technological advancements, accountants who possess strong technical skills and a commitment to continuous learning will be well-positioned to thrive in this dynamic and rewarding field.