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Here’s Another Article That Says Public Accounting Is Where It’s At

Just what public accounting doesn't need, another pro-public article touting the low unemployment rate and relatively high opportunities available to those with degrees in accounting. Forgive me for being too lazy to look up an actual number at this moment but I believe the last statistic was 3.5% or something – which means most of you with half a brain in your heads can manage to stay employed even in this economy. Does that mean public accounting is the recession-proof career for everyone? I doubt it.

This comes via Monster:

Hot Skills for 2012

The people most likely to be successful in landing a finance, accounting or financial services job in 2012 include:

  • Financial analysts who combine strategic vision with cost-monitoring and presentation skills. “We see 4 percent salary increases across the board for financial and business analysts and senior accountants,” Sutton says. 
  • Business analysts with IT slants like experience with ERP and financial accounting systems. “It’s a combination that’s about as recession-proof as you can get,” Ruffini says.
  • Compliance pros, especially those who’ve worked under the Basel credit standards and are familiar with the Dodd-Frank banking legislation. They should see raises of 5 percent to 8 percent in 2012, Sutton predicts.
  • Senior public accountants specializing in forensic accounting, financial planning or taxes as well as accountants with advanced degrees, says James Metzler, vice president of small-firm interests for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  • Legal professionals who can help banks fight lawsuits filed by consumers and regulators in the wake of the financial crisis, says Sam Garcia, publisher of

So if you are a financial analyst who knows Basel with a MAcc, you're pretty much the luckiest worker out there if you believe the article.

I found the next bit particularly interesting:

Public Accounting Is Back

Small and mid-sized public accounting firms made big cuts during the recession, driving many accounting jobs to the corporate sector, Metzler says. Now, public accounting firms are looking to upgrade their staff, creating openings in higher-level accounting jobs.

They’re promoting from within and recruiting from other firms, Metzler says. “Forensic accounting, financial planning and taxes are really hot as the government continues to ratchet up the complexity of the tax code,” he says.

Hiring is robust at the big public accounting firms, where experts in international financial reporting standards are particularly in demand, he says.

What do they mean by public accounting being "back" anyway? Where did it go? Obvious hiccups like Lehman aside, it makes sense that in an era of creative accounting and financial doom the accountants would be the ones to thrive. Accounting firms have ALWAYS promoted from within and recruited from other firms, I'm not sure why this is newsworthy.