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Obvious Figure of the Day: 95% of Hiring Managers Are Having Trouble Finding Finance and Accounting Talent

Fun number of the day: 95%. That’s the percentage of hiring managers in finance and accounting having trouble finding skilled talent according to recent Robert Half research. The figures come from a survey of hiring managers and employees from small (20-249 employees), midsize (250-499 employees) and large (500-plus employees) private, publicly listed and public sector organizations.

First, finance and accounting:

screenshot of Robert Half report on 2023 hiring trends

In words:

Hiring outlook: Two-thirds of hiring managers in finance and accounting seek talent for new roles, and 32% are focused on staffing vacated roles. At the same time, 95% said they face difficulty locating skilled talent available for hire. This is not surprising in a field where unemployment rates for many in-demand roles trend well below the national average. For example, according to data from the BLS, the unemployment rate for accountants and auditors is 0.9%, and for financial clerks, it’s just 0.3%.

Employment outlook: 41% of finance and accounting professionals are either looking for a new job now or plan to launch their search by year-end. For 55% of workers in this field, the top reason to pursue a new role is a higher salary. Also, about one-third (34%) of professionals surveyed said they seek remote work options. If you’re an employer, note that offering flexible work could help you boost hiring and retention of these workers.

Now let’s talk about broader hiring trends. All hiring managers surveyed reported similar difficulty finding skilled talent, only 2% less across all professional fields compared to finance and accounting. You’ll note “eliminating roles” doesn’t appear at all in the finance and accounting group so that’s nice.

screenshot of Robert Half report on 2023 hiring trends

Let’s compare this to figures on the US talent market in 2022 and the first half of 2023 shared by Robert Half in February:

Companies’ Plans for Hiring Permanent Staff


Back in our corner of the world, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of accountants and auditors to grow four percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Prior to this, BLS projected 10 percent growth (faster than average) for accountants and auditors for the period from 2016-2026. BLS acknowledges in its forecast that technological change is expected to affect the role of accountants in the next nine years but is not expected to reduce overall demand. “The automation of routine tasks, such as data entry, will instead make accountants’ advisory and analytical duties more prominent,” says BLS in its ten-year outlook.

Seeing as we’re in the earliest stages of the glorious AI-driven future, it looks like talent will continue to be a problem for finance and accounting departments everywhere at least for the near-term.

New Data Provides Insight on U.S. Hiring and Employment Trends [Robert Half]

Earlier: Robert Half Reports Finance and Accounting Talent is in High Demand (Duh)



3 thoughts on “Obvious Figure of the Day: 95% of Hiring Managers Are Having Trouble Finding Finance and Accounting Talent

  1. I highly disagree with this article.I am a freelance bookkeeper that has seen a steady decline in clients and accountants need for bookkeeping in the last 6-12 months. I spend the time I use to do bookkeeping now doing advertising and marketing.
    Where are the accountants that use to employ bookkeepers? I use to be so busy and it has dried up.
    Thanks, Kim
    bored bookkeeper

  2. Is not accurate in my experience. Perhaps standards are too high. I have my CPA. Double major in Accounting and Finance.

  3. One thing I’ve noticed is that vacancy announcements for these types of roles are really badly done. These employers want too much for what they’re willing to pay. For instance, they will ask for someone with a Bachelor’s in accounting, CPA preferred, with a minimum of 5 years experience, with an offered starting salary of $55K. What a joke. Almost no one with those qualifications is going to want to accept such a lousy salary. These employers need to get more realistic. Either pay market value for these people, or drastically lower your expectations for what you want. You get what you’re willing to pay for.

    I feel a big part of the problem is that so many job vacancy announcements are probably written by HR people who don’t have a clue about the accounting/finance profession and so they don’t realize that they’re asking for applicants who are much more qualified than what they’re willing to pay.

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