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Most Accounting and Finance Workers Express Confidence in Career Opportunities This Year

Latest Accounting and Finance Employment Report from Spherion Corp reveals two-thirds of accounting and finance workers in the U.S. are confident in their ability to find a new job this year.

June 21, 2007
Sponsored by Spherion Professional Services

by Brendan Courtney, senior vice president, Professional Services Group

Nearly two-thirds of accounting and finance workers in the U.S. are confident in their ability to find a new job this year if they desired to do so, according to the most recent Accounting and Finance Employment Report from Spherion Corp.

The Spherion survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, was conducted in the first quarter of 2007. The survey found that 63 percent of accounting and finance workers are confident in their ability to find a new job and 68 percent have confidence in the future of their current employer.

These survey findings indicate more confidence from accounting and finance workers than in the overall U.S. workforce. For example, while 32 percent of accounting and finance workers believe there will be more jobs available to them this year, only 26 percent of the total U.S. workforce expressed that optimism. And although 63 percent of accounting and finance workers said they were confident in their ability to find a new job in today’s economy, 59 percent of the overall U.S. workforce voiced the same confidence.

This confidence in career opportunities is well-grounded in the fact that the unprecedented demand we saw for CPAs in 2006 has not let up this year. It continues to be an extremely competitive environment for finding, recruiting, landing and retaining skilled talent.

In particular, there are three significant market trends that are driving this attractive employment outlook for accounting and finance workers in 2007:

  • Alternative Assets
    We’re seeing strong demand for accounting and finance workers in the alternative asset management niche. This includes hedge funds, private equity funds, “fund of funds” organizations and other similar financial services companies. As these employers continue to grow in assets under management, their accounting and finance needs will likely increase as the year progresses. This is an important new development in the U.S. economy that provides structural support for strong finance job growth.
  • Project Management Professionals
    An extremely active job category for 2007 continues to be the demand for project managers at financial services organizations. This includes key functions in companies such as business analysis, process improvement and systems integration. With more robust growth in the economy last year — and strong profits to re-invest in their businesses — many financial services companies are implementing new projects and strategic initiatives in 2007. These new business ventures require the expertise of project managers — including those with strong backgrounds in accounting and finance — to ensure they are properly designed, deployed and delivered.
  • Increase in Scope of A&F Jobs
    A third market dynamic that is fueling our 2007 forecast is the fact that we are seeing a general workforce trend toward an increase in the scope of accounting and finance jobs. Accounting workers are no longer being asked to just keep their heads down and stick to the numbers in the spreadsheets; their role is growing to take on more responsibilities in new areas of the organization. For example, there are currently a number of “hybrid” positions open for accounting and finance workers at a number of major East Coast employers. These jobs require knowledge of the fundamental accounting skills and professional responsibilities, and they also include high-level financial analysis and the execution of special projects.

On top of these considerations, we’re still seeing strong demand for CPAs of all experience levels and internal auditors who can assist with financial reporting compliance. The convergence of these market factors lead us to believe that the remainder of 2007 will be another very strong year for the U.S. accounting and finance workforce.

It’s a good time to be a CPA, and the confidence expressed by accounting and finance workers in the most recent Spherion survey is soundly rooted in a very favorable employment outlook.

For more information, visit Spherion.