The economic downturn of the past few years has affected virtually every industry, but the unemployment rate among senior accounting consultants
is significantly lower than the national average across all occupations, according to recent data from Robert Half International.
In a recent interview with Accounting Today, Paul C. McDonald, a senior executive director at Robert Half International, noted that the unemployment rate for senior accountants and auditors is 4.1 percent. This figure is significantly lower than the 7.8 percent rate recorded for the entire labor force in September.
Professionals with technology skills are sought-after in many fields, and those with experience using accounting technology
are no exception—for instance, business systems analysts who collate financial information from reports and place the data into interactive dashboards for analytical purposes.
Those who have strong accounting compliance
skills are also in demand, particularly internal and external auditors familiar with Basel III regulatory standards and the requirements of legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which stiffly regulate goings-on within the financial services industry and public companies.
"The public accounting firms that are doing external audit are going to demand individuals that have financial services experience and audit expertise, but your internal audit departments are going to do a lot of self-policing as a result of Dodd-Frank and Basel III and whatever other regulation is going to come out," McDonald told the news source
In addition to the financial services sector, there is also a particular need for accounting and finance professionals within the healthcare industry, largely due to the upheaval of healthcare reform. Also, the seemingly perennial demand for forensic accountants and auditors appears to be continuing, according to McDonald.Accounting software as an alternative
As well as causing the unemployment rate to take a major hit, the recession has been responsible for many business owners electing to tighten their belts in order to cut costs and mitigate any damaging economic effects on their companies. Those unwilling or unable to bring in accounting consultants may consider turning to accounting software
as a way to streamline their financial processes while ensuring compliance.