'Tis the International Day to Honor Accountants

International Accountants Day

There’s a national or international day of recognition for almost everything — dogs, doughnuts, even redheads.

On Nov. 10, the global community recognizes accounting and finance professionals on International Accountants Day.  

This unofficial holiday is a great reminder of what a good time it is to be in the finance world.

Not only do accountants like their work, but a recent Robert Half study shows that nearly seven in 10 say that even if they could go back in time and choose a different career, they’d stay put.  

For recent graduates to seasoned professionals, accounting and finance careers continue to hold growth, expanding responsibility and impact in today’s global business community.

Why? Here are three reasons:

1. Accountants are doing much more than accounting.

The field is changing, and the interconnected nature of business today means accounting professionals can’t just be number crunchers. They have to have solid communication skills with the ability to put facts and figures into layman’s terms for colleagues and stakeholders.

Possessing soft skills is becoming more important to employers. In hot markets, interpersonal skills can make all the difference when it comes to receiving an offer for many accountants.

Hiring managers are also looking for a certain level of technical expertise in many of the financial areas they hire. As technologies continue to update and expand, businesses struggle to keep pace with the associated risks and opportunities. In response, they’re looking for individuals proficient in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, cloud-computing platforms and information security, integrated financial reporting systems and data-mining tools, as well as those who can help with systems conversion projects.

Accountants with this technical flare serve not only the immediate finance and accounting teams but also as a liaison to other departments within the business, like IT, sales and HR.

2. The size and scope of accounting is growing.

Job growth is the new norm, and accounting and finance professionals feel confident in their career prospects. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows a bright future for accounting and finance professionals, with employment expected to increase 13 percent through 2022. 

To drill down a little deeper, one of the reasons there’s more work is the growing rules and regulations. Since the financial crisis of 2008, and with the additional installments of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), anti-money laundering (AML) laws have added significant reporting and compliance requirements to the running list of regulations that all financial institutions must follow.

Established to prevent those financial crimes spanning securities fraud, market manipulation and the financing of terrorism — all of which are on the rise — the BSA and subsequent AML laws have changed the face of finance and accounting. The cost of not doing business in compliance with these rules and regulations can add up quickly, which means businesses are relying more heavily on their finance and accounting professionals to lead them in this expanding and ever-connected global market.

3. Salaries are on the rise.

Aside from demand, finance and accounting continues to top the list of majors with the highest return on investment. And from 2015 to 2016, finance and accounting salaries are expected to rise anywhere from 4.1 to 5.3 percent, depending on the discipline.

At the top of the positions most in demand and with the most anticipated salary increases are senior tax managers/directors for large, midsize and small firms; compliance officers for large to midsize firms; and compliance analysts.

You can get in the know on the latest hiring trends and job search strategies by downloading the 2016 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance. It includes up-to-date information, including the following:

  • Accounting and finance salary data for more than 400 positions

  • An overview of the current hiring environment

  • Where the jobs will be in the upcoming year

  • The skills in demand now

Whether you’re already working in the accounting field, or you aspire to, don’t forget to thank your accounting colleagues and connections on this International Accounting Day — and the rest of the year, too. Business simply could not run without them.

Do you want to stay competitive in today's career environment? Check out Robert Half's e-learning program.

Related Resources

5 Surprising Facts About the Accounting Profession

Brittney MurrayBrittney Murray is a recruiting manager for Robert Half Finance & Accounting in Raleigh, NC. She also consults, instructs and speaks on marketing topics, including social media management, digital marketing and branding. Her Twitter handle is @brittjanelle87.