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2020 was unlike any other historic market change with so many variables making it near impossible for those working in Accountancy & Finance to make reliable predictions. Yet whilst there has been periods of economic uncertainty over the past 12 months, there has been an unwavering need for qualified accountants. Heightened by demand for newly-qualified accountants who are in the minority due to firms reducing their intake over the past few years.

We recently surveyed thousands of companies and candidates to reveal the most in-demand roles in Accountancy & Finance. Influenced by the shortage and the events of the past twelve months, which has required companies to tighten financial controls to aid recovery from the pandemic, we reveal the five most in-demand roles in order of popularity.

1.     Chief Financial Officer

A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the senior executive responsible for managing the financial actions of a company. They play a vital role in the company’s strategic initiatives. Duties include tracking cash flow and financial planning, alongside analysing the company's financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing corrective actions. They’re responsible for ensuring the company’s financial reports are accurate and completed on time and oversee taxation issues for their companies.

Other Tax professionals that support the role of the CFO are also in high demand as companies strive to ensure their house is in order post-pandemic.

2.     Finance Director – Commercial

As a Finance Director (FD), you need to be an excellent financial analyst who can successfully communicate findings to other board members and the wider company. Commercial finance professionals have an active role in strategic and commercial decision-making. They're responsible for supporting management by providing high-quality analysis, information and forecasting which enables informed decision-making and has a direct impact on the financial performance of a business.

Finance Directors and other similar roles within Financial Analysis are particularly in-demand as companies look to hire analytical minds to help aid recovery and business decisions for the future.

3.     Financial Reporting Accountant

The job of a Financial Reporting Accountant is to oversee a company’s financial reporting processes and procedures to make sure they’re both effective and accurate. A large part of that is producing the financial reports themselves, which include balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash flow statements and statements of stockholders’ equity - following accounting principles. In addition to this, they’ll often be required to communicate and translate financial data for company executives.

4.     Business Partner – Change

The role of the Business Partner in a company experiencing organisational change is to look for opportunities for growth and development through research and observation. Business partners are aligned to and work closely with business leaders to enhance workforce performance and drive efficiencies to ensure the company is making the maximum return-on-investment (ROI).

5.     ERP Change Leader

An ERP is an application that makes use of a central database that receives information from various departments within a company and offers functionality like accounting, inventory management and CRM. As a vital place to store, view, manage and interpret data, changing ERPs can be a difficult but rewarding process. ERP Change Leaders have to work with all parties, including third-party suppliers, employees across departments and management to ensure ERP implementation success.

To discover more insights on the most in-demand roles and average salaries within Professional Services, download a free copy of our 2021 Salary & Benefits Guide.

Are you looking for your next role in Accountancy & Finance? There is high demand for newly qualified accountants, particularly those in audit and/or practice. If you’ve got the skills and qualifications in demand, speak to our specialist Accountancy & Finance recruitment consultants today to discuss your requirements.