Finance & Accounting (F&A) leaders need a solid understanding of where their industry is headed and what technological and economic factors are at play in order to craft an adaptable and effective hiring strategy in 2023.
As companies move into the digital age and AI adoption grows, the role of finance will shift. As a result, skill needs will change and hiring managers will need to reshape their current teams. Leaders will be challenged with adapting and building for what’s now and next while staying within the financial limits of their organization.
Here’s what’s next in F&A and what hiring trends we’ll see in 2023:
Historically, F&A functions have been primarily retroactive, focusing on budgeting, reporting, and ensuring books are balanced. As more activities become automated or enhanced by AI, finance tasks will shift to include scenario planning, advanced forecasting, and improved visualization.
Finance leaders can expect to take on a larger role in business decisions and planning and will be looked to for “just in time” information delivery, analysis, and storytelling through data. Teams will spend less time preparing data for analysis and more time drawing conclusions and crafting recommendations to improve business performance.
F&A leaders should ensure their teams are prepared to work alongside AI and machine learning and focus on hiring digitally adept talent with strong business acumen, according to Deloitte. Soft skills like cross functional collaboration, customer service, flexibility will be in high demand and are already in short supply.
Talent shortages and increasing salary ranges are not new news, but these factors will still create challenges for F&A leaders throughout 2023. Finance leaders will continue to face challenges when it comes to attracting, hiring, and retaining the skillsets needed to meet business goals.
The Washington Post explains the F&A worker shortage as a supply and demand issue, especially when it comes to Accountants. Fewer and fewer students are enrolling in Accounting courses, leading to less candidates sitting for the CPA exam, which results in a smaller number of available talent. This creates a tight market for hiring new talent and contributes to difficulties with retention. The retirement of baby boomers, talent shortages, and changing demands for F&A teams leads to higher burnout and exhaustion of currently employed F&A talent, prompting career changes or shifts – and more talent shortages.
Salary increases have been accelerated by the Great Resignation and the constant demand for F&A professionals across all industries. Candidates have bargaining power and will choose jobs and employers that meet their expectations in terms of flexibility, compensation, and impact.
Workforce experts advise leaders to anchor salary decisions in data and the overall market to attract and win top talent and warn that prolonging the hiring process in search of the “perfect” hire runs the risk of losing top talent, regardless of compensation offered.
Finance & Accounting managers should be prepared for a challenging hiring process and stiff competition for in demand skills. To mitigate the effects of a difficult talent search, many F&A leaders are turning to outsourcing and contingent talent to get work done until a full-time hire is made. By the end of this year, 70% of businesses will outsource some or all their accounting and finance tasks.
$4.35 million. That was the average cost of a data breach last year, not factoring in non-monetary costs like damage to brand, reputation, and customer trust.
Maintaining the confidentiality of F&A information is crucial. Sensitive and private information like wages, earnings, losses, and taxes must be protected according to regulations and security best practices. Unauthorized access to this data can not only damage a company's image but result in loss of business, or judicial action and fines.
Emphasis will be placed on data privacy, data management and storage, and compliance and will bring an increased need for technical F&A talent and team members that can work cross functional across the business.
A top goal in 2023 will be to continue the movement toward hardening access to company data. Security measures such as multi-factor identification, encryption, and security awareness training will be prioritized. F&A teams will work closely with security and technology teams to modify processes and move towards compliance.
With CFOs and Finance leaders focused on large scale projects like digital transformation and privacy regulations, hiring and retaining the right people is more critical than ever.
Over the past 3 years, the talent market has seen record levels of turnover, sky-high compensation rates, and labor shortages that just won’t let up. The pandemic and Great Resignation have created a favorable environment for candidates. Leveraging the heightened demand for their skills, candidates have been able to be more selective and choose employment arrangements that suit their needs in the way of flexibility, compensation, benefits, projects, and more.
The state of the labor market coupled with economic uncertainty has led to an increase in demand for contract talent. Utilizing contract or contingent talent allows leaders to add necessary skillsets and bandwidth to their teams within their organization's current headcount and budget constraints. F&A leaders unlock an expanded talent pool, reduce onboarding requirements, and decrease ramp up time with outsourced contract hiring.
The F&A areas with the highest use of contractors are:
F&A leaders can expect the most competition when hiring for manager level roles, accountants, and analysts. Right now, the five most in-demand Finance & Accounting roles are:
If you’re having trouble filling your open Finance & Accounting roles you’re not alone. 89% of hiring managers have reported facing challenges finding and hiring skilled talent. F&A is seeing growth overall with 62% of managers hiring new roles leading to increased demand in an already tight market.
Hiring slowdowns can become major business blockers as the finance function shifts and grows this year. Get ahead by crafting a plan for your F&A team using this framework:
If gauging long-term skill needs or deciding what roles and job titles are the best choice for your team is challenging, seasoned experts can be valuable partners. Reach out to other colleagues in the industry or lean on workforce experts, like our tenured teams, to provide guidance on role titles, leveling, and long-term strategy.
As the pace of digital transformation increases, competition for finance & accounting talent with digital skills is more fierce than ever. In 2023, business leaders are turning to contract talent to keep projects moving. Partner with our workforce experts to hire who it takes.