Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide for the accounting and finance profession offers specialized consultants insight into where their skills and expertise might be needed in the coming year.
National average starting compensation for all accounting and finance occupations in Canada is expected to rise 3.1 per cent in 2017.
Among the roles likely to see the biggest increases in base pay next year are positions that employers often staff as consultant jobs.
Research for the Salary Guide suggests that the current shortage of highly skilled accounting and finance job candidates will persist in the year ahead. Employers are increasing salaries and bonuses as a way to attract and retain top talent in this challenging hiring landscape. However, even though offering a more generous compensation package can provide employers a competitive advantage, it does not solve the basic supply-and-demand challenge many companies face when trying to fill open roles.
That’s why many employers make consultant jobs a part of the overall staffing management plan for their accounting and finance organization. Businesses large and small are finding that many positions don’t require a full-time hire and are better covered by interim team members, such as consultants.
They are also engaging expert consultants for special projects requiring hard-to-find subject-matter expertise and other critical initiatives of limited duration. Some also rely on interim management consultants during a lengthy hiring process.
Following is a quick overview of in-demand roles featured in the latest Salary Guide that could also be consultant jobs.
Chief financial officer
In recent years, many CFOs have seen their influence expand beyond the accounting and finance function. As the CFO’s role continues to increase in importance in many organizations, starting compensation for this role is growing, too, according to research for the Salary Guide.
When fast-growing companies realize it’s time to take a more strategic approach with their finances, many decide to bring on a finance director to help them set long-term business goals.
Companies need senior accountants to handle everything from preparing budgets to reconciling account balances. The Salary Guide reports that many employers specifically seek senior accountants who have strong general accounting abilities, proficiency with Excel and excellent soft skills.
Financial and business analysts
Organizations need financial analysts and similar specialists to help them identify opportunities to reduce expenses and increase sales and profits. Business analyst will be one of the hottest positions in the accounting and finance profession next year, too, according to the guide.
With regulatory compliance demands on the rise both north and south of the border, many organizations, especially financial institutions, are bringing in compliance experts to offer objective evaluations of their operations. Consultants with compliance expertise can help recommend ways to improve compliance processes and keep related expenses in check.
The increasingly complex regulatory environment is also driving demand for internal auditors. Another factor: Companies are launching new revenue-generating initiatives and need internal auditors to help them assess and monitor the risks of these new ventures.
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