'Busy season' is a dreaded occurrence for even the most seasoned auditors. Thankfully, it doesn’t last forever and now that it’s done and dusted for the year, you may find yourself coming up (or even gasping) for air. If the thought of going through another busy season fills you with dread or you’re simply wanting to test the waters for something new, you are in luck. The job market for audit and accounting professionals is at its peak and the opportunities to find a fulfilling and higher-paying role are like never before.
Let’s look at five critical reasons why.
1. The audit & accounting field is one of the fastest growing job markets in the US
“Employment of accounts and auditors are projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” Bureau of Labor Statistics
In addition to what the Bureau of Labor Statistics is suggesting, the growth of this particular field is closely tied to the overall health of the economy which means that when markets are up, there are even more opportunities for trained professionals who have the skills to prepare and examine financial records. Considering the U.S. has experienced an increase in economic growth over the past four years, there are more audit opportunities for you than ever before with an increase in the salaries companies can now offer for these in-demand skills, meaning your decision to move will most likely get you a healthy wage increase.
2. New compliance standards mean an increase in headcount and hiring
Over the past several years, new compliance standards have taken effect across a range of companies. The result? A need for experts who can assist in assuring their compliance and full transition to new regulations, particularly across revenue recognition and lease accounting standards. This applies to not only those familiar with the policy and procedure behind these regulations but also more technical professionals who can assist with the update and implementation of new technical systems. Research by AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) also states that the unemployment rate in finance and accounting is lower than the national average which supports the fact that employers are actively expanding their headcount.
3. You are no longer the ‘policeman.’ An auditors role is becoming more positive and strategic
One of the most common concerns I hear from audit candidates about making the jump from a consulting role into an internal industry role is about being seen as a negative, 'policeman' figure with internal clients and stakeholders. There has been a significant shift in recent years among the 'policing' perspective, with upper management now being more aware of the value internal auditors can bring to the table with their deep understanding of risks and operations. Today, internal audit can be on the most impactful roles within a business. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) supports this by suggesting an increase of internal audit staffing by 25% and with a 35% increase in budget allocated to it.
4. A booming economy means businesses are launching new revenue-generating initiatives
Strong economic growth also means companies of all industries and sizes are thriving like never before. This creates a window for all auditors, both internal and client-facing to shake up their careers as many businesses are launching new revenue-generating initiatives. The risk attached to new endeavors inevitably means trained professionals like you are required to both assess and monitor these challenges.
5. JCW saw the demand for audit professionals grow at 40% year on year
When we conducted a salary survey on our network and database, we discovered that over the past five years, the candidate population in governance grew rapidly but not enough to meet demand. One of the biggest growths JCW saw was the demand for audit professionals, growing at about 40% year on year which means companies need you. You can download our Salary Survey for all you need to know about salaries, bonuses and the latest skills in demand within audit below.
Wrapping it up
Regardless of what stage you’re at in your career as an auditor, now is the perfect time to strike while the iron’s hot. The audit job market can be a daunting field to navigate with seemingly endless options, but assistance from a recruitment professional who works exclusively in the audit space can make things a lot easier. So if you are interested in a client-facing consulting opportunity with a boutique firm, an external audit position with the Big 4 or an internal audit role with a fortune 100 company, reach out!
What are the biggest obstacles you've faced when looking for a new position in audit and how did you overcome them?
Nicole Weston, Principal Consultant, Audit (USA)
JCW provides recruitment solutions and career advice to professionals in our five job markets. If you are curious about a new job opportunity or seeking to hire for your team, please contact us to see how a consultant in your region can help you today.