Companies moving beyond traditional accounting skills and seeking for candidates with an aptitude for analysis

natiya-saul

“During 2021, we have seen more hiring activity for accounting and finance in ESB, compared to the year before, as many companies learnt to cope with the pandemic and were more familiar with it compared to before.

As a result, companies continued to hire to suit their business needs. We also saw companies recruiting for new positions, which was very rare in 2020, when it was solely for replacement hires,” confirms Natiya Saul, Director of Sales & Marketing and Eastern Seaboard Operation. 

Trends foreseen in 2022 for Accounting & Finance industry 

Since 2021, we started noticing a trend where companies are moving beyond traditional accounting skills and seeking candidates with an aptitude for analysis.

Natiya points out, “We have also observed more companies, particularly from China, entering the market and looking to strengthen their manufacturing bases in Southeast Asia. These companies and their newly established set-ups will be looking for qualified finance and accounting candidates who are dynamic, highly adaptable, and multi-skilled as the demands of Chinese companies differ from those of Western counterparts.” 

Financial planning skills to be in demand 

Looking ahead, companies will be searching for candidates with strong business analysis skills, who can take a holistic view of the businesses they work for and be able to pinpoint areas of improvement from a financial perspective.

Financial planning skills will also be in demand, as COVID-19 has led to high levels of uncertainty, and professionals with such skills will be well-equipped to navigate in such a climate.

“Companies have increased their headcounts for financial planning and analysis roles, and this is expected to continue in 2022 as these professionals would be expected to provide their expertise in assessing financial viability of existing businesses but also of companies that they may be looking to acquire or merge with,” further notes Natiya. 

Flexible arrangements is now a key component for talent, especially since it has been proven that employees are capable of functioning well even outside the office.

Flexible work arrangements will be the most important factor 

In 2022, flexible work arrangement is the most important thing for finance and accounting professionals, as finance departments have shown that they are capable of functioning well even outside of the office, with maintained levels of efficiency and productivity. Hiring managers should take this into consideration, as many employees will be expecting the option to work from their homes.

Furthermore, finance and accounting professionals often need access to companies’ databases and tools – these are required to be made accessible in remote environments if work-from-home arrangements are to continue. The candidate market has been telling us that access to such tools has been limited when working remotely, which shows a lack of trust and makes it harder for employees to do their jobs. Companies will need to pay attention to these concerns and strike a balance between working from home and home access to sensitive financial data.

“Moreover, in the last few years, we have seen many strong candidates change jobs multiple times. We have also seen employers rejecting excellent candidates for interviews because of judgements made to their job-hopping history. We would urge companies not to judge candidates too harshly, as this trend may reflect recent economic and business uncertainties that result in mismatches in job descriptions versus expectations,” shares Natiya. 

Positive salary increases for accounting & finance professionals

It is suggested that companies look at salary adjustments twice a year, instead of just once for high-performing employees. As businesses bounce back, we expect to see at least 4% pay rises for employees who remain in their jobs.

For finance professionals changing jobs, a 20% salary increase for traditional roles and as high as 30% increase for candidates with strong financial analysis skills is expected.

Find out more

Request access to our 2022 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key trends on the Thailand job market. 

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