September 20, 2019

Robert Half

It Takes Four to Five Weeks to Fill Vacant Finance and Accounting Positions

According to new survey results published today from Robert Half Finance & Accounting, it takes an average of four weeks to fill open staff-level accounting and finance jobs and five weeks for management-level positions. But hiring managers need to move fast not only because it can be challenging to be short-staffed during that stretch, but because top candidates […]

Robert Half’s Guide To Getting Hired in 2014 (Or, Alternatively, How Not to Totally Blow It)

Robert Half recently posted some rules for getting hired this year, most of which should be really obvious to anyone with even 3/10ths of a functioning brain but hey, I guess we need to cover all the bases. DO Be prepared for the interview: Research the company and explore its website and social media presence. Here you will […]

Here’s a Fancy Picture About Projected Accountant Salaries for 2014

Thanks, Becker and Robert Half!   The fine print: * Example only.** Large public accounting firms/companies = $250 million + in sales. Salary does not reflect overtime or bonuses which may represent significant portions of compensation for some positions.*** CPAs may earn up to 10% over peers without professional designations.**** Advanced degrees or professional certifications […]

Do Women in Accounting Really Have More Opportunities Than They Did Ten Years Ago?

The spinmeisters at Bob Half are saying yes:  The career outlook for women in finance and accounting has improved over the past decade, suggests a new survey from global staffing firm Robert Half. More than four in 10 (42 percent) chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said the ability of women in the finance field to […]

God Only Knows Why Most Companies Still Manually Reconcile General Ledger Accounts

A recent report released by Robert Half and the Financial Executives Research Foundation found that "nearly two-thirds of finance departments in US companies and one-half in Canadian companies" are manually still reconciling general ledger accounts.  That seems like a lot! But Roberto Halfo says it's biz as ushe:    "The level of manual reconciliation reported in our survey […]

Latest CFO Survey Results Reveal a Whole Lot of Information That Will Make You Shrug with Indifference

Take it away, Robert Half!  In the latest survey, 5% of executives said they plan to add personnel and 6% said they expect job cuts in accounting and finance. In other words, everyone's just sitting around like boobs. What else is going on? Finding the right people is hard! Finding qualified talent remains a problem […]

Those Annoying Recruiter Calls Might Be Slowing Down Next Quarter

In a few weeks, many of you plugging along through busy season will decide to call those incessant recruiters back and test the job market. Last week's report by Robert Half and published in the Journal of Accountancy miiiiight rain on your parade, at least in the short term.  Ninety-one percent of CFOs said they don’t expect […]

Global Robert Half Study Reveals Financial Executives Are Trippin’ Over Retaining Talent

Forgive me for suggesting this to (alleged) financial professionals but perhaps if they treated their current talent like, well, talent as opposed to third-rate street whores, they might not have this problem. One need look no further than the comment section on any of our salary posts to find warranted discontent, anger, frustration and threats of exodus.

The Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor was developed by Robert Half International and is based on surveys conducted by independent research firms. The study, focusing on hiring difficulties, retention concerns and business confidence, includes responses from more than 6,000 financial leaders across 19 countries.

Here are the key findings:

• Two-thirds, 67 percent, of financial leaders reported at least some level of recruiting difficulty. Approximately one out of five (19 percent) respondents said it is very challenging to find skilled accounting and finance professionals today.

• Retention concerns are rising. Globally, 56 percent of executives said they are either very or somewhat concerned about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the year ahead. This is an 11-point jump from the 2010 survey.

• In the United States, 43 percent of executives cited worries about keeping their best people. This is up from 28 percent in 2010.

• Eighty-nine percent of respondents reported being at least somewhat confident in their organization’s growth prospects for the coming year.

Survey nerds can dig deeper into the research highlights or data tables for more information.

More disturbing, retention issues seem to be a globally pervasive issue. More than half of executives, 56 percent, said they are very or somewhat concerned about losing valued employees to other opportunities in the coming year. This compares to 45 percent who cited retention concerns in the 2010 survey.

In some countries, the results were much higher. The number of executives worried about keeping key employees is up 16 points in Singapore, for example; 91 percent of respondents there said they see retention as an issue. In Hong Kong and Brazil, 88 percent and 85 percent of financial leaders, respectively, noted retention concerns.

What this means, of course, is that if any of you are desperate for work and somewhat decent at your jobs, you might want to look into tapping these markets. Despite what the IASB may like you to think, U.S. GAAP isn’t dead and knowledge of it is still a marketable skill, though a decent command of international standards will obviously benefit you more going forward.

Or turn your keepers’ fears into a tool to be leveraged and get yourselves raised up to at least second-rate street whore. Stranger things have happened.

Robert Half Offers New Rules for the Digital Age

Some business etiquette rules in this day and age are common sense (which we hope most of you have at least a little of): tweet as if your boss is watching, don’t threaten to stab your senior on Facebook (especially if said senior is in your friends list), and don’t leave a miserable trail of bad behavior behind on your company laptop when you leave the company.

For everything else that isn’t so clear, Robert Half offers Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age, tips and tricks for polishing up your online persona. Here are a few sticky etiquette questions and answers to whet your palate:

Can Facebook postings hurt my job search?

A good rule of thumb is to always post prudently: If you don’t want your employer to see it, get rid of it. A recent survey by our firm revealed that 44 percent of executives review the Facebook presence of potential hires. Even if your account is just for fun, keep it in check. To put your Facebook on a privacy lockdown, click on the drop-down “Account” menu in the top right corner and select “Privacy Settings.” Keep in mind that Facebook may change its privacy features at any time, and you might not be aware of the changes when they occur. Always assume that anything you post online may become public.

Should I friend my boss or coworkers?

This is the $64,000 question, and the feelings of those on the receiving end may provide the answer. (See “Thinking About ‘Friending’ Your Boss on Facebook?” on Page 10 of Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age.) If you do connect, utilize privacy settings and different friend lists to control how — and with whom — you share content. Be sensitive to your professional environment: some industries or companies are much more engaged in digital networking than others. If you’re starting a new job, take your cue from others before sending out “friend” requests to your new colleagues.

How responsive should I be to e-mail when I’m on vacation?

It depends on whether you want to have a real vacation. If your “Out of Office” says you’re not checking e-mail on vacation, don’t check and respond to messages. Doing so changes expectations and implies you’re more accessible than you said you’d be. Instead, be considerate to others’ needs while you are out and list a back-up contact in your Out of Office auto response.

We especially like that last one. Remember, being professional isn’t the same as being a bitch, and you are allowed to set reasonable boundaries without giving your partners a stroke while they fume over those damn incorrigible Gen Y kids taking over the office. And if anyone tells you differently, you send them our way and we’ll set them straight.

You can download Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age via Robert Half.

CFOs Return to Pessimism on the Hiring Front

This story is republished from CFOZone, where you’ll find news, analysis and professional networking tools for finance executives.

More bad news on the hiring front, as CFOs say they are less likely to hire people now than they were three months ago.

According to the latest quarterly Robert Half Financial Hiring Index, six percent of chief financial officers said they plan to hire full-time accounting and finance employees during the third quarter of 2010.

In the prior survey conducted three months ago, seven percent of CFOs indicated they planned to add full-time accounting and finance employees during the second quarter. At the time, the folks at Robert Half celebrated the fact this was the highest hiring forecast since the first quarter of 2009.

Well, that party was short-lived.


Meanwhile, in the latest survey, nine percent of CFOs said they anticipate staff reductions. This is up from eight percent in the prior quarterly survey.

Add it up, and CFOs are more pessimistic now than they were three months ago. Not a recipe for bringing down the nation’s stubbornly high unemployment rate.

And accounting was supposed to be the good profession to go into because it is supposedly growing. Oh well.

Of course, the folks at Robert Half-an employment agency–put a positive spin on its results, asserting: “CFOs remain optimistic about the outlook for their businesses.”

The reality is – the job picture in this country is bleak and possibly getting worse. There is not one report out there that suggests companies are ready to unleash their HR departments.

In fact, the government’s recent report – which President Obama inexplicably predicted several days earlier would be strong – found that nearly half the unemployed have been out of work at least six months.

Even the teaching profession – long considered recession resistant and secure – is experiencing massive layoffs nationwide. Only a wage freeze movement is preventing even more teachers from losing their jobs.

Ultimately, companies need to see a connection between hiring more people and growing their business for them to decide to add to staff.

Increasing their taxes and piling more and more regulatory and policy mandates on them is certainly not going to entice companies to hire more people.

Women Accountants Earn 60% Less Than Men in UK

Somehow female accountants over 45 in the UK earn 60% less than their male counterparts. The disparity is so ridiculous it defies understanding, but according to a study conducted by the ICAEW and Robert Half, men earn more than women at all stages of their careers and the gap widens with increased experience. This finding is consistent with the 2008 report. So ladies, if you’re on the partner track and thinking, “London might nice,” we’d advise against it. As for our female readers from the UK, you can always jump the pond, we’d love to have you here …


From the report:

Overall, male [Associate Chartered Accountants] are better remunerated than females – an average basic salary of £88,200 for males (median £76,000) is almost 50% higher than their female colleagues’ average of £60,500 (median £53,000) (Fig 3). The average male salary is up by 7% on last year, females by 10%. However, the average bonus of £24,700 for males has dropped slightly compared to last year, while that of their female colleagues, at £11,600, has increased by 33% (median £6,900 males and £2,400 females). The bonus received by male ACAs represents 28% of average basic salary, while females received only 19%.

The differential reflects in part at least that male ACAs are typically older (46 against 40 for females), longer qualified (18 and 14 years respectively) and more likely to be in a permanent full-time role (88% and 72%). They also spend longer hours at work (45 v 38 hours per week).

It’s especially cute how this is “in part” chalked up to age and experience. It would probably be terribly bad form for the ICAEW and Robert Half to come right out and say that the difference in average pay is say, absolutely ridiculous and blatant evidence of patriarchal institutions exhibiting clear gender bias when it comes to compensation.

ICAEW/Robert Half Career Benchmarking Survey 2009
[ICAEW via Accountancy Age]

Robert Half Survey: CFOs Are Nearly Done Firing People

unemployment.jpgBob Half is spreading some good cheer the-world-is-not-ending-in-2010 news this holiday season, as the staffing company’s latest poll has indicated that the job market for accountants should “stabalize” in the first quarter of the new year. Call us morbid but “stable” makes us think of someone in the ICU.


Web CPA:

Staffing company Robert Half International found that a net 3 percent of the 1,400 CFOs interviewed for the survey plan to reduce their accounting and finance personnel in the first quarter of 2010, but this represents an improvement from the net 6 percent forecast the previous quarter. Most executives — 84 percent — expect no changes to their staffing levels.
Six percent of executives plan to increase hiring in the first quarter and 9 percent foresee personnel reductions. Compared to the fourth-quarter projections, the number that anticipated adding staff rose while the number projecting cutbacks declined.

Thought so! Not anything to write home about since 84 percent of the respondents expect no changes in their staffing levels. To make matters worse, according to the survey those of you pounding the pavement don’t have any skills:

Despite current unemployment levels, CFOs continue to report challenges finding highly skilled professionals for certain functional areas. Twenty-five percent of financial executives said accounting roles are the hardest to fill, and 20 percent said they experience the most difficulty hiring for operational support positions.

Leave it to the BSDs of the world to bring you down by telling you don’t have any skills. We believe in you, unemployed number crunchers of the world! Don’t let the bastards get you down.
Accounting Staff Cutbacks Expected to Slow [Web CPA]

Robert Half’s Salary Guide Doesn’t Have Many Surprises

Robert Half has issued its salary guide for 2010 and we wouldn’t say that’s its chock full of good news. It follows the Ajilon salary guide that came out a couple of weeks ago and it seems to present a lot of the same sobering conclusions.
Salaries will be virtually flat, according to Bob’s guide, increasing approximately 0.5% for next year. However, there are some areas that seem to have better prospects than others including:


Tax accountants
Financial analysts
Senior and staff accountants
Business analysts
Along with these positions, the guide states that employers are seeking professionals with certifications, broad experience, and expertise in technology or compliance.
RH also has a “Public Accounting Outlook” in the guide and it does not paint a pretty picture:

Compensation packages in public accounting have seen notable changes. Salary levels have moderated, with declines reported in some areas. Additionally, instances of large signing bonuses and raises are far less common and typically reserved for premier performers.

The silver lining is, again, for tax professionals but since more companies are trying to do tax work in house, public firms are now competing directly with their corporate clients for the talent. It also indicates that some smaller firms have done some hiring and our earlier post on considering a smaller firm elicited some comments in favor of choosing that route.
Overall, with the significant change in the political environment, the job market for accountants seems to be trending towards positions centered around compliance and rule changes and the competition will likely be fierce. You can request a copy of the salary guide by going here.
For those of you currently on the job search, discuss the salary trends that you are seeing in the current market. Good luck to everyone that is currently on the hunt.