A testing time to be an accountant?
Various surveys and research projects have been conducted recently into the impact of Brexit (among other things) on career prospects for accountants. The results give a mixed bag of viewpoints, […]
Various surveys and research projects have been conducted recently into the impact of Brexit (among other things) on career prospects for accountants. The results give a mixed bag of viewpoints, making it very difficult to predict how the dice will fall for our profession over the coming months and years.
The Brexit factor
Latest research from careersinaudit.com reveals that, following the UK’s Brexit vote three months ago, just over a third (36%) of finance professionals working in the audit field in the UK believe that leaving the EU will have a negative effect on their career.
This may seem rather gloomy, but Simon Wright, Sales & Marketing Director at careersinaudit.com said: “We were quite surprised about the figure of 36%, as it wasn’t quite as high as we thought it might have been at this stage; we thought it would at least be 50%.”
When asked to state their main concern about the effect of Brexit on their careers, the majority of people voiced worries over jobs being moved to the EU from the UK, though there has been very little evidence of this in practice so far.
Wright does go on to indicate other positives in terms of career progression for young auditors, particularly in relation to international opportunities: “The audit and risk sector will try to form stronger relationships with countries such as China and India, and in Australia and New Zealand. This will bring new audit jobs in these regions.”
The technology factor
A similar survey of 1341 accountants, whose results were published in Accountancy Age this week, revealed that as many as four in ten accountants are worried that technology and automation will make their jobs obsolete in the future, with many considering leaving the profession or setting up on their own within ten years.
While it’s true that technology is certainly making some parts of being an accountant more efficient, given the amount of skill, knowledge and human sensitivity involved in the study and practice of being an accountant (which we know all too well), we can’t imagine it being anywhere near that high. We’d be very happy to hear your thoughts on this though.
The confidence factor
The survey also revealed that a third of all accountants (moreso among those aged 18-30) fear the job interview process, which can stop them from applying for new positions, while almost as many dread going to networking events, and can call in sick or come up with other reasons to avoid them if at all possible.
Six in ten accountants would like to make a career change and swap to either industry or practice, however nearly half (43%) admitted that issues are holding them back from making the move include the economic climate, lacking the right skills and fearing the change would not pan out as they envisaged.
If you’re worried about career prospects, or would like to find out more about job opportunities in your area – or even overseas – download our PQ guide or speak to our friends at Reed Accountancy who will be more than happy to help.