Accounting Jobs Tough to Fill, New Survey Says

Accounting and finance professionals made the list of Top 10 jobs that are most difficult for employers to fill, according to the eighth annual Talent Shortage Survey by the ManpowerGroup. The survey said 33% of U.S. employers cited a lack of workplace competencies, or soft skills, as the reason for the difficulties.

“To fill the gap, professionals must be dedicated to becoming more than ‘number crunchers’ by developing their own leadership and business skills – which can be accomplished through a combination of continuing education, mentoring, volunteerism, certification, internships and apprenticeships,” said Jeff Thomson, president of the Institute of Management Accountants, in a piece in Forbes magazine.

Thomson suggests employers can also help close the gap by offering better mentoring and professional development programs, but he adds that educators, students, professionals and employers must work together to raise the standards for what an accountant should be. He said of the 1.1 million accountants in the U.S., 73% work in a business, not an accounting firm.

Thomson wrote, “Many new graduates who begin their careers in public accounting will eventually move to positions in business. If we can’t properly prepare those professionals to land jobs and play a vital role in business strategy and decision-making, we’re cutting our businesses’ growth potential – and our own career potential – short.”