There is a world of opportunity out there for
experienced and qualified accountants,  
maybe not as much as pre global down turn; however, there are still
plenty of roles available if you look across the global market. Accountancy is still a profession that is in
high demand.
The main effect of the current economic climate for
experience accountants seeking a new role is that potential employers are
focused on finding specialists and often have very specific skills/experience
criteria they seek to match. 
There is another interesting swing around the globe
also worth noting.  Insolvency is in high
demand in a number of countries, including Australasia and the Caribbean and on
the reverse side Transaction Services is in demand in Europe.  
Language skills, in particular fluent German or
French, can be a ticket to secure very interesting, sought after roles
throughout Europe, including Switzerland.
Alternatively, Mandarin and a proven track record of career progression is
appealing to employers in Hong Kong, China and Singapore,
whilst Arabic speakers can enjoy an excellent career throughout the Middle East.
Audit experience in the financial services sector
will secure that offshore experience, weather it is the Channel Islands,
Caribbean or Luxembourg.   
Audit remains the skill in the largest demand. Mainly
because CA firms are the biggest employer of accountants and they need a large
number of auditors to service clients who have to be audited.  In the current market employers generally
require experience of auditing the relevant sector their clients are in.
The demands of employers have definitely tightened
up. Historically they would be happy to cross train sectors and provide
language training.  
However, it is highly likely criteria will open up
again as the economy stabilises again. 
Previous financial down turns and recessions have seen a high demand for
experienced accountants in the following years and there are signs this will
happen again.  Although many firms tried
not to decrease the number of trainee accountants they hired in recent years,
they had no choice in the end. We are also seeing statistics that show new
generations are not choosing accountancy as a career, which will lead to a
further shortage.
A recent survey published by the Education and
Employees Taskforce targeted 11,000 13-16 year olds in a bid to chart the job
aspirations of teenagers against the employment market from now to 2020. It
stated that less that one in 30 young people are currently considering jobs in
banking and finance which will result in experienced accountants being in even
more demand.
A report conducted by Markit, surveying the UK job
market has documented a rise in the need for both permanent and temporary
accounting/financial professionals from 2012 to 2013. The report which collates
data supplied by recruitment agencies also noted that the key skills that are
in short supply in accountancy is ‘Accounts, Audit Managers, Credit control,
M&A, Tax and Purchase ledger’.
With the job market gradually improving both
internationally and domestically and the need for experienced accountants and
their skill set greater, the openings for accountants is on the rise and the
opportunities are better and will continue to increase. Having an ACCA
qualification is your ticket to opportunities all over the world and the future
looking far more positive than it has in recent years.  

Written by
Abigail Stevens, Managing Director, Think Global Recruitment