Are you among those wondering how to reach top finance and accounting talent in 2017? The competition is real—and it could be detrimental to those who don’t have a strategy, or insight into industry dynamics. To that end, here are the trends that are expected to impact finance and accounting talent in the Chicago area.

FIRST, THE DEMAND IS SKYROCKETING. As a highly competitive market, the need for accounting talent in Chicago is exceptional, with job postings staying active for nearly 50 days. That’s one week longer than the national average.


Five reasons why:


CLOUD-BASED PLATFORMS. Optimized cloud-based tools may compel many small and medium-sized CPA firms in Chicago to shift their focus from conventional, tactical support to a wider mix of strategic services and solutions. In turn, the need for more niche financial and accounting talent will change accordingly.

ADVANCED AUTOMATION. As robotic process automation makes data collection, processing, and analysis faster and more accurate, as well as more affordable, occupations within the corporate accounting field will evolve to a greater demand for talent with the critical thinking skills to understand the behavior behind the numbers.
INCREASED OUTSOURCING. An increased focus on core business operations is creating extremely large outsourced finance and accounting shared services organizations. To meet the growing demand, these outsourcing groups will need a range of talent including bookkeepers, accountants, financial strategists, financial analysts, and control and compliance talent.

Accounting graduates can expect starting salaries that are three to four percent higher than in 2016, due to the shortage of new talent—and automation. Because new hires will spend less time on repetitive tasks, employers will expect more high-level functions like financial reporting and analysis.

ASC 606 will go into effect this year for public companies, and next year for non-public companies. There’s a heightened need for accounting talent with technical and regulatory expertise to help companies adjust their reporting processes. Those that plan on early adoption will be competing for talent.

As a result:

TALENT AGILITY IS A MUST. Employers need agile corporate finance and accounting talent who can quickly act on the latest regulatory and reporting changes; who can perform both the tactical functions, and demonstrate the analytical skills behind the numbers.
A GIG ECONOMY IS THRIVING. A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. Chicago employers that want access to top talent need to embrace the gig economy, and consider flexible work arrangements.
A WORKFORCE PARTNER IS CRITICAL. Chicago organizations are recognizing the value of partnering with a trusted recruitment firm—one that understands the needs of the market, and possesses insight into how top finance and accounting talent wants to work.

Kelly®  is well-connected with finance and accounting talent in Chicago, and we can connect you.

Kelly finance and accounting research