Big Four: Beware
By (ABF) –
Banks are poaching more staff from the Big Four accountancy firms in Australia, but they face strong competition from the corporate sector .
There has been a rise in the number of accountants leaving PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Ernst & Young and Deloitte in 2010 as a result of increased demand for their talents in the banking industry.
“The GFC put the brakes on salaries and promotions at the accounting firms, which meant people were sitting at the same level for two years, which is unusual,” saidCliff Wilson, director, Wilson Select. “The demand for high calibre candidates from retail and investment banks picked up, which resulted in a higher demand for accountants,” he added.
Yet the banks could have their work cut out attracting the best talent out of the accounting firms because the corporate sector is also crying out for qualified accountants.
While resource companies are leading the hunt for recruits, Barr says accountants are also in the sights of the big technology and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands.
“Before the GFC, banking was seen as one of the more glamorous and high profile industries. It is now fair to say that the banks have their work cut out attracting the best accounting talent as a number of other sectors are aggressively acquiring staff, which is made easier due to the fact they suffered less bad press during the GFC,” he told eFinancialCareers.com.au.
But the accounting firms aren’t giving up on their best employees without a fight and they use a number of strategies to keep talent.
“They’ll use overseas secondments or make talented accountants partners in the business and this is when the money starts to roll in,” saidKym Woolf senior consultant, Bradman Recruitment Group.