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Accounting Job Market: Demand Dips but Satisfaction Soars, Remote Work on Rise

CAREERSAccounting Job Market: Demand Dips but Satisfaction Soars, Remote Work on Rise

In 2023, there was a decrease in the demand for accounting employees, although it was higher than in 2019. At the same time – as stated in the “Salary and Trend Report in Enterprises” by Grafton Recruitment – up to 61% of financial department employees are satisfied with their employment conditions.

“After the spike in demand for financial department employees in 2020, and another one in the third quarter of 2022, the past year has seen a decrease in the number of employments. This situation should not be surprising – 2023 was a particularly difficult business year, only in its first half, over 110,000 companies suspended their activities, and some enterprises stopped expanding financial departments, employing only when someone from the existing team left the company,” explains Magdalena Niedziałek, Project Manager, trainer at Grafton Recruitment.

In 2023, the smallest decrease was noted in the tax and audit area, the highest – in accounting.

“At the beginning of 2022, we noted an increase in demand for accounting-related positions by as much as 32%, and the employed people filled staffing gaps. However, this does not mean that accountants are not currently sought after. These are positions for which there is still a very high demand. Recruitment processes are difficult and prolonged, as employees are much more cautious about changing their place of employment, and companies try to retain employees by increasing salaries for those interested in leaving,” says Magdalena Niedziałek.

According to the Grafton Recruitment “Salary and Trend Report in Enterprises”, as many as 61% of surveyed financial department employees declare satisfaction with their current job. This is indicated by the average length of employment in one company, which is 5 years. Respondents are also not more stressed than employees from other surveyed departments – according to the report, the stress level in financial departments is the third lowest of all surveyed departments. However, it is noteworthy that only 1.6% of finance employees admitted that they do not feel job stress at all, which is the third lowest result among all analyzed areas.

The factors that greatly influence job satisfaction in financial departments are the size of the salary, the atmosphere and opportunities for promotion. Contrary to appearances, job stability is one of the least important issues – this may result from the general specificity of the industry and still high demand for accounting and finance specialists.

The survey also revealed that employers do not meet the needs of financial department employees sufficiently. The respondents rated the access to non-wage benefits and development opportunities the worst. Wage, which is the most important factor of job satisfaction, was in fourth place out of seven analyzed aspects. The least concerns are the working atmosphere.

Grafton Recruitment’s survey showed that the overwhelming majority of financial department employees are considering changing their job. Every fourth person is already actively looking for a new job, others are planning to change employer within the next 3, 6 or 12 months. 35.5% declare a desire to stay with the current company.

“A change of employment – yes, but in the same industry,” – declares the majority of financial department employees. As many as over 60% state that they do not plan to change their industry. This is not surprising, as according to the survey, it is in the financial departments that the highest percentage of people work in a profession consistent with their education – as many as 54.8%.

Financial departments are generally open to remote work. As many as 14.5% of respondents work remotely, and only 9.7% exclusively at the office – this is the lowest result in the entire survey. The remaining employees use various forms of hybrid work, most often in the dimension up to 5-10 days in the office per month. As for the expectations of employees, home office in the case of financial departments is in fourth place on the priority list. A high degree of meeting this need also translates into greater job satisfaction.

As the survey shows, about 42% of financial department employees did not receive a raise in the past year. This is the second highest value among all areas analyzed in the report. On the other hand, the salary of every fifth respondent increased by more than 15%, which is, in turn, the second highest result in this category. The rest – 31% – received smaller raises – up to 15%.

The biggest salaries for financial department employees can be expected in Warsaw. Salaries in other large cities – Poznań, Wrocław, Kraków or Tricity – are similar. In all cities, an accountant can count on a salary ranging from 5.5 to 9.0 thousand PLN, and with promotion to senior accountant, up to a maximum of 12-13 thousand PLN. The highest salaries are offered by audit and tax departments. An internal auditor earns up to 15 thousand PLN in Katowice, Kraków, Poznań, and up to 16 thousand PLN in Łódź, Tricity, Wrocław and Warsaw. Tax advisor 10-16 thousand PLN in Łódź, Katowice, Poznań, Tricity and Wrocław, and 14-18 thousand PLN in the capital. The salary of the Director of the Financial Department in Warsaw can reach 40 thousand PLN, and CFO even 60 thousand PLN.

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