Let our industry specialists listen to your aspirations and present your story to the most esteemed organisations in the UK, as we collaborate to write the next chapter of your successful career.

See all jobs

The UK's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more
About Robert Walters UK

Since our establishment in 1985, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters UK

Learn more

ACA the most important qualification for employers

Over 90% of accounting and finance employers rank certifications including ACA, ACCA or CIMA as more important than experience working within the finance market, according to new industry research, Solving the UK Skills Shortage – Accounting & Finance.

The latest research highlights the relative importance of the different types of qualifications finance employers recognise as the most valuable when recruiting new finance employees.

Find out how you match up to industry trends - request a copy of the research.


Technical qualifications

Over half of those surveyed (53%) consider ACA/ICAS to be the most important qualification when sourcing candidates in the recruitment process. ACA/ICAS  tends to be considered the most technically demanding certification and is offered by the large accounting and finance firms.

Businesses need be more analytical with their employment offers, with work-life balance, distance to travel and opportunities for progression also important factors for CFOs to consider.

50% of CFOs also look for an ACCA qualifications in new hires, while 41% said that they require a CIMA qualification for new roles they recruit for.

Chris Lloyd, Finance Manager at Robert Walters highlights how finance employers will need to be increasingly competitive with their employment offers to secure this select pool of candidates:

“To be regarded by ACA accountants who receive multiple counter offers, businesses looking to attract those professionals will need to offer more competitive salaries. Furthermore, to meet rising candidate expectations, businesses need be more analytical with their employment offers, with work-life balance, distance to travel and opportunities for progression also important factors for CFOs to consider.”

Industry experience

The research also reveals that only 6% of employers think experience is more important than possessing a qualification, compared to 11% of finance professionals who consider industry experience as invaluable towards their career progression.

University degree

Interestingly, a university degree, although not as important as professional certifications, are considered more important than experience in the sector. 16% of hiring managers believe a university degree is more important to the sector and more than 2 in 10 professionals believe a university degree is useful to progress quickly in the discipline.

Looking outside the industry

As industry experience is not essential for a finance role, the research highlights that CFOs should look beyond the accounting and finance industry when looking to secure top talent. Over a quarter (26%) of hiring managers require transferrable skills, particularly for junior and entry-level positions such as organisation, time-management and interpersonal skills. However, only 2 in 10 businesses target professionals from other fields that possess transferrable skills.

About the research

Robert Walters, totaljobs and Jobsite surveyed almost 1,000 accounting and finance professionals across the UK to gain insight into key skill shortage trends, the potential impact of Brexit in a global market, changing candidate expectations and the recommended recruitment strategies to combat the skills gap.

Share this article

Related content

Submit a vacancy
Salary Survey
Hiring advice
Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View all

CFO Market Insight: A New Era

CFO headcount growth double in The North compared to London Overall compensation structures increase across the UK Finance-related activity rife within online, retail, hospitality, technology and travel Now that all restrictions are lifted – a month earlier than planned – we can see if Boris’s bold

Read More

Where are finance professionals looking for jobs?

Robert Walters latest research into accounting & finance skills shortages revealed that over 8 in 10 professionals use a recruitment agency, whilst over 70% look for roles on online job boards. However, nearly 4 in 10 finance professionals confess they have difficulty finding their next career oppor

Read More

Tim Kowalski - Creating a legacy in finance

The 2018 Finance Awards North West saw 14 awards handed out to the finest finance professionals and businesses the region has to offer. The Lifetime Achievement accolade acknowledged the legacy of an esteemed figure of the North West finance community, selected by the panel for their outstanding con

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.