Despite the dismal economy and poor jobs growth, back office finance and accounting staff at the entry-level are finding opportunities opening up. In an interview with eFinancialCareers, Mike McNamara, vice president of Accounting Principals, a finance and accounting staffing firm, says that critical back office promotions are no longer on hold, creating an opening for junior staff. He notes that college grads with specialized skills in accounting and finance have an advantage when it comes to entry-level jobs.
Financial Analysts Wanted
According to Accounting Principals’ ranking of “Top Entry-Level Finance and Accounting Jobs,” financial analysts were the most in demand. The median annual salary for entry-level financial analysts was $49,700 to $51,000 for undergrads and $55,000 for MBAs. Undergrads with a finance degree were the ideal candidates for the position. McNamara says that there is hiring across the country for junior financial analysts, with obvious concentrations in financial centers, including New York City, Chicago and the San Francisco area.
An Endless Need for Accountants
Accountants took second place on the list of “Top Entry-Level Finance and Accounting Jobs” with a median annual salary of $45,000 to $55,000. The report noted that accounting regulations and economic fluctuations are contributing to the job increase for accountants. A shift was also noted for mid-level accountants, as they make moves to in-house positions in industry and away from large accounting firms. That’s leaving an opening for younger talent. Obviously, the ideal candidate for a junior accountant role is someone with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Growth for Accounts Payable and Receivable
Accounts payable and receivable clerks came in third on the list, with a median annual salary of $34,600 to $35,200. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk jobs are predicted to jump 14 percent from 2010 to 2020. Of the positions on the “Top Entry-Level Finance and Accounting Jobs” list, accounts payable and receivable clerk was the only one that didn’t require a college degree.
The Audit Function Remains Hot
Auditors were also in demand, taking fourth place on the list. The median annual salary for auditors was $50,000 to $55,000. The report noted that the bulk of entry-level auditors begin their careers with public accounting firms, and then move to in-house positions later in their professional life. There are a small number of entry-level positions in the industry, according to Accounting Principals, with financial services, banking and public accounting firms now hiring for junior spots. Candidates need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, and the certified internal auditor certification helps to get better pay along the way.
Credit Analysts and Mortgage Underwriters Needed
Credit analysts placed fifth on the “Top Entry-Level Finance and Accounting Jobs” list, commanding a median annual salary of $44,700 to $46,000. The spot is particularly hot at banks and mortgage lenders, who are still “wary of lending.” A bachelor’s degree in finance is ideal. Mortgage underwriters rounded out the list at number six. McNamara noted that the only surprise in compiling the list was the resurgence of the mortgage underwriter role, and he cited the recent Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act for driving the demand. The median annual salary for junior mortgage underwriters was $50,000 to $53,000. A bachelor’s degree in finance is essential.