Life is not particularly easy for those currently finishing their studies and entering the job market. The economy has not quite yet been able to bounce back from the heavy toll it took during the last recession. Opportunities to begin successful careers pass by as most young graduates now are forced to settle for positions unrelated to their original professional aspirations due to an inability to follow their academic studies up. However, those with an affinity for numbers and a love of managing finances enjoy a distinct advantage in even the most unstable economies, and it is unlikely that an accounting graduate will go long without work even now as the economy struggles to recover.
While millions of workers may lose their jobs due to recessions and downturns every year, professionals working in the field of accounting are unlikely to suffer this troublesome fate. In fact, demand for accountants and individuals skilled in financial management may even pick up when the economy is undergoing challenges as companies struggle to balance budgets and avoid the financial susceptibilities of a slow market. Accountancy may not be a recession-proof profession, but it is surely the next-best thing. In hard times, companies turn to those who best understand the numbers to help them cut costs, reshape, and plan a way forward.
Recovery and recession accelerate change and accountants will continue to lead adaptation, both in the private and the public sector. The primary source of accounting’s invincibility in the face of recessions is the fact that accounting services are more a necessity than a luxury. Individuals will still have to file tax returns and companies will still have to manage their books regardless of the condition of the overall economy. Accounting needs tend to not only be unavoidable, but they are also perennial. Taking care of payroll at a company during one quarter in no way diminishes the need to carry out the same process to handle payroll for the next quarter. Thus, companies and individuals must continuously rely on the services of their accountants.
It should, however, be noted that certain areas of accounting will be more recession-proof than others. High profile positions that involve facilitating mergers, acquisitions, or corporate finance may suffer during times of recession. However, less glamorous accounting tasks such as tax accounting, and financial reporting are more necessary than ever when the economy is faltering. Accounting is regularly listed as one of the most recession-proof careers out there and offers a fairly high level of job security for those going into the field. This, along with the utmost necessity of working on improving a company’s global workforce and mobility narrows down the job talent pool even further; making it more difficult for fresh graduates to penetrate the job market.
Companies need a global workforce and global mobility, more now than ever. They are sending an increasing number of people abroad, in a wider variety of roles, for many reasons: to prepare for and respond to opportunities in global production; to promote research, development, and innovation.
At the same time, global market uncertainty is putting companies under tremendous cost pressure. That makes it imperative for leaders to carefully manage their global mobility investments.
For many organizations, growth and even survival hinges on penetrating and scaling operations in rapidly growing and emerging markets unlocked by globalization. That’s a tough challenge, especially when the critical market and production opportunities and critical talent are often not in the same country. Many executives are uncertain that they are receiving an appropriate return on their global mobility investment, or even that they can measure that return in a meaningful way.
Global mobility, for companies, is an investment that can drive tremendous value, but only if leaders can effectively harness a company’s global mobility efforts to pursue strategic priorities.
Article is by Haroon Ahmed Jan, Head of Member Affairs, ACCA Pakistan.