By Jason Bramwell, Staff Writer
Despite having one of the highest worker confidence levels among all industry sectors, overall confidence of accounting and finance professionals declined slightly by 0.8 points in the third quarter of 2013, according to the Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index from Boston-based professional placement firm The Mergis Group.
The confidence index for the third quarter was 62.3, down from the 63.1 in the second quarter, which was a twelve-month high. The index from The Mergis Group, a division of Randstad US, measures overall confidence among accounting and finance workers.
"Companies are actively seeking finance and accounting talent within various industries. Looking into 2014, we see sector growth being driven by certain positions, including financial analysts, staff accountants, business analysts, and internal auditors/public accountants", Ursula Williams said in a press release. Williams is the executive vice president of Randstad Finance & Accounting, Randstad Human Resources, Accountants International, and The Mergis Group, which will combine to form Randstad Professionals on December 9.
"Several key aspects of the index also showed signs of growing confidence, such as the availability of jobs and employees' ability to find new jobs", she added. "Workers in the finance and accounting field also continue to report high levels of job security, with 80 percent indicating it is not likely they will lose their job in the next twelve months."
Of the 135 accounting and finance workers surveyed for The Mergis Group's third quarter confidence index, 35 percent believe more jobs are available, up from 31 percent the previous quarter. Additionally, 49 percent of respondents said they are confident in their ability to find a new job, which rose seven percentage points from the second quarter.
However, accounting and finance employees are ambivalent about searching for a new job. Thirty-one percent reported they are likely to look for a new job in the next twelve months, down seven percentage points from the previous quarter, while 59 percent said they have no plans to search for a new job, up from 56 percent.
Despite the high level of overall confidence, accounting and finance workers showed lower levels of optimism in the strength of the economy, as 22 percent believe the economy is getting weaker, up from 16 percent in the second quarter. The percentage of respondents who believe the economy is getting stronger decreased slightly compared to the second quarter (40 percent in the third quarter versus 42 percent in the second quarter).
About the survey:
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Mergis Group from July 9 to 11, August 5 to 7, and September 9 to 11 among 3,163 adults ages eighteen and older, of which 135 are employed in accounting and finance. The online survey is not based on a profitability sample and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.