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Outlook and Review of the Accounting and Finance Market – Q1 2024

Outlook and Review of the Accounting and Finance Market – Q1 2024

Outlook and Review of the Accounting and Finance Market – Q1 2024

As we move from Q1 to Q2, we have seen a steady demand for qualified accountants at all levels. Across multiple sectors within financial services, there remains a strong demand as companies actively seek out highly skilled candidates and are prepared to offer premium compensation to secure specialised skill sets. In this Q1 analysis, Coopman’s Accounting and Finance team provides insights into sector-specific demands, client guidance, and other pertinent information.

Insurance sector:

Demand for qualified accountants in Ireland has been high across all levels, from newly qualified to middle management. There has been a significant demand for business-as-usual (BAU) activities related to financial reporting over the past six months. Dublin is now a prime location for many international companies due to the available labour force. Several firms are reassessing their resource strategies and the placement of qualified accounting professionals, with Dublin emerging as a consideration due to a potential shortage of these skills in mainland Europe and along the Eastern Coast of America.

At senior levels in the insurance market, activity has been relatively quiet, typical for this time of year, with anticipated movement later on, especially after Q1 bonuses. Overall, the market for senior positions, particularly within the C-level suite, is expected to remain relatively quiet, with only a few positions available on the market.

Investment Management / Fund services sector:

The market for A&F professionals, particularly those in financial reporting roles, has remained stagnant. Many companies are currently reassessing their labour costs and strategies heading into Q2. Companies may be considering hiring individuals outside of Ireland to benefit from a lower cost base and we have noticed this trend with several funds’ services companies across Ireland. However, there are one or two new entrants into the market looking to expand or establish local operations, primarily focusing on back-office and operational roles. Generally, the level of activity in investment management and fund services is moderate, with occasional pockets of recruitment but not at an accelerated rate.

Banking/Payments sector

Over the past two and a half years, there has been significant hiring activity within the banking and payments sector. One or two entrants have left the market, and several entrants did not receive CBI approval. The market is quite flat, with just a few pockets of hiring here and there in the local banking sector, however the Irish retail banks are currently hiring at a rapid and aggressive pace. With Ulster Bank and KBC leaving the market, there are now vacancies within the banking sector that other pillar banks are seeking to fill and ultimately many individuals are transitioning over. Fintech companies are quite stagnated in terms of hiring, so again the market is quite flat but there is spot work sporadically within the market.

Aircraft Leasing sector:

It has been a busy start to the aircraft leasing sector with Q1 seeing steady growth in the market. There have been several hires at the newly qualified level with a small amount of movement at the more senior end of the market. At Coopman, we have seen a decrease in volume recruiting in comparison to 2023, which means companies are eager to hire individuals with direct experience. Salaries remain consistent to last year with Newly Qualified Accountant achieving €65k base salary plus bonus and benefits, we don’t anticipate this to fluctuate much throughout the rest of 2024.

Corporate Services:

Corporate services remain a significant sector within the accountancy and finance market in Ireland. Many of these companies are continuously sourcing for new hires especially at the newly qualified accountancy level with several middle managers roles available.

Advice to Clients:

Overall Q1 has been relatively strong in terms of the demand across all sectors in financial services. We would foresee that this will continue throughout the remainder of 2024. If you’re planning on hiring in Q3 or Q4, we advise that you start your recruitment process now. The hiring process will be somewhat extended to avail of professional accountants and notice periods have increased from one to two months as a minimum, ranging to three months, even from a newly qualified level. It important to reach out to specialist recruitment partners well in advance of your expected hiring date if there are plans to grow in your business.

At Coopman we also provide interim solutions to our clients, this looks at hiring experienced professionals/consultants on a contract basis. This can be a time efficient way to secure candidate and has proven to be a very successful method of hiring candidates locally and outside of Ireland. 

If you require guidance regarding your ongoing resource planning and addressing the ongoing demands, please get in touch with Director and Co-Founder, Mark Fallon, at

William McCoppin


William has experience across multiple markets, specialising in compliance and financial crime at the interim, mid-to-senior and executive level.