06Jun

After almost two months where hiring at the world’s largest accounting firms came to a near standstill, there are signs the Big Four are again recruiting.

Job posting data from Burning Glass shows unmistakable signs the four firms are beginning to again post job openings.

It’s “green shoots,” eFinancialCareers said in reporting the news earlier this month. “After recruitment plummeted relative to levels in late February, Big Four firms in both the U.K. and the U.S. are beginning to hire again – tentatively.”

Collectively, the four – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – employ about 1.1 million people worldwide, so, as the eFinancialCareers report notes, “When the hiring engines …splutter to a halt, it matters.”

Now, as businesses slowly begin to reopen, the Burning Glass data shows the Big Four have slowly begun to recruit for auditors, consultants and business analysts. The eFinancialCareers report says, “There’s also notable demand for digital consulting expertise at Deloitte in London, alongside roles in data science and for cloud consulting professionals and cyber-security consultants.”

Summer internships however, have been significantly altered.

Before the coronavirus caused governments to order businesses to close and citizens to shelter at home, the four firms would have spent the first months of the year completing their summer intern hiring and finalizing the recruiting of top accounting and MBA students. eFinancialCareers said PwC alone hired almost 4,000 entry level auditors and interns in the U.S. last year.

This year, that hiring has been scaled back. Both Deloitte and PwC scrapped their UK internship programs, according to the Financial News. In the US, all four firms have made significant changes to their internship programs, transitioning them into remote work or, as in the case of KPMG, Deloitte and PwC, shortening them but promising the interns full-time entry level jobs when they graduate in 2021.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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Green Key

Banking Trends That Are Here to Stay

More than ever, customers are turning to online banking to pay bills, transfer funds, and handle transactions they would have visited a branch for just a few months ago.

Baby Boomers, the generation most reluctant to have downloaded their bank’s mobile app, have embraced online banking in record numbers. Shortly after businesses were ordered closed, The Senior List found 77% of older Americans had conducted a financial transaction online.

This embrace of mobile banking is one of the banking trends that is here to stay, says an article in Forbes.

“It’s not just Boomers who are swiping right on online banking,” says Forbes. Citing a Boston Consulting Group survey conducted in June, the article notes that in the first three months of the pandemic 44% of 18-34 year olds enrolled for the first time in online or mobile banking.

Overall, Fidelity National Information Services, a service provider to the banking industry, reported new mobile banking registrations increased by 200%, and mobile banking traffic increased 85%.

“Once customers experience the convenience of mobile, they very well may never go back to traditional banking,” the Forbes article says. The Boston Group found a quarter of the new remote banking users claim they will visit bank branches less frequently in the future or not at all.

While e-commerce has exploded during the pandemic, banks have taken steps to streamline the payment process in brick and mortar stores. Forbes says some banks upgraded physical debit and credit cards to enable tap to pay. “Consumer usage of platforms like Apple Pay and retailer deployment of embedded contactless payment terminals like Square has also reached unprecedented levels,” the article reports.

In one area that before COVID hadn’t attained much traction, fintech startups and the industry generally have seen a spurt in demand for money management tools. Though 75% of respondents to a survey reported never using a personal finance app, since the pandemic 16% have. Here, it’s Gen Z and Boomers that are more aggressively turning to these services. A SYKES survey reported 23% of Gen Z and 18% of Boomers said they were new users to personal finance and budget apps.

“Fintech is an ever-evolving landscape — and it’s one that the pandemic has sent shock waves rippling throughout,” says Forbes, which concludes on this note: “Thanks to fundamental shifts in the way consumers perceive and depend upon digital finance tools today, these fintech trends just may stick around long after people have holstered their hand sanitizer.”

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