Baby boomers are about to leave their jobs. However, several employers are having difficulties in finding able candidates to replace these retiring employees. These jobs, to be vacated by baby boomers, require more or less seven years of experience. Some employers cannot risk replacing an employee with more than 20 years of experience with an individual who only has five years of working experience.

Most financial recruiters identified the following as the hardest and most competitive positions in the industry: controllers, tax managers, fund and senior-level accountants, and valuation analysts. This article will also discuss the criteria for these roles.


Role. Sometimes called comptrollers, they work for banks, companies, and governments. Their duties depend on the size of the entity, the complexity of accounting and financial operations, and the number of employees in an accounting department. Controllers maintain and organize financial planning, debt financing, and budget management of a company. They also decide on financial rules such as ensuring adherence to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and determining accounting methods, as well as provide in-depth financial analysis, as well as financial perspective and opinions.

Education. A controller needs to obtain a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, with a concentration in accounting or finance. Another education requirement is being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Experience. Most employers choose job candidates with five to 10 years of experience in senior-level accounting or finance positions. According to some recruiters, it is difficult to become hedge fund controller. This position requires eight to 10 years of experience in larger funds, as well as exposure working in distressed debt.

Tax Managers

Role. Tax managers supervise tax reporting and planning, and thoroughly tax returns are precise and finished to reduce the organization’s tax obligations. They are also responsible for ensuring the firms follow tax laws at federal, state, local, and international levels.

Education. A senior tax manager needs to obtain an MBA degree, with concentration in accounting or finance, and also a CPA designation.

Experience. For a tax manager, majority of corporations select candidates with at least five years of experience. But for higher positions, entities usually require seven years of experience in the field, specifically in public and corporate fields. The key to this career is having a specialization.

Fund and Senior-Level Accountants

Role. Accountants review financial trends, operations, and costs. They also evaluate financial reports to oversee the status of an entity’s assets, liabilities, gains and losses, financial activities, and tax obligations.

Education. An accountant should posses a degree in accounting, as well as two to five years of work experience. It is a plus if an individual is a CPA holder. Certain employers seek fund account managers with three to five years of experience with private equity companies, hedge funds, and investment banks.

Experience. Most recruiters said accountant managers, senior accountants, and fund accountant managers of private equity funds are the most competitive accounting positions.

Valuation Analysts

Role. These analysts determine the value of an entity or organization, or the ownership’s interest when a business is acquired or sold.

Education. An individual should be a CPA holder and knowledgeable in accounting, economics, finance, and taxes.

Experience. Analysts must have a strong mathematical background, and willing to wait for long-term growth opportunities.

Especially if your financial career goals include taking home a huge paycheck and working for a high-profile company, you have to reach the expectations of the employers. Believe it or not, the main focus of most corporations is an individual’s strong education background. They are after sufficient and specific work experience. Majority of entities also look for job candidates who can translate industry jargon and communicate well with all kinds of people.