While the effects of the economic downturn are still being felt by many financial institutions - often leading to significant job cuts - there are some positive signs for finance and accounting professionals in the northeastern part of the country.
According to the Hartford Business Journal, accounting firms appear to be ripe for growth this year, with businesses of all sizes expecting to hire new staff members. The influx will reportedly continue the trend from 2011, during which time the number of CPAs at the 10 largest accounting firms in the region increased by 7 percent, according to the news source.
Officials have said the hiring, which is expected to take place throughout the region, can be attributed jointly to the improving economy as well as increased regulations facing the clients of accounting firms.
"Because of the changing regulations and things going on in the economy, companies need to do things differently to position themselves for the future," Keith Hubert, managing partner of the one of the local financial institutions, told the news source. "That is driving more work and requiring us to hire additional people."
In Connecticut, the accounting industry actually did better than it did in a number of other regions during the financial crisis, with only smaller-scale cutbacks being made, the Business Journal reported. Recent mergers and an uptick in qualified candidates from the state's major universities will also help drive hiring, experts noted.
In addition to the expected influx in accounting hiring in Connecticut - much of which may be accomplished through staffing agencies - a major bank has also announced plans to hire more than 50 small business bankers in New England to offer guidance to local small businesses.
According to a release from the financial institution, the new hires are part of the 1,000 small business bank positions expected to be created across the country by the middle of 2012.
The new hires will reportedly include 32 in Massachusetts, 14 in Connecticut and 5 in Rhode Island, the release said.
"For well over 200 years, New England has been a pioneer of entrepreneurial innovation, and [the bank] is proud to be supporting the region's entrepreneurial heritage," Bob Gallery, Massachusetts president for the financial institution, said in a statement. "Our small business bankers will provide business owners in New England with the tools they need to continue to be the engine that drives our local and national economy forward."