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Accountancy & Finance - Commerce & Industry

April - June 2014

Hotspots

 

Finance Managers – Employers are looking for candidates with not only solid technical skills, but also strong staff management skills and the ability to communicate with people from non-finance departments. In addition, a number of companies are going through IPOs, which is further increasing demand for these skills.

 

Financial Accountants – These professionals are in continuous demand given month-end requirements. In addition, in Western Australia candidates with mining sector experience are sought in response to a number of secondments and back fill opportunities.

 

Commercial Analysts – Commercial employers are analyzing costs and looking at how they can increase sales while reducing costs. This is fuelling demand for skilled Commercial Analysts with exceptional commercial acumen and the ability to engage with the wider business. This combination of technical ability and interpersonal flair is in short supply.

 

Management Accountants - Businesses are looking forward and require management accountants who can assist them with decision making. Often these roles are operationally focused and require candidates with strong analytical as well as people skills.

 

Risk Officers - The commercial sector is catching up with financial services when it comes to risk management. As a result we are seeing a growing desire from a range of employers to recruit Risk Officers.

 

Recently qualified CPA or CA Accountants – Many employers are looking to develop talent within their business, which is creating demand for recently qualified staff who are adaptable, eager to learn and technically sound.

 

CFOs – We have seen a number of CFO positions recently in response to retirements and business growth.

 

Senior Accountants – In Western Australia demand exists in the oil and gas sector for Senior Accountants in response to a number of projects gaining approval. 

 

Accounts Officers – Some employers are looking to get more out of their next team member and are consequently looking for candidates who are willing to perform transactional and management accounting duties.

 

Assistant Accountants - Candidates with systems skills in SAP and Oracle are in demand as organisations look to their future accounting needs or recruit support for their senior finance employees. But employers will only consider candidates with local experience.

 

Credit Controllers – In this traditionally high turnover function, staff retention remains a challenge. Consequently there is an ongoing need to replace departing staff. Further adding to demand is recent growth in the number of both temporary and permanent vacancies as employers add staff to their team to maintain cashflow, recover cash and minimise debts. There is also a shortage of immediately available candidates for temporary assignments.

 

Accounts Payable Officers – This is a sought after skill as employers are adding additional temporary support to assist with the processing of invoices.

 

Accounts Receivable – Good Accounts Receivable Officers with demonstrated loyalty to their previous employers and local experience are in demand as companies act to secure a stable and knowledgeable credit team.

 

Bookkeepers – Candidates with long-term stability on their resume are sought, particularly by small businesses that are experiencing growth and increasing the capacity of their accounting function. Those who have changed employers frequently are not viewed as favourably by employers who are looking for stability.

 

Payroll Officers – Employers are looking for Payroll Officers with large ERP skills such as SAP as well as specialist payroll systems skills such as ADP.  More recently, those who are able to handle stand alone payrolls have seen the demand for their skills rise. But there is a national shortage of experienced candidates who want to remain in payroll.  

 

SAP expertise - More businesses are looking for accounting and payroll professionals with exposure to SAP. Consequently this has become a hotspot.

 

Trends

 

Permanent employment expectations have risen slightly in recent weeks, with some employers adding to their headcount. Many of these employers had previously held off recruiting, or were utilising a temporary staffing resource, but are now making a permanent hire.

 

However there is still a need for temporary staff to fill gaps and cover staff on leave as required, or in project-driven sectors. Temporary assignments are also being utilised by those employers that continue to consolidate, or who are looking at combining two functions into one.

 

A key requirement for temporary assignments is adaptability, with employers looking for a candidate who can cover a number of team members or help out where needed across the team.

 

In general, employers maintain high expectations when they recruit and will wait for the highest quality candidate to become available – both in terms of technical and soft skills. For example, there is a particular shortage of candidates with the appropriate technical as well as communication skills, and employers are finding it a challenge to source talent with these softer skills. 

 

There is optimism across many industry sectors and we expect new projects and senior finance staffing requirements to materialise this quarter. In particular, the approach of financial year-end will see an increase in temporary assignments for technically strong qualified accountants.

 

Looking further ahead, in general many employers are expecting to increase headcount over the next six to 12 months.

 

In terms of candidate levels, there are more candidates available at the accounting support level, where formal qualifications are not always required.

 

In other trends, we note a move towards more multi-disciplinary positions within accountancy and finance, with many current vacancies requiring candidates with increased knowledge in other areas such as contract and project administration.

 

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