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Accountancy & Finance - Commerce & Industry

April - June 2016

New South Wales

Candidate shortages across many roles in NSW will continue this quarter. The number of temporary and contract jobs continues to increase, especially across credit and payroll, as does replacement hiring.

Overall we are seeing an even split between hiring temporary and permanent candidates. The exception is at the senior level where hiring on a temporary-to-permanent basis is not uncommon.

Assistant Accountants, Credit Controllers and Payroll Officers remain in high demand. However, for payroll specialists the salaries being offered are out of step with the short supply of candidates and their higher salary expectations.

Exceptional Excel skills are also a priority. 


Soft skills continue to play a more significant role in the selection of senior accountancy and finance staff in Victoria. Saying that, many employers promote from within for senior roles and then backfill vacated roles.

We are still seeing a preference for hiring permanent staff and employers are looking for candidates with similar industry experience, solid work histories and good communication skills. Employers are starting to open up to recruiting strong candidates from overseas even those without Australian experience.

We continue to see a lot of part-time roles in bookkeeping and payroll from small to medium employers while many large employers are off-shoring these tasks.

In the oil & gas and energy sectors redundancies are still occurring for accounting and finance professionals, particularly Accounts Receivable Officers as this position is being outsourced to centres overseas. 

South Australia

 With high levels of unemployment, the job market in Adelaide continues to be competitive. However the candidate pool often fails to match the expectations of many businesses.

We have seen a recent increase in the number of senior finance roles across Adelaide as organisations seek to engage operationally focused finance specialists. Candidates who offer industry experience as well as loyal employment history are in demand as are those professionals who have strong analytical and costing knowledge.

The accounting support market continues to experience shortages in specific areas including dedicated Credit Control and end to end Payroll Officers. In addition, South Australia has a relatively large presence of small to medium business and as such there is ongoing demand for high quality Bookkeepers who can support their operations independently, with minimal reliance on external Accountants. Industries which continue to experience growth include health and aged care, medical, high tech manufacturing and food manufacturing.

Companies are demanding candidates with similar industry experience and stable employment history combined with excellent interpersonal skills. Salaries are tightly controlled as organisations try to keep overheads low. 


 Employers in Queensland are very specific about their requirements when they recruit, spending longer to exhaust market options. They are taking a cautious approach to hiring by requesting specific industry backgrounds, systems experience as well as assessing a candidate’s personality to ensure culture fit - even for short contracts.

We have seen positive signs of increasing confidence with employers not only hiring replacement roles but also creating new opportunities. This is the result of some sectors experiencing growth, such as residential construction, manufacturing and retail.

Preferred candidates must also have strong technical skills and be able to act as a business partner and build important client and stakeholder relationships.

Payroll and Accounts Payable candidates are constantly in demand, especially those from a high volume background. Accounts Receivable are highly sought after too as businesses continue to focus on cashflow.

The restructuring of finance teams and employee movement has seen some new senior jobs come to market with most seeking a true business partner to help steer and support strategic decision making. 


Tasmanian has seen a lift in recruitment activity for temporary contractors across both Senior Finance and Accountancy Support.

With the employment market lifting in the short term due to increased projects, employers are struggling to find candidates with the qualifications and experience that they require.

Across senior finance, CA/CPA qualified Management Accountants are highly sought after, while within Accounting Support, Payroll Officers with time in attendance experience, and Accounts Payable candidates with a working knowledge of SAP are in hot demand. 

Western Australia

The focus in Western Australia is on temporary recruitment. Strong candidates, especially at the senior finance level, continue to become available. Often employers are not replacing staff, or are making redundancies, however they are also aware that in high risk areas teams cannot do the same with less people and are therefore utilising temporary staff. 

Northern Territory

In accounting support, vacancy activity has declined in the Northern Territory, while available and experienced candidates have increased in number. Candidates are looking for higher salaries due to their experience but roles available are a lot more junior. Varied roles that combine AP and AR duties with reception are becoming more common. 

Skills in demand 

Accounting professionals with technology skills, particularly around using data to understand and improve the business, remain in high demand.

Accountants and Analysts able to provide in-depth modelling in various industries to either save costs or drive profitability are also sought. In fact, Financial Analysts across commercial, business and financial and Business Analysts (BA) are both in solid demand. BAs are needed to provide insights into how the business is performing and can position for growth and Financial Analysts are sought to reconcile systems and information.

At the more senior end of the market, Management Accountants are being recruited to analyse forecasts and budgets.

Senior Financial Accountants are also sought to act as the second in command to the Chief Financial Officer, but they are in short supply. In small companies, Finance Managers are being recruited to provide a mix of skills to the business.

Financial Accountants are also needed to provide assistance with half-year end and then year-end results.

We are also seeing strong demand for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable candidates.

Credit Controllers with SAP collections experience are needed too along with Payrollers with experience across all major systems.

Bookkeepers are considered great all-rounders and a cost effective hire as they have a broad range of skills especially as systems help to reduce workloads and the time it takes to complete payroll tasks.

Finally, Assistant Accountants are in increasing demand as companies grow and accountants find they need assistance to manage their growing workloads.

Senior Finance Professionals with professional practice experience are in extremely high demand in the Northern Territory. 

Candidate trends 

Candidates in demand know their worth and are becoming choosier about the roles they want and less flexible about the rates they will accept.

We are also seeing candidates more inclined to tailor their resume to the job opportunity they want including changing their current or former job title to avoid appearing over qualified.

In Brisbane, a number of executive-level finance candidates are looking for temporary/contract work and are frustrated that this type of engagement is typically reserved for roles at the lower levels.

In Western Australia the market is tighter. While there are still good opportunities in the challenged resources and oil & gas sectors, savvy candidates in search of stability are keen to look outside these sectors to new areas such as aged care, utilities, health, agribusiness and State Government.

Candidates are looking for roles closer to home. Less are willing to travel into the CBA from the Western suburbs.

Experienced and highly skilled candidates are looking for contract opportunities and employers should be capitalising on this available talent.

In Darwin, we are seeing the arrival of many international candidates but employers are reluctant to recruit them then spend time training them in Australian accounting principles and software.

We are also seeing a mismatch in salary expectations between employers and candidates for Finance Officer roles.

Overall, we are seeing more candidates placing a higher value on work environment and culture rather than just job role and salary.


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