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Accountancy & Finance - Public Sector

July - September 2015

We have seen an increase in the number of internal audit roles across various Government agencies, while external audit has also been a big focus for employers. Candidates are in short supply in both areas due to the increased activity in the market.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of temporary to permanent positions. Many employers are offering permanent roles, but are looking to bring temporary candidates on board initially for a fairly short period. Employers are becoming more flexible and will consider candidates without specific systems or industry backgrounds.

In terms of skills in demand for the July to September 2015 quarter, Financial Accountants with a Government security clearance are highly sought. Also, candidates with knowledge of the Department of Finance reporting requirements (including FMA and PBS) are needed as departments look to backfill essential reporting staff. There is always a shortage of APS6 Financial Accountants with strong asset accounting exposure due to the demanding workloads in this area.

Employers are looking for Management Accountants with strong budgeting experience within the Government sector as well as those who have external budgets experience. Candidates with strong written communication skills are also sought to help write budget papers. With budgets being reduced, we are also seeing demand for Management Accountants with strong analysis skills to ensure accurate forecasting.

Candidates with systems implementation or project experience are sought. Payrollers with knowledge of the Chris 21, HR3 or ADP systems are particularly sought after as employers look to improve processes and reduce workloads by moving towards more automated systems.

Automation and self-service software is a trend impacting general operational roles such as Accounts Payable. As a result, employers are looking for candidates with skills in problem solving, systems and communication, rather than simply strong processing skills.

There is a shortage of Internal and External Auditors in the market. Most organisations outsource this function, and as a result there is a shortage of candidates for those roles that are still retained in the public sector.

Billings skills are sought in the aged care and health sectors. Tighter restrictions on funding and changes to legislation around recovering patient revenue in these sectors have led to a demand for candidates with these skills.

Credit Controllers are also sought as organisations focus on efficiencies and maximising cash flow. In greatest demand, but short supply, are candidates with dedicated experience in a credit control role.

In terms of candidate trends, we are seeing more flexibility in the market as candidates become more conscious of the possibilities that contract roles can bring.

 

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