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Accountancy & Finance - Public Sector

January - March 2015



Management Accountants – 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.


Financial Accountants – 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 backfill essential reporting staff.


Finance Systems Analysts/System Accountants – As employers look to enhance the quality of data they can extract from general ledger systems, demand remains high for candidates with strong business intelligence skills who can use software such as TechnologyOne or Cognos. This information provides the wider business with better information to aide commercial decision making. 


Business Analysts – Demand exists for Analysts who are able to work within a division, not the central finance function. Those who have a specific focus on return on marketing investment are sought by charities due to increased competition for funding. Employers are looking at clarifying their marketing expenditure in order to determine its effectiveness. Temporary Business Analysts with healthcare sector, financial modelling and activity funding experience are also sought.


Finance Managers Smaller organisations are seeking Finance Managers as there has recently been an increase in candidate movement in this space.


Payrollers – Candidates with systems implementation or project experience are sought by employers within the public sector. 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.


Billings – This skill is sought by memberships and subscription organisations as well as aged care facilities.


Government experience Within the Government sector there has been a shift back to demand for candidates with Government experience who can hit the ground running. This is partly due to departments needing sign off for roles that last for a period of longer than three months.




Federal Government public sector recruitment is currently contractor driven and this will continue in the lead up to the next election. The Government will choose to utilise the flexibility of a temporary workforce rather than increase the number of fulltime employees.


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.


We expect to see more contract work available on a temporary to permanent basis. Many new roles have been created as teams continue to be restructured.


With the public sector under pressure to keep staff costs under control, good Payroll and Accounts Receivable staff are always in demand due to high levels of staff turnover and cyclical demand. 


In a final trend of interest, investment in IT/process improvement will see demand for temporary staff increase and candidates with good IT/systems/ERP skills will be sought in the year ahead.


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