The highest paying jobs in accountancy and finance | Main Region | UB

The highest paying jobs in accountancy and finance 2023 - 2024

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The finance industry’s share of contribution to the GDP is 7.6 per cent, placing it just behind the mining, and health and education as a key sector in the Australian economy. 
As one of the most integral industries to Australia’s economy and the specialised knowledge and experience needed for many roles, salaries for professionals in this area are high.
If you're planning your future career goals in accountancy and finance and want a long and happy working life, don’t only focus on jobs that can offer the highest salaries. However, knowing what jobs are the most well compensated is an important factor in mapping out future career moves.
For organisations, being aware of the salaries the market is paying in your industry can help to drive your talent strategies and leave you well-positioned to attract the right talent.

The highest paying accountancy and finance jobs in Australia in 2023 - 2024

Below, we’ve put together the highest paying accountancy and finance roles in Australia based on the findings from the latest Hays Salary Guide.
While most of the salaries listed here are for roles in metropolitan Sydney, there are a few exceptions that are highlighted. 

Head of treasury ($410K)

Within the accountancy and finance sector, heads of treasury are the top earners and have one of the highest paying positions across all industries, with the typical salary coming in at $410K.
The considerable salary is driven by the importance of a head of treasury’s responsibilities, which include developing funding strategies, as well as setting strategies for forecasting, budgeting, investment and treasury functions. Among these responsibilities, individuals in this role need to possess strong business acumen, high attention to detail, knowledge of bank systems and strong leadership skills as they often manage teams towards shared goals to be successful.
For accounting professionals aspiring to a role in treasury management, you will require more than 10 years’ experience in finance, banking, accounting and/or in-house corporate treasury experience. It isn’t just head of treasury roles that pay well. A treasury manager who oversees a turnover of $300m can still earn a generous salary of $255K.

Group financial controller (up to $315K)

Businesses of all sizes realise the importance of meticulous internal financial management, therefore positions such as financial controllers are in high demand and are paid well accordingly.
Typically possessing a degree in accounting or finance, extensive experience managing finance teams, and completing a professional accounting qualification such as a CPA, financial controllers are responsible for financial planning and analysis as well as forecasting, budgeting and internal control. In addition to these responsibilities, they need to relay financial reporting to management and boards.
While salaries vary for financial controllers, in the upper echelon, group financial controllers working in organisations with turnovers exceeding $300M can earn up to $315K if based in Sydney, while the average range across Australia stretches between $153K to $280K.
For financial controllers that work in an organisation with a turnover between $100m to $300m, they can expect to see a salary of between $140K and $190K on average . Financial controllers in this position don’t see as large of a salary as group financial controllers as they typically focus on the financial operations for a single company, not multiple companies which is normal for a group financial controller. 

Head of internal audit ($300K)

A head of internal audit is one of the top earners in the accountancy and finance sector, with a typical take-home package of $300K. This sizeable salary recognises their key role in the delivery of an organisation’s strategic objectives by assessing risk management and overseeing the governance framework within the business.
Internal auditing professionals can see robust salaries across all stages, with an internal auditor typically earning $110K and an internal audit manager seeing $170K on average. These positions have a less strategic focus than a head of internal audit, and are primarily responsible for managing audit projects and executing internal audit engagements.
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) certifications are highly regarded qualifications for these roles, as well as a bachelor’s degree in accounting and practical experience in internal auditing. 

Head of tax ($300K)

Head of tax is another top earner in accountancy and finance with the same typical salary as head of internal audit at $300K. Statutory and tax is an area with overall high paying positions, such as tax manager, fetching up to $250K.
A head of tax is a high earning position due to its impact on an organisation’s financial performance and long-term sustainability. They also play a major role in managing tax risk, ensuring organisational compliance and optimal tax planning. To execute this role, they possess excellent stakeholder management, strong financial acumen and effective risk management.

Head of risk (up to $400K)

The salary for a head of risk can vary widely depending on the size of an organisation, its complexity and its geographical location – the role can earn anything from $122K all the way to $400K. There is quite the jump in earnings as you move across varying levels of seniority, with an operations risk manager typically seeing a salary of around $143K.
Driving these larger salaries is the high specialisation of the role as well as the overall impact it can have on an organisation’s performance. Effective risk management is vital for financial institutions to be able to safeguard their assets, remain stable and comply with any regulatory requirements. The head of risk carries a heavy responsibility for all these key factors. 

Senior commercial manager/director ($270K)

For senior qualified accountants, a senior commercial manager/director is one of the top paying roles. Managers that work in an organisation with a turnover of $300m can secure a typical salary of $270K, even reaching up to $300K.
Senior commercial managers are highly valued for their ability to develop and implement financial strategies aligned to business objectives. They’re able to analyse and identify market trends, assess opportunities for the business and provide financial insight to support strategic decision making for organisations. 

Head of financial planning & analysis ($250K)

Financial planning and analysis is a vital component to any organisation as it provides insight into financial performance, allowing for effective resourcing and business decisions to take place, ultimately resulting in long-term profitability and sustainability for organisations.
At the senior-qualified accountant level, a manager or head of financial planning & analysis typically pockets a salary of $250K. Other top earners in this area are financial analysts  working in organisations with a turnover of $300m. They are averaging a salary of $130K and even $140K in Perth. 

Find more of Australia’s highest paying jobs

There are plenty of career options when it comes to setting your sights on high paying jobs across all levels of seniority in the accountancy and finance sector. The significant amount of specialisation and considerable responsibility of many of these roles lend themselves to incredibly high salaries, meaning it’s an attractive sector to start mapping out a career path for. 
For detail on many more salaries within accountancy and finance or for more information on which jobs pay the most in Australia across other industries, download the Hays Salary Guide. Our flagship report is full of findings pertinent to employers and candidates making smarter decisions in the world of work and draws on data from more than 14,000 respondents across Australia and New Zealand.

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