Are accounting jobs in demand in Australia?
I remember the accounting profession during the global financial crisis in 2008. Freshly hired grads were being let go in the hundreds as big accounting firms braced for the imminent storm. Working in a smaller firm, I was fortunate enough to weather the storm; some of my peers however were not so lucky.
I do not think that graduate recruitment in accounting has ever fully recovered since then. Demand seems subdued and supply seems to be ever increasing. I can say with absolute confidence that the job market is much more competitive than it was before the GFC. Accounting students and graduates need to hustle twice as hard to make their resumes stand out. I’m talking part time jobs, extracurriculars and certifications outside of university; it all adds up. When you think about it, you’re in the business of selling your services to an accounting firm or company, so you need to do your research and position your business accordingly. I mean that’s what you’re learning at university, you may as well put it to use.
“Accounting students and graduates need to hustle twice as hard to make their resumes stand out.”
For CA/CPAs with several years experience under their belt, it’s a vastly different story; the sky’s the limit. This is usually the stage in an accountant’s career where they start making moves into commerce/industry/government which creates a bit of a vacuum in public practice. I always have peers in the profession asking if they know someone that fits that bill. In this demographic there seems to be stable demand and a scarcity of supply. These senior staffers should also start considering their options overseas as well. There are plenty of countries that have significant skill shortages and will pay top dollar for qualified accountants. Aside from the tax side of things, which is easily picked up, debits and credits are the same no matter what country you’re in.
Regardless of what stage you are in your career, you should keep an eye on the profession’s salary surveys. Most large recruiters do an annual industry trends assessment and include indicative compensation figures.
Written By: Chris Hooper
Chief Executive Officer