Search to employ culturally compatible accountants

Employers would rather wait for accounting candidates who are a good cultural fit for their business in order to increase the longevity of their employment despite a shortage of intermediate and senior level accountants, according to Hays.

The Hays Quarterly Report of accountancy and finance trends for April-June 2017 showed the shortage of employees across the industry was a cumulative result of multiple factors. The move of professional accountants into commerce, and lack of in-depth experience in Australian taxation were cited as catalysts, whilst the consistently changing nature of the role had also been viewed as a turn off.

The report said employers had considered experienced bookkeepers or self-employed bookkeepers as alternatives to qualified accountants, who could be trained up in-house.

“They will even create a role for a strong and suitable candidate, especially for seniors who can help grow the business,” the report said.

“Given shortages, firms are not in a hurry to recruit and will instead wait for a candidate who is the right cultural fit.”

The report identified several hotspots of demand across the accountancy profession:

  • Business services accountants who would need strong knowledge of tax legislation and compliance requirements;
  • Business services supervisors to review the work of junior accountants;
  • Tax accountants who were particularly needed across the Northern Territory (NT) and would suit a demanding position with increased workloads;
  • Client-facing skilled workers to navigate automated compliance practices with clients.

The report also said accountancy firms would also need to increase salaries on offer in order to retain staff, and could draw on a niche market of potential employees interstate who could be eligible for state sponsorship visas.

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