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CFOs on recruitment drive refuse to lower the bar


CPA or CA accreditation remains a must-have for employers – along with a host of other skills, says Robert Half.

By Josh Needs4 minute read

CPA or CA accreditation is a must-have competency for almost 40 per cent of CFOs when looking to hire new employees, according to recruitment agency Robert Half. 


Despite staff shortage in many industries including accounting, CFOs surveyed by Robert Half still rate prospective employees against a demanding hierarchy of skills. 

The research conducted by Robert Half as part of its 2022 Salary Guide midyear refresh surveyed over 300 hiring managers including 100 CFOs and 100 CIOs.

Top-ranking skills included advanced Microsoft Excel, enterprise resource planning ability (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics 365, NetSuite, and Workday), plus advanced competence in business intelligence tools and predictive analytics.

These were alone in coming higher than either CPA or CA accreditations.

Robert Half director Andrew Brushfield said that while employers put together these lists of must-haves getting skilled candidates was a greater challenge.  

“The supply of active accounting jobseekers to fill this demand remains critically low,” said Mr Brushfield. “Skilled candidates are being poached from their employers through generous salaries, title changes, sign on bonuses and more.

“Competition for talent is putting pressure on employers to raise their salaries in order to compete with the other employer, often offering a premium of 25 per cent on top of the starting salary to attract new talent.”

Robert Half’s research found that almost two out of five (39 per cent) of CFOs in the finance sector plan on adding additional positions over the coming months.

Despite the tight labour market, with unemployment at a record low of 3.5 per cent, almost half of Australia’s employers planned to expand their permanent workforce, according to Robert Half. 

The research showed two-thirds of employers believed it would be even more challenging to find qualified employees now compared to six months ago. 

Managing director at Robert Half Australia, David Jones, said that the stretched labour market would continue for employers looking for suitable candidates.

“The current tight labour market, which is being driven by buoyant job creation and already high participation rates, is showing no signs of easing with Australian business confidence also remaining strong in this new financial year,” said Mr Jones.

“Increased hiring activity and rising turnover alongside an ever-shrinking active job seeker market means the competition for talent is growing fiercer.”

However, Mr Jones said that one alternative for businesses rather than looking for the perfect candidate was for companies to invest in the development of employees and look to the potential they have and their ability to learn.

“While employers will be typically looking for many in demand soft-skills and technical skills to fill roles in the coming months, it’s important for companies to remain open to hiring candidates based on their potential to grow into a role with the support of ongoing investment in internal training, professional development and succession planning,” said Mr Jones.

CFOs on recruitment drive refuse to lower the bar
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Josh Needs

Josh Needs


Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

You can email Josh on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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