Hays Accountancy and Finance regional director David Cawley said that while there is strong demand nationwide for new accountants, the eastern seaboard cities of Sydney and Melbourne would offer the best opportunities at present.
“Within professional practice there’s a major skill shortage nationwide, with employers always looking for perfectly presented, qualified, bright and driven candidates,” said Mr Cawley told New Accountant.
“Strong customer service and written and verbal communication skills are essential. Those with local tax and audit experience are also in continuous demand.”
However, Mr Cawley believes those with specialised skills and focus will have the best chances of gaining employment and commanding higher pay packages.
“Everyone wants an expert not a generalist,” he said.
“It’s also critical that you can add value to an organisation by providing specialist skills since employers don’t need people to crunch the numbers anymore.
“They need people who can step in after the automation of data processing to review and interpret data and use it to provide deeper insights for their business or clients than was previously possible.”
In order to stay ahead of the competition, Mr Cawley says new accountants should demonstrate that they can comfortably engage with stakeholders and partner with a business.
“Business partners and accountants who can partner with the business and add value are in greatest demand,” said Mr Cawley.
“So sharpen up your stakeholder engagement and business partnering skills, be able to add value, drive efficiencies and offer cost savings and ensure you keep your skills up-to-date by continuously upskilling and staying on top of emerging trends.”