According to the recruiter’s recently released 2014 Salary Guide, a majority of employers (64 per cent) plan to increase salaries by less than three per cent when they next review staff remuneration, while nine per cent of employers have no plans to increase salaries at all.
Lynne Roeder, regional director of Hays Accountancy & Finance, said employers are attempting to do more with less.
“They are still under pressure to manage costs and the ceiling for salary increases has lowered in many organisations across Australia,” she said.
Looking forward, specific skill sets will be highly sought after and therefore demand better remuneration growth, according to Ms Roeder.
“In terms of skills in demand, we expect to see a focus on recruiting qualified accountants with exceptional IT and systems knowledge. Analysts with good business intelligence system skills will also be sought as businesses focus on performance reporting, efficiencies and cost control,” she said.
Salaries were stable in professional practice last year, with a number of firms giving only the minimal annual increase, Ms Roeder said.
“Candidate movement was seen in the big four and second-tier firms as people moved to either commerce or mid-tier firms that offered improved career advancement opportunities and higher salaries,” she added.
The report showed the busiest industries for accountancy and finance vacancy activity over the past 12 months were construction, property, oil and gas and FMCG.
In other key findings, 41 per cent of employers see a more positive economic outlook on the horizon, while 66 per cent expect their levels of business activity to increase in the year ahead.