Tough times across Australia have seen many teams in the accounting profession shrink and pay conditions slide, the firm said.
In a tight market, accountants need to develop a personal strategy, demonstrate value to their employer and come up with viable, fresh ideas for the business in order to impress.
Paul Barbaro, Lloyd Morgan executive general manager, has urged accountants to think of the jobs market like the investment market.
“A company may post a good profit but industry analysts want to see sound strategic growth plans before they’ll recommend the business as a buy option,” he said.
“It’s the same with bosses – when it comes to pay increase considerations accounting and auditing roles, they don’t just look at how you’re performing now, they look at your future value.”
“Getting a bigger share of the pie – pay, a bonus or benefits – takes perseverance. You have to ask for it, but you’ve also got to work for it,” Mr Barbaro said.
The recruitment firm has outlined six ideas they say will put accountants in a position to negotiate the pay terms to match their true value:
Develop a personal strategy. To be successful, you’ve got to know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there! There are plenty of strategy templates online for companies – adapt one to suit your own personal strategy. Be brave and run through this with your boss – they’ll be impressed with your commitment!
Prove your current worth. Track how the work you do adds to the bottom line and how you execute it in tandem with company values. Develop with your boss or colleagues KPIs that pinpoint specific tasks that show how you support the sales, revenue or reporting processes or customer metrics.
Show your future value. As part of your plan provide evidence of how the work you do adds to the bottom line and how you execute it in tandem with company values. Work with your boss on KPIs that pinpoint specific tasks that highlight the future value of your role and track your success against these.
Sharpen skills that really matter and will help the business financially. For example, Lloyd Morgan research shows that accounting firms across the board reduced the size of teams. It’s a great opportunity to see what skills need filling and tune up on them. Value add your own capabilities.
Surprise and delight your boss. A good boss loves new ideas for clients and customers so identify areas that could do with a makeover, and do it, or contribute your time and ideas. Think website, presentation documents, lead generation lists, or industry intelligence. Organise a 10-minute chat with your boss once a month to outline your ideas.
Be realistic. There simply may not be money in the pot so try negotiating for additional benefits instead – like even more training (right on trend at the moment), flexible work hours, or even ask for a mentor!