According to Planet Consulting, a consulting firm for accounting businesses, a large number of accounting firms aren’t hiring graduates because a lot of the work graduates would have done in the past is now being done offshore.
“[On the other hand] they also want to more experienced accountants, but you don’t get experienced accountants unless you hire graduates and train them up,” said Planet Consulting founder Rob Pillans.
“[We] have this weird situation where if this trend continues, in terms of the amount of work being done offshore because we want the basic work done at the lowest possible price, we’re going to come to a situation in another two or three years where everyone [says], ‘Where are all our experienced accountants?’.”
Mr Pillans said the Australian accounting industry could see a scenario where accountants performing offshore work migrate to Australia.
“What may happen, and maybe this is the natural order of things in the global economy, is that those [offshore] accountants, will then come to Australia from the Philippines or wherever else and fill the space there, because they’re the ones that have had the training,” he said.
Mr Pillans also said there is further scope for the industry and universities to work more closely together on improving the quality of Australian accounting graduates.
“The industry is clearly articulating what they believe they need, and the universities should be able to adapt to that,” he said.