Earlier this week, ManpowerGroup released the findings of its latest Employment Outlook Survey, measuring employers' hiring intentions for Q2 2017.
The survey reveals that 12 per cent of employers in the finance, insurance and real estate sector intend to increase hiring in the coming quarter, while 83 per cent will make no changes to their hiring plans, and just 4 per cent plan to decrease.
The resulting Net Employment Outlook is +7 per cent, which represents a slight decrease of four percentage points since Q1 2017.
Neil McDonald, director of ManpowerGroup company Marks Sattin, told Accountants Daily that this decrease could be partly attributed to the changing roles within the accounting industry.
“Across Australia, we are seeing a shift in commercial companies realigning their corporate structure with a focus on having a very lean model in accounting services. This is mainly due to constraints in budgeting and operational costs,” Mr McDonald said.
“This shift has caused many transaction accounting roles, such as shared services and payroll, to be outsourced to other countries.”
Mr McDonald said that many organisations are switching to a cloud-based accounting system, enabling work flexibility and tasks that can be completed on a contractual basis.
“This has led to a significant demand for contract accountants in Australia, rather than permanent, in order for organisations to minimise hiring and overhead costs, especially during times when accounting services are in less demand,” he said.
Looking ahead, Mr McDonald expects this trend to continue and for employees to appreciate the flexibility that contract roles give them.
“These days, employees are able to decide where, when and how they work,” he said.
“As technology continues to supplement individual choice, we expect that contract accounting roles will continue to rise.”