Compared to the rest of the Australian jobs market, where wages growth is relatively flat, accounting professionals are recording above-trend growth in salary packages.
Candidates with previous experience at a big four firm are in a stronger negotiating position. Robert Half found that employers are willing to pay more for professionals with experience at KPMG, PwC, Deloitte or EY.
In particular, employers are looking for tech-savvy accountants, and those who have detailed knowledge of changing standards such as AASB15 and 16.
Financial analysts are also in hot demand, and there is a rise in demand across the board for those in transactional and payroll-focused roles.
One industry driving demand of accounting professionals is construction, particularly on the east coast. In NSW and Victoria, an increase in infrastructure spending is driving the need for finance managers, particularly candidates with commercial experience, to support new and changing projects.
In Queensland and Western Australia, resources companies are beginning to rebound following the mining bust. The elevated confidence and growth of this sector has seen more companies on the hunt for transactional-level finance professionals, particularly accounts payable officers, credit controllers and payroll staff.
Employers are also increasingly offering non-salary benefits to employees to get them on board, and employees are increasingly willing and keen to negotiate non-monetary perks into their contracts.
For example, 84 per cent of employers offer flexible working and work-from-home options; 60 per cent of employers offer some form of wellbeing program such as a discounted gym membership; and 58 per cent of employers are willing to offer additional leave such as paid parental leave or increased holiday allowance.
‘Job for life is dead’
In Australia today, employees who have had an average of five job changes over a 10-year period are the happiest.
This is working to correct the stigma around “job hopping”, particularly as employers are more willing to take on candidates with a history of job changing, compared to this time five years ago.