According to Hays, the top five skills in demand nationally in professional practice for January to June 2020 include SMSF accountants, senior auditors, business services seniors and supervisors, business service intermediates and business services managers.
“There is consistent and strong growth in the number of SMSFs being generated each year, and therefore, the interest in these candidates continues to rise,” said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays Australia & New Zealand.
“In professional practice, the dominant trend is the continuing skill shortage. As a result, firms are now willing to consider candidates at the management level who are looking to return to professional services after a few years in the commercial sector.
“Firms have also become more open to sponsoring candidates with limited local experience to overcome the domestic supply shortage.”
The Hays jobs report, updated twice a year to reflect changing market conditions, also found that management accountants, company accountants, payroll officers, financial and business analysts, and accountant receivable and credit controllers continue to be in demand in commerce and industry.
Mr Deligiannis believes accountants looking for a potential move this year should upskill in data analytics, with an increasing number of jobs calling for an analytical deep dive into business performance.
Versatile accountants will also place themselves in good stead to land a new role, with soft skills remaining highly sought after.
“The move away from traditional number crunchers is fuelling an additional requirement for candidates with solid soft skills,” Mr Deligiannis said.
“With more transactional tasks enabled by technology, accountants need to diversify their soft skills to be a trusted adviser who assists in supporting an organisation’s decision-making.
“The most highly sought-after soft skills are communication, business acumen and business partnering.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.