In-demand finance roles and salaries in Australia and New Zealand in 2022

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David Cawley, regional director at recruiting experts Hays, says he’s never seen in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) such a candidate short job market and so many industries with skills shortages, something he predicts will only continue to intensify in 2022.

And despite borders beginning to open up and making it easier for international recruitment, it is unlikely to be enough to plug the gap left by the ‘Great Resignation’. ‘Most professionals elected to remain in their existing roles during the last couple of years; however, the pandemic and lockdowns have prompted many people to re-evaluate their work-life priorities. As a result, we’re expecting to see people quit their jobs and look for new opportunities,’ said Cawley.

In fact, according to Hays’ ANZ salary guide, 75% of accountancy and finance professionals are either looking for a new job, planing to look or are open to new opportunities, with key reasons being a lack of promotional opportunities, an uncompetitive salary and a poor management style or workplace culture.

The search for roles will be supported by the strengthening post-pandemic economic outlook, with 34% of CFOs adding new permanent finance and accounting roles in 2022, according to Robert Half’s Australia salary guide.

Strengthening salaries

According to Hays, 57% of accountancy and finance employers regionally will increase salaries by up to 3%, while 68% of professionals believe a 3% salary increase would better reflect their performance.

According to Robert Half, the war for talent in New Zealand is putting pressure on businesses to increase remuneration to attract candidates, with most employees expecting 5-10% salary increases and top talent receiving rises of up to 15%, while in Australia it’s as much as 20% higher for the most in-demand roles.

In an effort to attract hard-sought candidates in Australia, 47% of CFOs are increasing starting salaries and 65% are offering signing bonuses.

Most in-demand roles

Cawley notes that, among several other in-demand roles, the need for payroll officers is notable. ‘Payroll Officers are one of our top five skills in demand for Australia and New Zealand this year. While recruitment demand for many accountancy and finance skills fluctuates based on seasonal trends, payroll is required year-round. Employers want payroll officers with relevant systems knowledge and experience working on implementations or improvements. They also look for proven experience working with a similar volume of employees, and an understanding of the relevant industry awards.’

The remaining top five in-demand roles according to Hays are:

Commercial Analysts

‘Commercial analysts with business partnering skills are in extremely high demand. Employers request candidates who can liaise effectively across departments and achieve the buy-in of non-finance colleagues. Such business partnering skills are non-negotiable and valued as highly as a CA/CPA qualification,’ says Cawley.

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Accounts Receivable

‘Accounts Receivable professionals are required to ensure all debtors ledgers are reduced. Strong communications skills and a determination to achieve KPIs are essential,’ says Cawley.

Procurement Specialists 

‘Procurement Specialists with a broad skillset and exposure to a variety of categories are in short supply. Demand is high as organisations look to reduce costs and increase operating efficiencies. Recruitment demand exists for generalists who can work across a broad variety of subject matter and drive procurement outcomes, regardless of the category of spend. In addition, strong virtual stakeholder engagement skills are expected. Such niche skills are in short supply,’ says Cawley.

Procurement Consultants

‘In Australia, Procurement Consultants are needed for Federal Government roles. Candidates require experience leading complex and large-scale tenders, from solution design through to contract award. Roles are based onsite, with projects often involving the establishment of outsourced procurement contracts and new panel contracts for ICT or service-based agreements, and the incorporation of current panels to maximise efficiencies. Those with NV1 clearance or defence experience are favoured,’ says Cawley.

Robert Half highlights several sought-after roles by terms of permanency, project basis or contract:

Permanent roles

  • Financial Accountant
  • FP&A Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Finance Manager
  • Financial Controller

Project roles

  • Project Manager
  • Functional Project Business Analyst
  • Finance Manager/Financial Controller
  • Financial Analyst/Commercial Analyst/Management Accountant
  • (Senior) Financial Accountant

Contract roles

  • Payroll Officer/Manager
  • Accounts Payable Officer/Manager
  • Assistant Accountant
  • Accounts Receivable Officer/Manager
  • Junior Financial Analyst

More information on Hays salary guides for Australia and New Zealand

More information on Robert Half's salary guide for Australia and New Zealand

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