Australian finance & accounting skills in high demand

12 August 2014

Almost half the businesses across Australia plan to recruit additional finance and accounting professionals, with new projects and company growth driving hiring intentions, according to research released by specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half.


In a survey of 160 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) across Australia, 86% are confident about the country’s economic prospects, and 89% in the growth of their business this year. This translates to a strong outlook for finance and accounting professionals and a number of in-demand positions.


In-demand positions

Business / Financial Analyst






TABLE 1: 160 CFOs were asked “in which three of the following functional areas is it most difficult to find skilled candidates?”


When asked what technical skills were regarded as a priority when recruiting new staff, financial reporting was most highly sought after (47%); followed by financial planning and analysis (37%); and knowledge of software programs, including financial packages and ERPs, such as Oracle and SAP (29%).


Highly sought after skills

Financial reporting


Financial planning & analysis


Integrated software programs


TABLE 2: 160 CFOs were asked “which of the following technical skill sets will you prioritise in your recruitment of finance and accounting professionals?”


However, while a lot of companies are looking to recruit, 93% of CFOs indicate it is challenging1 to find the right talent, as general demand outweighs supply.


Kevin Jarvis, Director at Robert Half, says quality employees rarely stay available in the market for long, and employers need to have a strong understanding of what packages will attract a tier-1 candidate to the role.


“Companies need to be aware of current remuneration trends, and in particular, other non-monetary related initiatives”.


Such benefits include a positive work culture, training and development, mentoring programs, health and well-being benefits, flexibility around hours or telecommuting”, adds Jarvis.


Similarly job-seekers looking to position themselves as a top candidate need to showcase more than their education.


“Today’s finance and accounting professionals need business acumen and soft skills. The Chartered Accountant (CA) and Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) qualifications are highly sought after, but the best candidates combine these with excellent interpersonal, communication, listening and problem-solving abilities”, concludes Jarvis.


Notes to Editors: 

1 ‘Challenging’ is used contextually in this media release; calculated as the addition of the ‘very challenging’ and ‘somewhat challenging’ responses from the data tables.



Business Size




(less than 150 employees)


(150-500 employees)


(500-plus employees)

Very challenging / Somewhat challenging





Not challenging / Don’t know





TABLE 3: 160 CFOs were asked “how challenging is it for your company to find skilled finance professionals today?          


Results were developed by Robert Half in conjunction with an independent research organisation, which surveyed 160 Australian Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in July 2014.


The 2014 Robert Half Salary Guide provides comprehensive analysis of current and future hiring trends including salary benchmarks.


Robert Half’s work life blog hosts further news, trends and expert commentary which impact the Australian employment market. 


Contact Us




Gabrielle Nagy  
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
Tel: 02 8028 7751
Email: [email protected]

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