Aug 2021

Australian compliance salaries rising by over 20% due to shortages of skilled accountants

By: Odyssey General, Outsourcing
Tags: COVID19, labour shortage

The AFR recently released the starting recruiting salary for a university graduate at $65-68k.

What is interesting about this number is the prior week we’d been talking to a partner of a 3 partner firm down in Melbourne, who said there was a general problem with finding staff during these coronavirus times.

That is, people are less likely to move to a new job without a significant financial incentive.

During the discussion the partner mentioned the salary for a senior was usually around $75,000 and they had offered $90,000 to applicants but hadn’t been able to secure additional resource staff for the busy season at this $90,000 level. 

It’s interesting the $15,000 or 20% increase on the $75,000 wasn’t sufficient to attract new staff into the firm.

We’ve discussed the reasons behind this in previous blogs. There is an inability at the moment for staff to move over borders, and at the same time there appear to be a significant drain of people out of the cities into regional areas, and this includes professional staff. With the shortage of professional staff in the bigger cities, and an ongoing concern at lockdowns in the bigger capital cities and surrounding environments, it appears this is translating to a request for more than 20% increases for talent to move.

And this war for talent isn’t going to reduce any time soon. Although Australia added accountants to the skilled visa list, at the same time we’ve reduced the number of arrivals into Australia by half, and this to continue for quite some time to come. With a large number of Australians seeking to return home, there are going to be shortages of spaces for skilled visa employees for some time.

The answer to the skills shortage in Australia is to modernise the accounting firm, ensure every process is digital, and allow remote working. This will enable resources to be sourced both domestically and internationally.

If you’d like assistance with a temporary or permanent skill shortage in your compliance team then reach out to Odyssey and we’ll be happy to chat about how we can assist.

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