The highest paying jobs in accountancy and finance | Main Region | UB

The highest paying jobs in accountancy and finance 2023 - 2024

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Financial and insurance services contribute to 5.5 per cent of New Zealand’s total GDP, making it one of the key sectors for the New Zealand economy.
As one of the most integral industries to New Zealand’s economy and the specialised knowledge and experience needed for many roles, salaries for professionals in this area are high.
Of course, your professional aspirations and career goals should not focus solely on the monetary value. With that said however, knowing what roles in your profession pay the most can help you map out your next career move.
For organisations, being aware of the salaries the market is paying in your industry can help to drive your talent strategies and leave you well-positioned to attract the right talent.

The highest paying accountancy and finance jobs in New Zealand in 2023 - 2024

The Hays Salary Guide gives insight into recruitment trends and provides salary data for hundreds of jobs across New Zealand. Based on this data, we’ve collated the following list of some of New Zealand’s highest paying jobs. 
Below, we’ve put together the highest paying accountancy and finance roles in New Zealand based on the findings from the latest Hays Salary Guide.
While most of the salaries listed here are for roles in Auckland, there are a few exceptions that are highlighted. 
For salaries in other locations or other roles in your field, please see our complete Hays Salary Guide.

Group financial controller (up to $240K)

Businesses of all sizes realise the importance of meticulous internal financial management, therefore positions such as financial controllers are in high demand and are paid well accordingly.
Typically possessing a degree in accounting or finance, extensive experience managing finance teams, and completing a professional accounting qualification such as a CPA, financial controllers are responsible for financial planning and analysis as well as forecasting, budgeting and internal control. In addition to these responsibilities, they need to relay financial reporting to management and boards.
While salaries can vary for financial controllers, in the upper echelon, group financial controllers in organisations with a turnover of more than $300m are among the top earners in New Zealand. They can earn up to $240K if based in Auckland, while the average range in New Zealand stretches from $185K to $220K.
For financial controllers that work in an organisation with a turnover between $100m to $300m, they can expect to see a salary of $180K on average. Financial controllers in this position don’t see as large of a salary as group financial controllers as they typically focus on the financial operations for a single company, not multiple companies which is normal for a group financial controller.

Senior commercial manager ($220K)

For senior qualified accountants, a senior commercial manager/director overseeing turnover of more than $300m is the top paying role in New Zealand. They can earn a salary of $220K, even reaching as high as $250K. 
Senior commercial managers are highly valued for their ability to develop and implement financial strategies aligned to business objectives. They’re able to analyse and identify market trends, assess opportunities for the business and provide financial insight to support strategic decision making for organisations.

Head of financial planning analysis ($180K)

Financial planning and analysis is a vital component to any organisation as it provides insight into financial performance of an organisation, allowing for effective resourcing and business decisions to take place, ultimately resulting in long-term profitability and sustainability for organisations. 
At the senior-qualified accountant level, a manager or head of financial planning and analysis typically pockets a salary of $180K. Other top earners in this area are financial analysists with a turnover of $300m, taking home a salary of $125K on average.

Head of treasury ($173K)

Within the accountancy and finance sector, heads of treasury have one of the top paying positions in New Zealand, with an average pay of $173K.
The considerable salary is driven by the importance of a head of treasury’s responsibilities, which include developing funding strategies, as well as setting strategies for forecasting, budgeting, investment and treasury functions. Among these responsibilities, individuals in this role need to possess strong business acumen, high attention to detail, knowledge of bank systems and strong leadership skills as they often manage teams towards shared goals.
For accounting professionals aspiring to a role in treasury management, you will require more than 10 years’ experience in finance, banking, accounting and/or in-house corporate treasury experience. It isn’t just head of treasury roles that pay well. A treasury manager who oversees a turnover of $300m can still earn a salary of $133K.

Head of risk (up to $173K)

Within compliance and risk, a head of risk can see anywhere from $122K all the way to $204K depending on where they are located in New Zealand. There’s a jump in salaries as you move up the career path – an operations risk manager typically sees a salary of around $128K.
The salary for a head of risk can vary widely depending on the size of an organisation, its complexity and its geographical location – the role can earn anything from $122K and up to $204K. Even more junior roles can earn a sizeable income, with an operations risk manager typically seeing a salary of around $128K.
Driving these larger salaries is the high specialisation of the role as well as the overall impact it can have on an organisation’s performance. Effective risk management is vital for financial institutions to be able to safeguard their assets, remain stable and comply with any regulatory requirements. The head of risk carries a heavy responsibility for all these key factors.

Head of internal audit ($153K)

A head of internal audit is one of the top earners in the accountancy and finance sector in New Zealand, with a general take-home package of $153K. This sizeable salary recognises their key role in the delivery of an organisation’s strategic objectives by assessing risk management and overseeing the governance framework within the business.
Internal auditing professionals can see robust salaries across all stages, with an internal auditor typically earning $82K and an internal audit manager seeing $133K on average. These positions have a less strategic focus than a head of internal audit and are primarily responsible for managing audit projects and executing internal audit engagements.
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) certifications are highly regarded qualifications for these roles, as well as a bachelor’s degree in accounting and practical experience in internal auditing. 

Head of tax ($153K)

Head of tax is among the top earners in accountancy and finance with the same typical salary as head of internal audit at $153K. Statutory and tax is an area with overall high paying positions, such as a tax manager, attracting up to $122K.
A head of tax has an outsized impact on an organisation’s financial performance and long-term sustainability. People in these roles are responsible for managing tax risk, ensuring organisational compliance and optimal tax planning. To execute this role, they possess excellent stakeholder management, strong financial acumen and effective risk management.  

Find more of New Zealand’s highest paying jobs

It’s clear that there are plenty of career options when it comes to setting your sights on high paying jobs across all levels of seniority in the accountancy and finance sector. The significant amount of specialisation and considerable responsibility of many of these roles lend themselves to incredibly high salaries, meaning it’s an attractive sector to start mapping out a career path for. 
Download the Hays Salary Guide for more insights on salaries across New Zealand’s top industries, plus even more detail on accountancy and finance salaries. Drawing on data from more than 14,000 respondents in Australia and New Zealand, the Hays Salary Guide extends far beyond salaries to offer market insights and emerging workforce trends for both employers and jobseekers alike. 

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