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Accountancy & Finance - Commerce & Industry

Jobs Report A&F NZ - Jul to Dec 2018



Jul – Dec 2018

Hotspots of skills in demand

Over half (53 per cent) of employers in New Zealand expect to increase permanent staff levels in the next 12 months, exceeding the 8 per cent who say they’ll decrease. According to the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide, 18 per cent also expect to increase their use of temporary and contract staff, exceeding the 11 per cent who anticipate decreasing in this area. Meanwhile, 21 per cent now employ temporary and contract staff on a regular ongoing basis, with another 41 per cent employing them for special projects or workloads.

Given vacancy activity, hotspots of skills in demand are emerging. Demand will be high for Financial Analysts since changing reporting processes, an increase in data collection and better performing ERP systems put the focus on analysis rather than the preparation of reports.

Finance Business Partners who can drive an organisation’s performance and have strong stakeholder management skills are required too. Traditional accounting positions do not allow candidates to develop the required level of business partnering skills, which adds to the shortage.

Financial Control & Risk professionals are also sought. The automation of the accounting process means typical control and risk frameworks need to be updated accordingly.

Internal Auditors are in demand as organisations tighten internal controls and look to minimise risk. With many audit professionals preferring to remain within professional practice, or looking for commercial roles outside of audit, there is a shortage of suitable candidates.

Management Accountants who can provide value-adding reporting to line managers and are operationally focused strategic thinkers are in demand. With transactional processes becoming more automated, Accountants need to adapt and become more strategic.

Financial Accountants with a Big 4 background are sought, however there are a limited number of such candidates.

Project Accountants are needed as new projects commence.

Systems Accountants are increasingly sought to add value and get the best out of systems. Constant technological change also leads to the need to keep systems up-to-date and improve processes.

Finance Managers are sought, especially by SMEs that are bringing finances back in-house and require experienced leaders to ensure they remain financially strong.

Team Leaders and Managers are also sought. Employers look for candidates with previous management experience, however such professionals are in short supply.

All-round Account Clerks with ample experience and a diverse skill set are needed. So too are Assistant Accountants with local experience and a strong level of experience.

Payrollers with high-volume experience are in short supply. Candidates are sought for both part-time and fulltime roles. Senior and Sole Charge Payroll Officers with proven experience running pay runs on their own are also needed.

Payroll Managers are required. Following the 2016 revelation of holiday pay calculation errors, many payroll professionals are reluctant to manage teams. However, the demand exists for candidates with strong payroll and management experience.

Payroll Administrators are also in demand. The candidate market is incredibly tight, with fewer people commencing a payroll career.

Credit Controllers for front-end roles are sought. There are a lot of finance companies with large credit teams that cover collections and recovery. However, the nature of front-end collection means there is constant turnover, resulting in the need to replace departing staff.

Accounts Payable and Receivable professionals with strong focused experience rather than broad experience across multiple functions are in short supply. However, fewer people want to pursue a career in transactional accounting. Consequently, there is a shortage of candidates emerging. In addition, most candidates within accounting support can perform accounts payable at a low to mid volume level, however the demand is for candidates specialising in high-volume processing with knowledge of SAP and Oracle.

Small businesses require part-time Account Administrators for sole charge roles.

Demand is also evident in SMEs for Bookkeepers to cover day-to-day transactional accounts, including payroll.

In terms of soft skills, communications is viewed highly as organisations increasingly require their accountancy staff to discuss financial information with key staff.

Process improvement skills are also sought. Organisations face increased pressure to maximise efficiency, creating a need for accountancy professionals who can improve processes and system efficiency.

Salary trends

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of employers will give skilled professionals a pay rise of less than 3 per cent in their next review while 8 per cent will not increase salaries at all. According to the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide, a further 22 per cent will give staff an increase of 3 to 6 per cent. Just 6 per cent will increase by 6 per cent or more.

Employees however have higher expectations for a salary increase. Over two-thirds (69 per cent) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year. 26 per cent expect an increase of 6 per cent or more. A further 22 per cent expect an increase of between 3 to 6 per cent. At the other end of the scale, 19 per cent do not expect any increase and 33 per cent expect less than 3 per cent.

For more, see our Hays Salary Guide


Jobseeker advice


To be successful in your job search, it is important to demonstrate to a potential employer the value you could add to an organisation.

You should also list all qualifications and previous systems or software that you have used on your CV.

In addition, upskilling has become a constant requirement to remain employable in today’s rapidly changing world of work. After all, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and rapidly gaining ground. Many jobs are being automated via technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things and cloud computing.

Research from management consulting firm McKinsey suggests about 60% of occupations could see at least a third of their job tasks automated. Meanwhile, a report published by Deloitte claims the half-life of learned skills is now about five years.

To find out how to stay relevant and employable in the face of all this rapid change, see our upskilling advice here.