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Accountancy & Finance - Commerce & Industry

Hotspots of skills in demand

NZ release - temps

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Commerce & Industry

New Zealand’s accountancy & finance jobs market remains strong. One major trend is the focus on business partnering between finance and operations. Consequently, employers of traditional accounting skills are increasingly looking instead for candidates with strong business intelligence and analytics skills. Strong communication and soft skills are also required for a candidate to be successful.

Temporary and contract roles continue to remain strong as organisations outsource back-office processing. Add the upgrade or implementation of new systems, which existing permanent staff are tasked with, and temporary candidates are sought to assist during these times of peak workloads.

We continue to see demand for Financial Analysts. Candidates who can analyse increasingly larger datasets to identify key information are highly sought after.

Demand continues to grow for Finance Business Partners since ERP systems have improved the availability of the financial information available to operational staff. As a result, traditional accountants who can communicate this data in a meaningful way are highly sought after.

Financial Control & Risk professionals are also in demand in response to increased access to financial systems.

Internal Auditors are a skill in short supply since many audit professionals move into a reporting focused role or elect to remain in practice.

Management Accountants with strong soft skills, particularly verbal communication and team collaboration, are in short supply. Many businesses require such professionals.

Project Accountants have a variety of opportunities to get involved in numerous projects across the region, from capital projects and ERP implementations to holiday pay reviews.

Systems Accountants are seeing increased demand for their skills given the increased reliance on ERP systems to support more people across the business.

Finance Managers with expertise in team leadership and company-wide reporting are sought, especially by small to medium enterprises.

Team Leaders and Managers with proven experience building, leading and mentoring a team are in demand, yet existing employers work hard to retain them.

At the accounting support level, a major trend is the outsourcing of back-office processing functions, which is creating demand for Assistant Accountants.

All-round Account Clerks with ample experience and a diverse skill set are needed too.

So are Payrollers with high-volume experience. 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, demand continues to exist 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 continue to 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 stakeholders.

Process improvement skills are also sought. As was highlighted in our recent website poll, half of New Zealand workers have already seen their job responsibilities change as a result of automation. Back office financial processing is an area which is seeing a high level of automation as organisations face increased pressure to maximise efficiency, creating a need for accountancy professionals who can work with robotics or innovate to improve processes and system efficiencies.

Jobseeker advice

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

List all qualifications and previous systems or software experience on your CV.

In addition, consider upskilling. A report claims the half-life of learned skills is now about five years. Regardless of your role or level of seniority, it is therefore essential to continuously upskill in order to stay relevant in an increasingly mechanised world. Here’s 7 ways to upskill and keep yourself at the growing edge of your career without breaking the bank.

Finally, consider how you can demonstrate your data fluency, strategic thinking and readiness for AI-integrated workforces to stand out from the crowd. Read our advice on the latest trends here

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