Accounting professionals have always been difficult to recruit, from the technical knowledge required to the often specialised natures of the role. However, there is currently a major skill shortage in the accounting industry, with a study from the Australian National Skills Commission finding that accountants were one of the occupations suffering the highest skill shortages.
Impact of the Pandemic
One of the key reasons for this shortage is due to the implications the pandemic has had on businesses in Australia, both through lockdowns and international border closures. Firstly, the months-long lockdowns and shift to remote work has seen many people move to regional areas and thus results in bigger cities struggling to acquire face-to-face employees.
Not only this, but international border closures have meant that Australia’s usual consistent influx of international accounting professionals has been heavily hindered. Although Australia added accountants to the skilled visa list for international arrivals, the reduction of international arrivals has made it extremely difficult for accountants to travel into Australia.
A second explanatory factor to this skill shortage is the increasing demand for accountants to be familiar with and have strong knowledge of technology. The use of technology in the accounting sector has increased at a rapid rate, with apps and automations now doing much of the work accountants usually do.
Businesses are increasingly after candidates who can utilise and work with new technologies, however many accounting professionals may not have had the time, resources or appropriate experience to fit this criteria.
Furthermore, with automation taking the place of many lower level processing tasks, Accounting firms are moving stronger into the advisory space, marketing themselves as trusted business advisors who can do so much more than just calculate tax.
This requires a level of consulting skills, interpersonal and communication skills, that has not traditionally been high on an Accountant’s skill set. The ability to read the numbers, but then to be able to communicate and consult with clients in a face-to-face setting is a lacking ability for many accounting professionals. This creates high demand for those who do have these competencies.
Coping with the skill shortage
There are a number of things you can do as a business to manage the current skill shortage, including:
- Develop a strong workplace culture to create a sense of belonging and collectiveness among employees
- Provide training and development opportunities
- Allow remote working so you can source domestically and internationally
- Be transparent and authentic about your mission
- Ensure processes are digital
Despite these steps, acquiring quality accounting professionals can still be extremely challenging. This is where a recruitment company can really help your business. Not only do recruitment companies, such as ourselves, have highly qualified and experienced recruiters who thoroughly understand the knowledge and personality required to fulfil a position, but you will have access to candidates who aren’t in the job market through strong databases and access to registered accounting professionals.
By utilising a recruitment company you can be assured that you will be provided with strong candidates with the necessary skills required to complete any role. Contact a specialised recruiter to assist (CIRCLE Recruitment & HR)
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.