2018 Audit Salary Guide

Dominic Bareham 19.02.2018

Our 2018 Accounting & Finance Salary Guide offers key recruitment insights and salary ranges for audit professionals in Sydney.

Contents: 
Audit Salaries | Audit Contract Rates 
Commentary on Audit Roles and Remuneration in Australia for 2018

Audit Salaries (Per Annum ex. Super)

Role Analyst / Senior Analyst Manager Senior Manager Head
Retail & Corporate Banking Internal Audit $80,000 - $100,000 $110,000 - $125,000 $140,000 - $160,000 $180,000 - $300,000 +
Investment Banking
Internal Audit
80,000 - $120,000 $120,000 - $150,000 $140,000 - $180,000 $200,000 - $300,000 +
IT Internal Audit 70,000 - $100,000 $110,000 - $125,000 $140,000 - $160,000 $180,000 - $250,000
Commerce & Industry Internal
Audit
75,000 - $120,000 $110,000 - $140,000 $140,000 - $170,000 $160,000 - $200,000 +
 

Audit Contract Rates (Per Day ex. Super)

Role Analyst / Senior Analyst Manager Senior Manager
Retail & Corporate Banking
Internal Audit
$350 - $450 $400 - $550 $600 +
Investment Banking Internal Audit $350 - $450 $450 - $550 $600 +
Commerce & Industry Internal Audit $350 - $450 $500 - $600 $600 +
 

Commentary on Audit Roles and Remuneration in Sydney for 2018

The continuous ‘cost monitoring’ and in most cases ‘cost cutting’ evident within the Financial Services market in particular will continue to have an effect on the finance and audit markets here in Australia. There are possibilities over the next few years, and certainly murmurings from some of the Global Investment Banks that they may begin onshoring again due to concerns over quality of work from their offshore branches. In addition within the Commerce & Industry sector a number of smaller businesses are growing their Internal Audit function, using their budget for consultancy firms to bring a permanent team member on board.

Within some of the largest Financial Services players there has been a push to increase the seniority of Audit functions generally. As such recruitment at the 3-5 year experience level has dropped off with a preference for more senior candidates with strong stakeholder management experience. Audit is often being viewed as more of a consultative and business partnering function and as such soft-skills are critical.

The demand for IT audit professionals within the market has been strong throughout the year and shows no sign of abating as we go into 2018. On top of the IT General Controls experience other key skills are required to set yourself apart in the market, data analytics, cyber security and cloud based technology particularly relevant. As such the top 3 jobs in demand would all be within this space just at varying levels. The more junior candidates likely to come straight from a Big 4 Accountancy Practice environment where it is likely they won’t have the ‘extra skills’  highlighted above, through to Executive Manager and General Manager roles.

The soft skills required to successfully build a career in Internal Audit have to be proved and demonstrated at every interview stage and is often where candidates let themselves down. The space is so much more than a ‘tick-box’ exercise and rather an all-encompassing role involving communication with different business units on a daily basis. Here at Morgan McKinley we conduct interview preparations in person with prospective candidates and as we go in to 2018 these will become ever-more important.

We predict that audit (aside from small commerce & industry firms growing their function) operations will hold station in terms of size and a majority of recruitment will inevitably simply be replacement. Within the IT audit sector there is still growth however this often comes in the form of upskilling with the new hire, to add additional skills. 

The trend of more senior roles being filled internally has continued and this shows a stronger line of succession planning by businesses which for people’s future career prospects is great to see. As such it has meant that a bulk of the recruitment has been across the middle management level, particularly as the junior levels have dropped off somewhat in 2018. The largest organisations are now following suit and are putting in place more structures to follow the path developed by some of the smaller and mid-sized financial services organisations.

There is certainly a larger proportion of candidates applying and securing roles whose experience is from overseas, particularly within the contract market. However they have to be here in order to start within the client’s timeframes - it is a much more challenging search from overseas. With the pattern of off-shoring a number of those from offshore already have the required skillsets and possible regulatory knowledge of the UK, US (SOx), Australian markets, all relevant here to different businesses. As the regulatory market picks up in to 2018 (AML, IFRS 17 etc) this trend will no doubt continue. As an internal applicant applying from overseas to the Sydney market you are viewed in a positive light, with company knowledge, however possibly not the local regulatory piece. Contract / Fixed/ Max Term Contract opportunities across all of the large Financial Services organisations are available and open to those from America, Europe, Sub-Continent, Middle East, Far East etc. From a permanent perspective naturally the global banks tend to be more comfortable hiring from overseas, primarily because they also facilitate more internal moves this way.

Within the audit sector there are certainly opportunities for a global career. Some paths tend to be more commonly trodden however. Upon reaching the Senior Manager / Vice President level within a Global Bank often the most natural progression route is in to the South-East Asian market, Hong Kong, Singapore and a more senior role there. 

Working within the Big 4 Accountancy Practices there are always opportunities to move globally and we see a general trend and cycle of candidates arriving and exiting the audit market here. It is certainly a key draw of working for one of the Global Practices.

As a specialist skill-set and discipline a vast majority of internal audit roles still go to the external recruitment market bar those senior internal transfers.

Internal recruitment most regularly comes from overseas and a businesses foreign operations, enabling skilled professionals to join their Sydney office. This technically counts as in-house however often the candidate themselves reaches out to the Sydney office and their vacancy rather than being pro-actively approached. With the volume of roles which a number of internal recruiters manage plus the volume of advert response for an ‘audit role’  a specialist in the field can certainly ease the burden of recruiting within this space.

We are seeing a gradual shift towards more contract, fix term contract and particularly max term contract roles in the market. The subtlety in the latter being that if the regulatory project or busy period finishes the organisation can let the employee go without having to pay out the rest of their contract (as they would have to in a max-term contract).

Within the Financial Services market in 2017 there have been a number of internal promotions from Senior Manager to Head of level. These internal promotions have paved the way for more recruitment across the middle level of the market due to the gaps created.

Salaries will remain relatively stationary in 2018 with an emphasis or flexibility still seen most within the IT audit and institutional banking areas due to the shortage of those skill-sets within the Sydney / Australian market.

Extra qualifications which are proving popular on IT Audit market in particularly are the security related qualifications CISSP and CISM on top of the more commonly seen CISA. 

Dominic Bareham's picture
Director
dbareham@morganmckinley.com.au