Accounting & Finance Salaries in Commerce & Industry

Josh Hawkins
February 22, 20177 mins read

Our 2017 Salary Guide offers key recruitment insights within the Commerce and Industry division of Accounting and Finance, covering permanent salaries and contract rates across the Australian market.


Accounting & Finance Salaries in Commerce & Industry | Accounting & Finance Contract Rates in Commerce & Industry

Commentary on Accounting & Finance in Commerce & Industry | Commentary on Accounting & Finance in Commerce & Industry Contract Roles

* All salaries quoted exclude superannuation 

Accounting & Finance Salaries in Commerce & Industry

Role Newly Qualified Senior Accountant / Analyst Manager Senior Manager / Controller Director Head Of / GM
Financial Reporting $70,000 - $90,000 $90,000 - $120,000 $100,000 - $150,000 $140,000 - $180,000 $160,000 - $220,000 $200,000 - $300,000
Corporate / Group Accounting $80,000 - $110,000 $100,000 - $125,000 $110,000 - $160,000 $150,000 - $190,000 $160,000 - $250,000 $200,000 - $300,000
Management Accounting $75,000- $100,000 $100,000 - $120,000 $110,000 - $160,000 $150,000 - $190,000 $160,000 - $220,000 $200,000 - $300,000
Tax Accounting $70,000 - $90,000 $90,000 - $120,000 $100,000 - $150,000 $140,000 - $180,000 $160,000 - $220,000 $200,000 - $300,000
Treasury Manager $70,000 - $90,000 $90,000 - $120,000 $100,000 - $150,000 $140,000 - $200,000 $160,000 - $220,000 $200,000 - $300,000
Decision Support / FP&A $75,000 - $100,000 $100,000 - $130,000 $120,000 - $170,000 $150,000 - $220,000 $160,000 - $250,000 $200,000 - $300,000

Commentary on Accounting & Finance in Commerce & Industry Roles and Remuneration in Australia for 2017

Although the market and the economy have improved over the past year, there is still reluctance in some environments to commit to senior permanent costs. This is however improving as we see new elements and responsibilities being added to the finance function increasing the appetite to go to market. The new development of data and analytics functions, for example, means companies are now looking to attract finance professionals with additional technical skill sets.

This is definitely a challenge we see developing next year and into the foreseeable future; the challenge of relevance, of what roles and duties within the finance function will be obsolete, or develop into something new or hybrid with other areas such as IT or strategy.
The market has been tougher to predict this past year, where in previous years known factors such as elections, school holidays, year ends etc have played a major part in the ebb and flow of recruitment, this year we have seen a heavy focus on project delivery based work which has created a need during traditionally quiet periods dependent on when budgets / headcounts are approved.

Another focus for the Australian market is the continuing rise of the SME and startup businesses at a surprising rate. Leading businesses and employers are losing out to business incubators housing startup companies with more casual environments such as ‘break out areas’ with bean bags, and are stepping up to compete. Those that have taken note and acted fast have benefited greatly from a talent attraction perspective.

With regards to candidates, there have been some positive developments in areas such as gender balance in applications; in the junior to mid-level roles we are seeing a very even split between male and female candidates. We are still waiting for those changes to trickle up into many senior management and C-suite roles across the industry. Although, with the application and assessment of methods such as emotional intelligence, we see the increased need for a more diverse senior leadership team. Thus, businesses are focusing more on effective mentoring, guidance and opportunity for high performing females.

Additionally we are seeing a more balanced workforce between international and local talent – specifically the trend at junior to mid-level for CA qualified candidates from the UK or Ireland to step into contract roles and then be retained permanently. Given this has been a continual hiring style over the past few years, we are now seeing those retained candidates moving in middle management, developing teams, supporting the business, and hiring themselves.

As the market improves in 2017, we will see an increase in salaries, this is triggered by businesses wanting the best talent around, and those candidates holding multiple offers and the capability to negotiate and demand more for their skills.

In addition to this, we have seen businesses starting to address the imbalance and rewarding loyal employees who have taken voluntary pay freezes, or increase rewards or bonuses to staff who have stayed committed over the past 8 or 9 years through harder times. As salaries naturally increase now, people will move accordingly to follow new opportunities, therefore dragging the market upwards.

Accounting & Finance Contract Rates in Commerce & Industry

Role Accountant Manager Senior Manager Director
Treasury Accounting $360 - $550 $550 - $650 $650 - $850 $850 - $1000 +
Financial Accounting $370 - $550 $550 - $750 $650 - $850 $850 +
Management Accounting $370 - $550 $550 - $750 $650 - $850 $850 +
Audit $370 - $550 $550 - $600 $600 - $800 $800 +
Business Analysis $370 - $550 $550 - $650 $650 - $850 $850 +
Group / Corporate Accounting $370 - $550 $550 - $650 $650 - $850 $850 +
Systems Accounting $400 - $550 $550 - $650 $650 - $850 $850 +
Tax Accounting $360 - $500 $500 - $650 $650 - $850 $850 +
FP&A / Decision Support $420 - $550 $550 - $650 $650 - $800 $800 - $1000 +
Project / Change Manager $400 - $550 $550 - $750 $650 - $850 $850 -$1200 +

Commentary on Accounting & Finance in Commerce & Industry Contract Roles and Remuneration in Australia for 2017

2017 is looking to be a busy year for contract C&I finance. Through 2016 we saw an increasing trend for preference of contractors over permanent headcount in certain spaces as a reflection on companies cutting down on spend and driving cost efficiencies. Contractors can be seen as providing value without the need to invest large amounts of time and money developing permanent staff to provide the same immediate results. As agile transformation and change projects are becoming more common, it is reflecting positively on the finance industry, as one off appointments for temporary finance professionals, often sitting within the PMO, are increasing the demand for commercially focused finance business partners.

The current challenge we see coming into 2017 is the demand for skill sets often hard to find in immediately available candidates. As clients push the boundaries of what they want from a contractor, there is a high demand of top quality candidates who, when they are available, are placed into a role very quickly.

As with permanent finance recruitment, the market’s peaks and troughs are harder to predict now a heavier focus on project delivery based work is at the forefront, turning traditional hiring trends on their heads. Furthermore, as the demands on individuals within businesses have grown, the down time previously seen around the holiday period shrinks, and so people have less time to do their BAU roles and be a recruiter. As such, some hiring managers held off recruitment last year until the business hits a quieter period – creating a busy time the week before Christmas and rolling into January, a notoriously quiet time in the recruitment market.

Alongside this disruption though, hiring in finance has moved forwards positively; especially in terms of equality and balance across gender and local/international splits. In the contract market we see gender balance across the junior and mid-level being fairly even, possibly even leaning towards a heavier influx of women in the past year, be that as immediately available returns from maternity leave, or ambitious females looking to branch out across industries to expand their skill sets.

We have also continued to see an intake of high-quality candidates from the UK and Ireland coming over on Working Holiday Visas which allow them to work unrestricted for 6 months. These candidates, often CA qualified from the Big 4, tend to form the backbone of top tier talent we can provide on a regular basis. Other international candidates will often be seeking their first role in Australia and looking to contract, being immediately available, as a means to secure local work experience before pursuing a longer term career plan. In general across contract recruitment, there is a higher international presence in our low to mid-tier salary range, where candidates in the senior range of the market are more likely to have longevity in Australia. This could come from steady career development in either permanent or longer term project/contract roles.

Overall we see a positive increase in hourly and daily rates for contractors rising faster than the small spike seen in the industry last year. This is an urgent need to match the increased demand for higher skill sets. They will rise again this year as companies begin to understand the need to pay higher daily rates to encourage retention from staff that come with higher flight risk due to shorter notice periods and less lock-in than FTE staff. Counter-offers and candidates managing multiple job processes at once will also drive the market upwards as many of the larger companies release salary freezes as a result of a stable growth in multiple industries across Australia.

Josh Hawkins's picture
Associate Manager


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