Q3 2019 Accounting & Finance (Financial Services) Recruitment Trends

Tamara Wood 07.10.2019

Your quarterly update on the Accounting & Finance (Financial Services) market, where we provide you with insights from both the previous and upcoming quarters

What were the market trends for last quarter?

It’s been a slower Q3 for Accounting and Finance, with a noticeable decrease in roles registered over July and August. There has been an ongoing hold on hiring at two major banks which has affected the broader hiring market. Regulatory projects have been winding down and moving back into business as usual, which has resulted in an increased candidate pool, but less demand for those skills more broadly. We are feeling positive, however that Q4 will be a busy period for candidates and new roles being registered due to bonus payouts and hiring freezes being lifted.

Accounting & Finance (Financial Services) Recruitment Trends

What are the major skills in demand?

Financial Reporting & Control:

We have seen demand at all levels, from accountants through to senior management, which is being driven by changes to IFRS and the Royal Commission.

Finance Business Partner:

As systems and processes continue to improve, businesses are looking for more insight, analysis, and interpretation of the numbers to really add value to business outcomes.

Project Finance and Data/Systems skills: With several acquisitions, de-mergers and all the Royal Commission changes, we have seen demand for accountants with project and change management experience. We also have seen an increasing need for accountants with data and systems experience on such projects.

What are the skill gap shortages?

In line with the major skills in demand, the shortages are evident. Although we have seen a slow down over the previous months, these skills are still in high demand in the broader financial services market. We are still seeing a number of FinTechs starting up in Australia with a need for financial reporting, being in the early stages of their business. As they grow and develop, we expect they will hire within management reporting and decision support. We are also seeing an increased requirement for strong accountants with any data and/or finance projects experience.

Accounting & Finance (Financial Services) Recruitment Trends

What are organisations doing to attract the best talent? 

Flexibility has been a key feature of attraction within financial services, which mirrors the importance we have recently recorded from job seekers in our salary survey. In addition, we have seen a large number of people who have always worked in financial services looking to work in new industries - potentially an outcome of the Royal Commission.

Financial services companies will often have strong salaries and bonuses, which can be a key selling factor for a lot of people. Salaries have also progressed this year after recording a couple of flat years. Companies are no longer just competing for talent within the finance industry - job seekers are genuinely interested across a range of industries.

What is the outlook for the next quarter?

We are expecting an influx of roles and high demand in the market for experienced financial professionals from October to December this year. The major banks' hiring freeze are being lifted, with the rest of the market to follow in hiring again. We are seeing strong growth plans from a number of Fintechs which will also provide more opportunity. The outlook is positive for financial services in Q4, we are preparing for a very busy period before the Christmas break. Traditionally, December is a great time to secure a role before a lull in January.

Tamara Wood's picture
Associate Manager | Accounting & Finance - Financial Services
twood@morganmckinley.com.au