The Future of the Accounting Employment Market

Published on October 4, 2021
Written by Colm Reddy

The Accounting market has changed drastically since COVID-19 and this is set to continue. Here are key insights of what Accountants can expect to see in the short and long-term future.

Immediate future:

  • Continued salary growth at a quickly decreasing rate.
  • Increased perks and flexibility offered to employees to compete with fierce competition.
  • Firms will likely take a short-term hit on profitability whether they give pay rises or lose staff. This should be planned for in a revised budget so it is not a surprise.

Short-medium term:

  • There will be some overpaid people not performing at their new salary level who will leave their job before being pressured out. Many will be early 2022, six months after their salary increase.
  • This will be followed by a stabilisation of salaries during 2022. There is unlikely to be a drop, more likely a plateau. When overpaid candidates look to leave their jobs, they will likely ask for the same salary elsewhere, not for a pay cut.
  • Some firms will hope to reduce flexibility but most staff will not want to give it up. This will undoubtedly lead to conflict and people changing firms.


  • We will see some people return to the profession from industry who find industry work less fulfilling and more monotonous. This happens every year anyway, but with the recent increase in people moving to industry, we will start to see an increase in people returning to the profession.
  • The reduction of rising junior stars comes with a risk of even further outsourcing which will make client engagement skills even more valuable, especially at Senior Accountant level and above. Some firms are already planning for a structural change to accommodate for this.

It is not all positive or all negative. There are challenges, but also opportunities for Accountants to increase your chances of finding the best team to work with and a fantastic deal for yourself without risking your success by asking for too high a salary from a firm that would have otherwise been your favourite.

Your salary is too high if you are not sufficiently profitable for the firm. Your revenue comes from (charge-out rate x billed hours). Therefore higher salary usually comes with either:

  • higher charge-out rate, therefore likely more technically complex work, which you might not be ready for yet,
  • having to bill more hours, therefore working harder, which you might not want to do.

A knowledgeable, trustworthy recruiter can help your short-term and long-term career, not just get you a job.

To discuss any of this information further and for help navigating your job search, please contact us today on 03 9946 7300 or

Published on October 4, 2021
Written by Colm Reddy

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