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Australian finance salaries to rise, hints Robert Half
Fri, 15th Mar 2024

Finance and accounting salaries are set to rise this year in Australia, as confirmed by the Robert Half 2024 Salary Guide. This comes after an assertive 6.5% growth in the sector's salaries, outmatching the average annual wage growth rate of 4.2%.

It seems that Australian Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are starting to take heed of workers' demands, as a growing number of employers look to avert staff resignations due to unmet salary expectations. The recent findings indicate that nearly half (46%) of Australian CFOs plan to offer across-the-board wage increases this year. Comparatively, only 17% are considering pay raises based on individual performance metrics.

The average salary ranges for much-demanded roles in finance and accounting, for the country, have been revamped in light of the revised pay conditions. The report informs that 54% of workers in such roles would decline a job offer if unsatisfied with the proposed salary. The evolution of salaries is generally upward, with specifics varying by role. For instance, Payroll saw a growth of 6.7%, Accounting increased by 5.5%, as did Financial/business analysis, while Financial Management and Credit Management each saw a rise of 3.6%.

Nicole Gorton, Director at Robert Half, spoke on the change in perspective among CFOs stating, "Driven by annual inflation being more than twice the average of the previous decade and companies focusing on attracting and retaining their talent, the majority of CFOs are willing to offer salary increases. Finance professionals, especially those with modern in-demand skills and expertise, will likely find themselves in a stronger position when negotiating their pay and benefits."

Going forward, the guide suggests that companies will likely place an increased emphasis on chosen candidates' potential to contribute uniquely, going beyond qualifications to ensure proficiency and comfort with processes in the role. A significant uptick in demand for finance professionals has also led to the continuation of skills shortages in the area. This, along with the need to scale and maintain efficiencies using new technologies, has reportedly led to salary increments for professionals with sought-after skills.

While salary remains a primary motivation, the report suggests that workers are considering other factors. About 40% would decline a job due to lack of career development opportunities while 35% would do so if the corporate culture did not match their expectations. Bad experiences with a prospective manager during the hiring process or the company's bad reputation on social platforms or news media would deter 29% and 26% of job seekers, respectively.

"Many professionals look beyond salary and consider the overall offering when evaluating salary packages. Businesses that cannot match the salary offered by competitors can therefore still get creative with non-monetary methods to gain an advantage with candidates and employees," Gorton adds, signifying a shift in job offer evaluation by finance candidates and existing staff.

According to the guide, decisions around salaries have become a balancing act. It concluded that companies need to ensure they are keeping pace with market rates, while considering pay increases' potential impact on their operations or company financials.