Accountants (General) provide services relating to compliance-based financial reporting, auditing, insolvency and accounting information systems, and advise on associated record-keeping requirements.

Specialisations: Financial Analyst, Insolvency Consultant, Insolvency Practitioner.

A formal qualification in accounting is needed to work as an Accountant (General). The minimum qualification is a diploma, however, the majority of Accountants undertake a bachelor degree in accounting or a related field majoring in accounting.

Tasks

  • Assists in formulating budgetary and accounting policies.
  • Prepares financial statements for boards of directors, management, shareholders, and governing and statutory bodies.
  • Conducts financial investigations, prepares reports, undertaking audits and advises on matters such as the purchase and sale of businesses, mergers, capital financing, suspected fraud, insolvency and taxation.
  • Examines operating costs and income and expenditure.
  • Provides assurance about the accuracy of information contained in financial reports and compliance with statutory requirements.
  • Provides financial and taxation advice on business structures, plans and operations.
  • Prepares tax returns.
  • Manages funds.
  • Introduces and maintains accounting systems, and advises on the selection and application of computer-based accounting systems.
  • Maintains internal control systems.
  • May appraise cash flow and financial risk of capital investment projects.

More about Accountants

All Accountants

  • $1,660 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Accountants (General)

  • 130,100 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 80% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43 hours Average full-time
  • 38 years Average age
  • 52% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Accountants (General) (in their main job) grew moderately over 5 years:
from 125,800 in 2011 to 130,100 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Location: Accountants (General) work in many parts of Australia. New South Wales has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Financial and Insurance Services; and Manufacturing.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (80%, higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 52% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services49.1
Financial and Insurance Services9.4
Manufacturing4.9
Public Administration and Safety4.6
Other Industries32.0

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateAccountants (General)All Jobs Average
NSW39.131.6
VIC27.325.6
QLD15.020.0
SA5.47.0
WA9.710.8
TAS1.22.0
NT0.51.0
ACT1.91.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketAccountants (General)All Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.5-5.05.0
20-246.5-9.39.3
25-3432.1-22.922.9
35-4427.1-22.022.0
45-5418.8-21.621.6
55-596.2-9.09.0
60-644.4-6.06.0
65 and Over4.5-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationAccountants (General)All Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate24.5-10.110.1
Bachelor degree59.1-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.1-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV1.9-21.121.1
Year 126.1-18.118.1
Year 110.4-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.8-12.512.5

A formal qualification in accounting is needed to work as an Accountant (General). The minimum qualification is a diploma, however, the majority of Accountants undertake a bachelor degree in accounting or a related field majoring in accounting.

You must also be registered with one of Australia's three peak accounting bodies.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Financial Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Accountants who can connect with others, communicate clearly and are well presented.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Economics and Accounting

    79% Skill level

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  2. Clerical

    76% Skill level

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  3. Mathematics

    70% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  4. Computers and Electronics

    62% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    60% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 13-2011.01 - Accountants.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Being Exact or Accurate

    96% Important

    How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

  2. Telephone

    94% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  3. Electronic Mail

    93% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  4. Indoors, Heat Controlled

    93% Important

    How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

  5. Repeating Same Tasks

    93% Important

    How important is it to repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 13-2011.01 - Accountants.

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