Accountants provide services relating to financial reporting, taxation, auditing, insolvency, accounting information systems, budgeting, cost management, planning and decision-making by organisations and individuals; and provide advice on associated compliance and performance requirements to ensure statutory and strategic governance.

    A formal qualification in accounting is needed to work as an Accountant. 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

    • assisting in formulating budgetary and accounting policies
    • preparing financial statements for presentation to boards of directors, management, shareholders, and governing and statutory bodies
    • conducting financial investigations, preparing reports, undertaking audits and advising on matters such as the purchase and sale of businesses, mergers, capital financing, suspected fraud, insolvency and taxation
    • examining operating costs and organisations' income and expenditure
    • providing assurance about the accuracy of information contained in financial reports and their compliance with statutory requirements
    • providing financial and taxation advice on business structures, plans and operations
    • preparing taxation returns for individuals and organisations
    • liaising with financial institutions and brokers to establish funds management arrangements
    • introducing and maintaining accounting systems, and advising on the selection and application of computer-based accounting systems
    • maintaining internal control systems
    • may appraise cash flow and financial risk of capital investment projects

    All Accountants

    • $1,660 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 199,200 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 (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
    from 199,200 in 2018 to 207,200 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 84,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 16,800 a year).

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Accountants 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.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,660 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • 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%).

    The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business talks with employers who have tried to fill vacancies. Find out more in the latest report on Accountants.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    2008163800
    2009163400
    2010168500
    2011161600
    2012164700
    2013164500
    2014182200
    2015188500
    2016183000
    2017183600
    2018199200
    2023207200

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsAccountantsAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings16601460

    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 Services50.4
    Financial and Insurance Services9.1
    Manufacturing4.9
    Public Administration and Safety4.9
    Other Industries30.7

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateAccountantsAll Jobs Average
    NSW38.731.6
    VIC27.225.6
    QLD15.220.0
    SA5.47.0
    WA9.910.8
    TAS1.22.0
    NT0.51.0
    ACT1.91.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketAccountantsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.4-5.05.0
    20-246.3-9.39.3
    25-3431.8-22.922.9
    35-4427.1-22.022.0
    45-5418.8-21.621.6
    55-596.3-9.09.0
    60-644.6-6.06.0
    65 and Over4.7-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: 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 QualificationAccountantsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate24.7-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree58.6-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.3-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV2.1-21.121.1
    Year 126.0-18.118.1
    Year 110.5-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.9-12.512.5

    A formal qualification in accounting is needed to work as an Accountant. 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

      Be very exact or highly accurate.

    2. Telephone

      94% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    3. Electronic mail

      93% Important

      Use electronic mail.

    4. Indoors, heat controlled

      93% Important

      Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

    5. Repeating same tasks

      93% Important

      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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