Mar 2017

Australian Tax Workers: Is the next wage push just around the corner?

By: Odyssey Publication
Tags: Offshoring, overseas, Wages pressure

Recently Morgan McKinley released their 2017 Accounting & finance Salary guides.

Focusing on the compliance salaries in Accounting & Finance Salaries in Commerce & Industry the more interesting numbers come from the “Tax Accounting” side with newly qualified accountants being paid $70,000 to $90,000; Senior accountants being paid $90,000 to $120,000; Managers $100,000 to $150,000; Senior Managers $140,000 to $180,000; and Directors/Heads from $160,000 up to $300,000.

These are certainly some impressive numbers, especially in light of the additional soft costs that are often ignored e.g. ongoing professional accounting body training costs, not to mention employee specific costs such as computers and overhead costs such as HR support, rent etc.

At the same time, articles have been appearing questioning why Australian wages aren’t matching the growth of national income, with the indication that we are in an era of stagnant incomes.  The extent to which employees share risk and reward is an interesting point outside this week’s blog, but it seems that when an organization is doing well, there is an expectation that remuneration will be increased.

At the same time, when salaries aren’t being increased, there is pent up expectations from employees waiting for the next increase.

Also with the dynamic nature of Australian business landscape there is continuing demand on accountants to join the exciting SME and startup business areas. So more expenditures are needed to keep employees happy. Leading businesses and employers are losing out to business incubators housing startup companies with more casual environments such as ‘break out areas’ with bean bags, and are forced to step up to compete.

In this new dynamic environment, businesses are now starting to address the imbalance and rewarding loyal employees who have taken voluntary pay freezes for several years. As salaries naturally increase now, people will move accordingly to follow new opportunities, therefore dragging the market upwards.

Regarding Accounting & Finance Contract Rates in Commerce & Industry, a tax accountant is running at $360 to $500. Contractors are perceived as providing value without the need to invest large amounts of time and money developing permanent staff to provide the same immediate results. There is more disruption in the contracting arena, and you can expect to see a positive increase in hourly and daily rates for contractors rising faster than the small spike seen in the industry last year.

Certainly with the likelihood of wages for full time resources looking like an unfortunate growth area for many Australian accounting owners, it might be time to rethink ad-hoc offshore resources.