It’s a difficult time to be looking for more accounting resources.
We’re seeing increased pressures on accounting wages domestically due to the three prong factors of limited skilled short term and long term immigration exacerbated by budget cuts in the home affairs department (responsible for processing skilled visas), reduction of international students in the Australian universities, and high job vacancy rates.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) noted in the March quarter 2022, that the total number of jobs increased by 0.6% to 15 million jobs in the March quarter 2022, with the proportion of jobs that are vacant at a record high. Some 420,000 vacant jobs have been recorded in this report.
It has been noted that the growth in recruitment activity over the first five months of 2022 has seen job advertisements reach their highest level since the data series began in January 2006. Job ads were 25.7% higher compared to a year ago and 77.3% higher (or about 130,100 available positions) than pre-Covid levels.
There seems a lot of pressure on government departments to “catch up” the backlog of work, with Australians reporting long wait times for their passports, and some even paying others to stand in passport lodgement and pickup lines. It’s reported in the above link Australians are waiting months for their new passports.
At the same time as there is a shortage of domestic accountants, there seems no relief from temporary or permanent skilled accountants arriving from overseas. This is partly due to the slow re-opening of Australia to the international market, which gave other countries the head start in attracting those overseas accountants.
The processing of visas (short term and skilled) seems to be battling head winds due to budget cuts in the Home Affairs Department is set to further blow out already stretched visa waiting times and heap more pressure on businesses waiting on the arrival of workers and tourists. Many South East Asian nations, keen to get their tourism kick started again, have been pushing their short term visa, and have implemented online visa application sites. There continues to be some problems in encouraging these tourists over to Australia on the working holiday visas.
Australia seems to be slowly re-opening after Covid, and the effects of shortages of Australian accounting compliance resources are going to extend well into the next 3-5 years.
Odyssey Australian accounting outsourcing always welcomes enquiries on how we might assist with your Australian accounting compliance staffing shortages.