Australian accounting staff shortages are likely to exist for 5 plus years, and one pundit recently suggested a shortage stretching from 7-10 years. This staff shortage requires accountants to rethink what services they should offer, and which clients they should be servicing. With an ongoing shortage of talent in this space, paying to attract employees and retain the best ones is only a partial solution to the talent drought.
There is still an ongoing dilemma as to how Australia can fill the job vacancies, with some suggestions that migrants are the fastest way to fill 500,000 vacancies. However, this isn’t an immediate solution, and brings with itself a host of other problems – housing needs to be there, and our building industry is in a spot of bother at the moment – social and health services need to be there to support migrants and their families – and support businesses need to be in the right places.
For the temporary solution, businesses are punting on temporary visas and have mentioned numbers of 200,000 visas per year at a recent labour jobs summit.
Solutions to the Australian accounting resource shortage must focus on the efficient use of scarce resources.
There must be a multi facetted approach to the training and tools deployed by the limited talent available, and there must be a serious examination of the work done by that talent.
Integrating tools like Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence are critical to being a market leader, as these are already being deployed by the Australian accounting firm software houses, and leading outsourcing companies like Odyssey Outsourcing Vietnam.