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.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 212,800 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 80% of people employed as Accountants work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 14 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,756 per week, this is higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,347
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,213
Median hourly earnings are $47, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Accountants||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Accountants work in industries like:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Financial and insurance services
- Public administration and safety
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Accountants||All Jobs Average|
Around 79% of Accountants live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Accountants is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 52% of the workforce. This is 4 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Accountants||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.7||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
The minimum qualification needed to work as an Accountant is a diploma of accounting. However, the majority of Accountants have a bachelor degree in accounting or a related field majoring in accounting.
Registration with one of Australia's three peak accounting bodies is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Financial Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Accountants||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||24.7||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.9||12.5|
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.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Accountants who can connect with others, communicate clearly and are well presented.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Using maths to solve problems.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Talking to others.
50%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
46%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Looking for ways to help people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
37%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
79%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
62%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
60%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
57%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
46%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
43%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
30%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
28%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
28%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
26%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
24%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
12%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
63%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
52%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
39%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Do two or more things at the same time.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
78%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
77%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
70%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
69%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
69%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
68%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
68%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
66%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
63%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
61%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
60%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
60%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
56%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
53%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
53%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
52%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
52%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
51%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
49%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
96%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Talk on the telephone.
Use electronic mail.
93%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
93%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
90%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Talk with people face-to-face.
84%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work with people in a group or team.
77%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
77%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
75%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
75%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Work to strict deadlines.
65%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
64%Automation of tasks
Do tasks that are mostly automated.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
63%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
61%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
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.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.