Accountants

ANZSCO ID 2211

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
206,600
Future Growth
9.2%
Weekly Earnings
$1,756
Full-Time Share
80%
Female Share
52%
Average age
38

Summary

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.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Administrative
  • Enterprising
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary

Outlook

Employment Outlook

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.

Projected Change
9.2%
(or 17,900 jobs)
From
194,900
in 2021
To
212,800
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 157,500
2012 166,700
2013 168,600
2014 185,900
2015 187,700
2016 194,300
2017 188,900
2018 187,400
2019 192,800
2020 203,800
2021 194,900
2026 212,800

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • 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)

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.
Earnings Accountants All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,756 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
49.5%
2
Financial and Insurance Services
10.3%
3
Public Administration and Safety
6.2%
4
Manufacturing
4.8%
5
Other industries
29.3%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

38.7% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

27.2% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

15.2% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

5.4% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

9.9% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.2% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.5% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.9% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Accountants All Jobs Average
NSW 38.7 31.6
VIC 27.2 25.6
QLD 15.2 20.0
SA 5.4 7.0
WA 9.9 10.8
TAS 1.2 2.0
NT 0.5 1.0
ACT 1.9 1.9


  • 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.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
38
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
52%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • 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)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Accountants All Jobs Average
15-19 0.4 5.0
20-24 6.3 9.3
25-34 31.8 22.9
35-44 27.1 22.0
45-54 18.8 21.6
55-59 6.3 9.0
60-64 4.6 6.0
65 and Over 4.7 4.2
Median Age 38 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

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.

Visit

  • 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)

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 Qualification Accountants All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 24.7 10.1
Bachelor degree 58.6 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 7.3 11.6
Certificate III/IV 2.1 21.1
Year 12 6.0 18.1
Year 11 0.5 4.8
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

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 55%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 54%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 54%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 52%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 52%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 50%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 50%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 48%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 48%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 48%

    Monitoring

    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.

  • 46%

    Operations analysis

    Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.

  • 45%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 43%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 43%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 41%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 41%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 39%

    Learning strategies

    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.


Knowledge

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.

  • 76%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 70%

    Mathematics

    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.

  • 52%

    English language

    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.

  • 20%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 18%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 17%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 12%

    Foreign language

    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.

  • 8%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 63%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 61%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 61%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 57%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 57%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 57%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 55%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 54%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 54%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 54%

    Categorising

    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).

  • 50%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 45%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 45%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 39%

    Selective attention

    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.

  • 39%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 37%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 37%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 34%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.


Activities

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.

  • 49%

    Thinking creatively

    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

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 57%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 43%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 24%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 19%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 76%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 71%

    Independence

    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.

  • 71%

    Relationships

    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.

  • 71%

    Support

    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.

  • 69%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 67%

    Recognition

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 96%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 94%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 93%

    Electronic mail

    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.

  • 92%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 90%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 87%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 84%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 83%

    Teamwork

    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.

  • 75%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 65%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 64%

    Automation of tasks

    Do tasks that are mostly automated.

  • 63%

    Competition

    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.

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.


Links and downloads

Back to top