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Accounting Jobs in Australia

male Accountant working in office with the text Accounting Jobs in Australia Complete Guide with Employment Tips

There are so many excellent opportunities for you in Australia to work in the Accounting industry in Australia owing to it’s resilient economy and being a significant financial hub for the Asia-Pacific region.

There are both permanent and temporary jobs available Australia wide.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll break down how the Accounting industry operates, and I’ll share some handy tips to help you land a job in Accounting.

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1. Types of Accounting & Finance Jobs In Australia

Australia is one of the major Accounting and financial hubs in the Asia-Pacific Region. There are many different types of Accounting jobs waiting for you in Australia. Let’s go over the most common Accounting Jobs in Australia in more detail below.

1.1 Public Accounting

Public Accounting is one of the largest Accounting industries in Australia.

Public accounting services include:

To work as a Public Accountant you must have a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) Licence for Australia. We cover more details of this in section 3 Skills and Qualifications Required.

1.1.1 Remuneration/Salaries for Public Accountants in Australia

Public Accountants in Australia make great salaries. The average salary for a Public Accountant in Australia is $79,000 – $118,000 AUD per year.

An entry-level accountant (1-3 years experience) would be expected to make $54,000 – $62,000 AUD per year. Whilst most experienced accountants would be expected to make around $95,000 – $130,000 AUD per year.

1.2 Management Accounting In Australia

Management Accounting in Australia means providing financial and non-financial data and advice to a company that will help with its day-to-day running and longer-term growth. It involves preparing management reports and accounts that provide accurate and timely financial and statistical information to managers, so they can make smart business decisions. This includes:

1.2.1 Remuneration/Salaries for Management Accounting

Management Accountants in Australia make great salaries compared to many other places in the world. The average salary for a Management Accountant in Australia is $94,000 – $130,000 AUD per year.

An entry level accountant (1-3 years experience) would be expected to make $81,000+ AUD per year. Whilst an experienced Accountant with 8+ years of experience would be expected to make $111,000 – $140,000 AUD per year.

1.3 Forensic Accounting

Forensic accounting means advising or assisting in an investigation. This may involve legal proceedings or be in connection with allegations of, or concerns regarding illegal, unethical, or otherwise improper conduct, where the matter will likely be brought before a court. This includes:

1.3.1 Remuneration/Salaries for Forensic Accounting in Australia

Forensic Accountants in Australia make some of the highest salaries compared to other Accounting services in Australia. The average salary for a Forensic Accountant in Australia is $99,000 – $141,000 AUD per year.

An entry-level accountant (1-3 years experience) would be expected to make $90,000+ AUD per year. Whilst an experienced Accountant with 8+ years of experience would be expected to make $119,000 – $147,000 AUD per year.

1.4 Auditing & Assurance

Auditing and Assurance is another large industry in Australia. Any Financial services in Australia are subject to strict Auditing practices to ensure that financial and Accounting reports are prepared accurately. Typical Auditing and Assurance assignments in Australia include:

An audit of a financial report is a process that enables the auditor to express an opinion as to whether the financial report is prepared, in all material respects, under an applicable financial reporting framework. Standards on assurance services provide either reasonable or limited assurance of an engagement. A review engagement is an activity that enables the auditor to express a conclusion whether, based on the review, the financial report is prepared following an applicable financial reporting framework.

1.4.1 Remuneration/Salaries for Auditing Accounting in Australia

Auditing Accountants in Australia make great salaries compared to many other places in the world. The average salary for an Auditing Accountant in Australia is $70,000 – $90,000 AUD per year.

An entry-level accountant (1-3 years experience) would be expected to make  an average of $60,000 – $70,000 AUD per year. An experienced Accountant with 8+ years experience would be expected to make approximately $80,000 – $119,000 AUD per year.

2. Accounting & Finance Jobs by Location

Most opportunities are in the central business districts of Sydney and Melbourne, but more recently there are a growing number of roles available in other major cities like Brisbane and Perth especially if they are related to the resources industry. We provide more details of the locations you will want to consider to find your accounting job below.

2.1 Sydney

famous Sydney opera house

Sydney is Australia’s largest financial centre. Sixty-five percent of the Australian finance industry is located there, including the Reserve Bank, the Australian Stock Exchange, and the Sydney Futures Exchange. 

Several international firms choose Sydney to centre their Asia Pacific base and the financial district is centred around Martin Place in the city centre and across the Harbour Bridge in the mini-CBD of North Sydney. Most of the banks, broking and investment houses have their offices near the Australian Stock Exchange.

2.2 Melbourne

Flinder St Station Melbourne Australia

Melbourne is Australia’s second biggest financial center that is slightly smaller than Sydney however has been listed in the top 25 global Financial Centres Index in more recent years. Melbourne and Sydney are constantly competing to be the best city in Australia and that rivalry has resulted in them making great advancements for Australia and being highly competitive in the World Financial centres.

The Victorian Government is working hard to position Melbourne as a world fintech hub and was last year the presenting partner of Intersekt, Australia’s inaugural fintech festival. In addition, Victoria recently announced it would be funding not just one, but two, new fintech hubs in Melbourne.

2.3 Perth, Brisbane & Adelaide

Elizabeth Quay in Perth Australia at sunset

Perth, Brisbane & Adelaide are smaller in population size compared to Sydney and Melbourne however still have a decent population size of 1.3 – 2.2 million residents each. They are the capital cities of their state and are also the financial hub for their state respectively. You will find many opportunities for work in Accounting in these areas however the overall job opportunities will be slightly lower than in Sydney and Melbourne.

Perth is located on the west coast of Australia and is slightly removed from the other major financial hubs which are all located on the East Coast of Australia. This may present more job opportunities as it is considered slightly less desirable for many to relocate there as you are quite a distance from the other major cities in the rest of Australia.

2.4 Regional Australia

Regional Australia typically means any town or city that is not one of the Capital cities of the state. Some cities and towns that still have a fairly decent population size of over 200,000 residents so there may still be job opportunities. Given the population size, there will be less opportunities and the pay is likely to be lower than if you were in one of the main financial hubs. However with that comes a relatively lower cost of living and ease to get around the smaller, giving you more time to enjoy the great work-life balance of Australia.

Many Australians and immigrants to Australia are often unwilling to relocate to smaller regional areas so it may present an opportunity to find work in these areas.

3. Skills & Experience Required

To become an Accountant in Australia the minimum qualification is a Diploma in Accountancy. However, most Accountants in Australia have a Degree in Accounting or related fields of study.

3.1 No Previous Accounting Qualifications

If you have not undertaken any study in your home country you will need to complete an Accounting Degree in Australia to become an Accountant which takes 3 years to complete. You will need to obtain a Student visa in order to enter Australia and study. You can work a maximum of 24 hours a week to support yourself while you are in Australia. If you have already completed a Bachelor’s Degree in your home country you can undertake a Masters Degree in Accounting which takes 2 years to complete. You will also need to apply for a Student visa to enter Australia to study. If you need to apply for a Student visa check out our complete guide to Working Visas in Australia on how to do so.

3.2 Accounting Degree or Qualifications from Overseas

If you have already completed an Accounting Degree in your home country you need to be Registered with an accepted Accounting Professional Body to work in Australia.

As a minimum requirement to become registered, you will need to complete a Skilled Employment Assessment.

3.2.1 Skilled Employment Assessment

The Skilled Employment Assessment is broken down into 3 main criteria which are as follows:

  1. Degree Comparability – Your degree will be assessed and either accepted as being sufficient or you may need to complete further studies.
  2. Educational Knowledge – Qualifications that meet the degree comparability requirement will be assessed for relevance to your chosen occupation. This is conducted using the mandatory competencies according to each ANZSCO code.
  3. English Language Proficiency Test – You need also need to provide a Certified Test showing that you have scored a minimum number of points in any of the accepted English Language Proficiency Tests

You need to apply for a Skilled Employment Assessment to have the above three criteria assessed. Applying can be completed easily online and you will need to supply a range of Documents and complete the online application form.

Once you have applied for a skills assessment it takes approximately 30-45 business days at present for your application to be processed and an outcome to be provided.

You can find more details about the requirements for a Skilled Employment Assessment

4. Job Search

There are several ways to go about searching for a job in Australia. We highlight some of the best methods that people have had success with below.

4.1 Recruitment Agencies

For many professionals seeking work in Australia from countries overseas, it is a good plan to start applying and speaking with recruitment agencies in your home country who also have an office in Australia. There are also agencies in Australia that may only have an Australian presence who can help and we would recommend you get in touch with them closer to the time of your arrival.

Note on timeframes for professionals: Speak with agencies up to two years before you arrive. Apply to specific job postings no earlier than a few months before you arrive.

4.2 Job Boards

The Australian Job market is a little different from overseas job markets. The majority of jobs are advertised online. The most popular websites for searching for a job are:

You will need to create a strong resume and cover letter that is tailored to the Australian Market. It may be beneficial to get a professionally written Resume as the Australian style is a lot different from European and North American resume styles.

If you are looking at getting a sponsored job in Australia start with the Skills and Occupations List.

Check out our sponsored jobs guide for more details on these top tips and how to get a sponsored job in Australia.

5. Final Thoughts

Working and living in Australia as an Accountant can be very rewarding. You will enjoy a great salary compared to many other countries and have a great work-life balance. We have created a large number of guides that can assist you in obtaining visas and finding jobs in Australia.

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