Date posted: 22/06/2021

Federal Government skilled migration announcement addresses auditor shortage

The Federal Government announcement this afternoon to place accounting and audit professionals on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List is an important and necessary step to boost the audit workforce ahead of company reporting season, says Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).

“The audit profession is experiencing a war for talent as a result of the current border restrictions coupled with the longer-term growth in demand for audit professionals”, said CA ANZ Group Executive, Advocacy and International, Simon Grant FCA.

“This is a welcomed decision from a Government who recognises the need for experienced accountants and auditors to maintain trust and confidence in financial reporting and in the economy.”

A CA ANZ survey of 16 Australian audit firms, mostly employing 1,000+ people, in April 2021 found there was a total of 888 vacancies in the auditor market with an average of 3-6 months lead time needed to recruit new talent.

“The existing practice in this sector has included a robust reliance of overseas secondments and migration to boost the skills of our domestic workforce,” said Grant.

“This move alleviates the pressure both smaller and large audit firms have been operating under to maintain their workforce.

“Similar to what has occurred across the veterinarian and midwife professions which are on the list, auditors rose up to the challenges of the pandemic despite record uncertainties and constraints.

“We now need to make sure that we boost their efforts so we can secure sustainable trust in capital markets during the crucial recovery phase.”

Attracting and retaining talent in the audit profession

You can find more information about the landscape of the audit profession in our Talking Talent playbook launched today