Australia is facing a critical shortage of accounting, audit, and finance professionals, requiring an additional 30,000 experts over the next three years. Professional bodies, CPA Australia, and CA ANZ, emphasise the need to revise the skilled migrant program to meet this demand effectively.
The declining number of domestic graduates compared to the forecasted demand of 338,362 accountants by 2026 highlights the urgency of the situation. The current approach of Australia, characterised by annual changes and uncertainty, is detrimental to the nation's appeal. In contrast, the United States provides a stable and certain approach.
To improve its competitive position, Australia must remove skilled migrant caps and focus on migrant quality to alleviate the industry's skills shortage. By doing so, Australia can address ongoing workforce shortages and enhance its appeal to skilled migrants.
The decline in students completing accounting programs exacerbates the issue, with only 2,278 graduates annually. International students graduating from Australian accounting courses face uncertainty about their migration prospects, leading many to return to their home countries.
Additionally, approximately 22,000 accounting professionals are expected to retire within the next five years, compounding the skills shortage.
Concerns about negative impacts on salaries, job prospects, and housing affordability due to migration are misplaced. Research from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) demonstrates that recently arrived migrants have not affected wages or participation rates for Australian-born workers. In fact, in some cases, migrant concentrations in specific qualifications and experience positively impact wages and employment.
Despite a 4.9% decrease in job vacancies from August 2022, current levels remain almost twice as high as pre-pandemic times, indicating sustained demand for accountants in Australia.
Partnering with an immigration consultancy can help you address Australia's accounting skills gap effectively. With specialised expertise and industry connections, you can be guided through the skilled migrant program, increasing your chances of securing a visa and accessing potential job opportunities.
If you are serious about making a meaningful contribution to Australia's accounting industry and seizing the opportunities it offers, contact us today so that we can pave the way for a successful migration journey.