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Accounting & Finance Insights and Outlook for 2024

Uncertainty is lingering. However, the Accounting & Finance market shows signs of resilience and adaptability. Read more in our quarterly market update with Accounting & Finance Team Managers Crispin Robertson and Olivia Howse.

The Current Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities

The Accounting & Finance (A&F) sector, like many others, has felt the ripples of change over the past year. Nationally, job numbers have seen a 29% dip compared to last year, with accounting jobs decreasing by 21%*. This shift isn’t solely due to market dynamics; external factors like the prolonged election process and the usual Christmas holiday slowdown have also played a part.

Interestingly, despite a general increase in immigration to New Zealand, there hasn’t been a notable rise in the number of skilled accountants entering. This situation, coupled with a considerable number of NZ accountants moving to Australia for better opportunities, highlights an ongoing demand for these skill sets in our local market.

Despite these challenges, the resilience of the sector is notable. Salary levels have reached a plateau, and while companies are restructuring, accountants have largely remained unaffected, offering a sense of stability for the A&F market.

The Current State of A&F Recruitment: Finding Stability

As we look into the A&F recruitment landscape, it’s encouraging to see a balance among employers and job seekers. Both seem to be wielding equal power, a shift from the tumultuous trends of previous years. This equilibrium has resulted in stable and predictable salary levels, with most active job seekers securing roles, reflecting the sector’s adaptability and resilience.

With this, there has been a heightened selectiveness among both employers and candidates. The lure of substantial pay rises has diminished, prompting a focus on what truly matters in a role/company or a candidate (aka getting back to our roots). We’re also seeing the contract market bustling as many clients opt for short-term engagements amidst the uncertain market conditions – not an uncommon trend as we head into the summer break.

Looking Ahead: Wiping the dust of the crystal ball.

Looking towards 2024, the forecast for the A&F market is cautiously optimistic. It’s expected to mirror the stability of 2019, with the potential for an uptick in the latter half of the year. Our recent survey of over 700 business professionals revealed a promising trend: more than 70% intend to maintain or expand their teams, reflecting a positive sentiment towards the economy.

However, the overlapping of the election period and the Christmas season adds an element of uncertainty. While it’s difficult to predict the exact trajectory of the next 12 months, the overall sentiment is one of cautious optimism.

Where to now?

Well, in short, the A&F market, while navigating through a phase of recalibration and uncertainty, shows signs of resilience and adaptability. The balanced market dynamics, stable salary levels, and optimistic outlook for 2024 suggest that the sector is well-positioned to weather the current challenges and emerge stronger. 

As they say (and as we’ve learned these past few years), change is the only constant we can expect. So, moving forward, it’s essential to stay adaptable, open to new opportunities, and ready to embrace the positive changes on the horizon.


Crispin Robertson | Team Manager – Permanent Accounting

Olivia Howse | Team Manager – Temporary Accounting


*SEEK Employment Dashboard – October 2023

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Consult Recruitment

Consult Recruitment is a leading recruitment agency based in Auckland, pairing top talent with the best businesses. We pride ourselves on delivering outstanding experiences so you can focus on what's important.

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