Accountants deliver pitch to South Australian school leavers
- There’s a global shortage of accounting professionals.
- Accounting offers careers with purpose, influence and job security.
- School leavers with high EQ, who want to have a positive impact, sought.
- Quotes accountants at Canva, Australian Conservation Foundation, and more.
Ahead of the release of Year 12 results, CPA Australia is making a pitch for South Australian school leavers to consider a career in accounting. “There’s a global shortage of accountants and it’s especially pronounced in Australia,” said CPA Australia Chief Executive Andrew Hunter. “Our profession needs school leavers and can offer careers with purpose, as well as secure, well-paid and global employment opportunities.” Hunter says accountants are the influencers of the business and finance world. “There’s no such thing as a typical accountant anymore. Technology has freed accountants from performing manual tasks, allowing them to focus on providing strategic advice. “What top quality accountants need these days is emotional intelligence or “EQ”; being able to listen, engage, problem solve and influence. “The pandemic highlighted just how influential the profession is. Accountants were instrumental in advising governments, businesses and communities about protecting their economic health.” Rebelyn Abad is a member of CPA Australia’s Young Professionals Committee and works at Capricorn Society, a member-based financial services organisation for the automotive industry. She says, “As part of the Finance Team, I use my analytical, strategic and communication skills every day to make it easier for our Members to run their businesses. I’m doing something which creates a positive impact and which I feel passionate about.” As the world enters the next phase of the pandemic, one of the drivers of the “Great Resignation” is a desire for greater purpose and career fulfilment. According to Hunter, the ideal candidate for the accounting profession is passionate about having a positive impact. “Sustainable finance is a growing focus for our profession. Accountants are at the forefront of advising governments and businesses on managing climate change and other social issues.” Shellie Watkins studied a Master of Professional Accounting followed by the CPA Australia program and is now a Finance Manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF). She says, “I wake up every morning knowing that my work directly enables ACF to advocate for nature and has a positive impact on the environment. By providing strategic advice, together with traditional accounting and analysis, I’m helping ACF make smart financial choices to get better outcomes for nature.” Accounting and accounting-related studies can also provide a strong foundation for people looking to explore non-traditional careers and emerging sectors. Matthew D’Cruz is a Commercial Analyst at global visual communications platform Canva, which recently got a gong as one of 2021’s best workplaces for innovators. A CPA Australia member, he completed a Bachelor of Accounting in 2018. He says, “My accounting studies helped me jump from a traditional corporate career to one of the world’s fastest-growing tech companies. Every day I feel empowered to aim for crazy big goals and think critically to make them happen.” Hunter says accounting skills are highly transferable overseas. “In the past, courses like nursing were considered a passport to working oversees. Now accounting is one of the top choices for people who want to work internationally, given the global shortage of qualified professionals.” There are several pathways into accounting, including commerce, economics and business degrees. Before enrolling, school leavers should make sure the course they’ve chosen is an accredited course recognised by the profession.