Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Openings 5 years to November 2019: > 50,000
Salary Range
Median weekly earnings: $1301 to $1700 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
*THERE IS A NATIONAL SHORTAGE FOR ACCOUNTANTS*, especially in the specialisation of taxation and audit. If money really does make the world go round, its not surprising that the skills of accountants are in high demand. When it comes to financial records and systems, it is accountants who provide clients with specialist advice and services.

In South Australia, there are approximately 11,400 people currently employed as Accountants. Majority are employed full-time and work in the property and business services industry. Over half of persons in this occupation are male and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. Accountants have a younger age profile with only around a third of people in this occupation aged 45 years and over.
    Accountants are more than just number crunchers who prepare your annual tax return. In fact, they are key strategists who help both individuals and organisations to improve their financial practices and systems. Depending on their chosen area of specialisation, there is a wide range of duties that accountants perform. Auditors, for example, inspect financial records of businesses to ensure compliance with legislation. Assisting clients in preparing either business or personal tax statements and providing advice on taxation matters are some of the duties of taxation accountants. Accountants in information systems set up and maintain computer-based accounting and financial systems.

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  • Of those currently employed there are 63% of Accountants who have a Bachelor Degree, 16% have an Advanced Diploma or Diploma, 6% have Postgraduate Degrees and 13% have had no post school qualification.

    If you're still in high school, take computer, maths and accounting courses. Equally important, with the accountant's strong client focus, you'll need to develop your written and verbal communication skills. It is recommended that you gain the necessary qualifications to better your chances for employment opportunities.

    TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Accounting. Pathways include Certificate III in Accounts Administration or Financial Services, and Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping.

    Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders Uni in Accounting with the Diploma of Accounting and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Bachelor of Commerce (Business Economics), and Bachelor of Commerce (Finance). Dual offer courses are also available with the Advanced Diploma of Accounting and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Bachelor of Commerce (Business Economics).

    Still Unsure! Then try a short course also offered through TAFE SA such as Basic Bookkeeping or MYOB. Check the website for the full list of short courses.

  • With projected growth from the property and business services industry until 2015, job openings for accountants are also expected to increase. In addition, South Australian employers have also reported experiencing shortages in this occupation.

    Accountants can choose a variety of different areas to work in such as auditing, budgeting, finance, information technology, investment, liquidation and management. Those working for public accounting firms, government or corporations require a post-secondary qualification and are normally registered with an appropriate professional accounting association. Additional education requirements may also be needed, depending on the level at which you wish to work and with which associations you seek membership.

    The introduction of the GST and new tax reform policies increased the demand for the services of accountants nation-wide. This coincided with an industry that has already experienced a shortage of qualified accountants. While both of these situations have levelled out, there remains a strong demand for qualified accountants and accounting graduates. This is due to the versatility of the profession and the wide number of areas in which accountants may work. There has always been a need for assistance with compliance work and record keeping for all businesses - big or small. But accountants have recently been required to help clients set up new systems and deal with new reporting requirements.

  • While this is technically a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job, you can expect to work long hours at certain times of the year as you move to senior level positions, or if you work in particular specialisations. Auditors, for example, may work up to 70 hours a week. Tax season has always been a busy time for accountants as they prepare end of year financial statements for individuals and businesses. Now with Business Activity Statements being submitted monthly or quarterly, the busy times seem to have grown.

  • Over half of all accountants are employed in the business services sector, with the rest found in diverse industries from mining and manufacturing to construction, wholesale, retail, hospitality, government, education and health. Your working environment will be indoors and your office may be a one-person home office if you are self-employed, or a large corporate office if you work for an organisation like a government taxation department, a large accounting firm or a major bank or building society. If you enjoy working with figures, have strong organisational and analytical skills and get on well with people, you may be suited to the work of an accountant. Computers are widely used as a financial management tool and there is now an emphasis on computer training in accounting degrees. This means that the overlap with information technology degrees makes switching career paths easier.

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (SA/NT Office)
    Phone: (08) 8113 5500

    Institute of Public Accountants (SA/NT Division)
    Phone: (08) 8227 2255

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online