Hunter Campbell Market Insights - Accounting and Finance 2021 / 2022

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Accounting and Finance. Specialist Recruitment


Kia ora and welcome to our first Accounting and Finance Market Insights publication. As New Zealand’s unparalleled expert in specialist Accounting and Finance search and recruitment, Hunter Campbell offers an in-depth knowledge of the Accounting and Finance landscape both here, and globally. We’re deeply committed to bringing value and insight into the Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement and Accounting and Finance sectors. We’ve drawn on our extensive expertise to analyse, reflect and advise on what has been a challenging period. Weaving together up-to-date, accessible information to enhance and expand your understanding of the current employment market. Whether you’re an organisation looking to connect with the best Accounting and Finance talent, or an Accounting and Finance professional looking to discover your next opportunity, this publication delivers the information you need to make good chemistry happen. We’re also excited to launch our new brand. Encompassing everything you value us for, our refreshed look and feel tells our story; we are leaders searching for leaders, we are proud of our team and the work we do, delivering the power to enhance a culture of performance by seeing the effect that true talent has, when matched with the right team. And finally, I would like to thank you for your continued support - we know you have a choice in your recruitment partner, and we thank you for choosing us.

Lee Marshall

Managing Partner



Contents. 01.

Economic Update - Brad Olsen, Principal Economist Infometrics



Accounting and Finance Market Update



Salary and Trends



Dynamics of Job Searching



The Evolution of the CFO



Future CFO



Partnership and Potential



Financial Services



Looking to the Future



Economic Update. - Brad Olsen, Principal Economist Infometrics New Zealand’s economic outlook remains upbeat, although the uncertainty over the extended effects of the Delta outbreak of COVID-19 are weighing on future growth. Uncertainty remains, with business activity in Auckland and part of the Waikato still constrained, and concern about summer economic activity, falling consumer sentiment, and border reopening all increasing caution about what’s around the corner.

spaces and the general removal of usual skilled migration

However, economic fundamentals are showing remarkable resilience, which provides New Zealand with a solid foundation from which to bounce back again from current setbacks. Spending activity outside of Auckland has shown strength, although the hospitality sector remains hard-hit across New Zealand.

has accelerated to 4.9%pa – the fastest in decades

The labour market remains incredibly stretched, with the unemployment rate dropping to a record-low 3.4% in the September 2021 quarter – in line with the December 2007 record pre-Global Financial Crisis. Jobseeker Support numbers continue to fall, job ads remain at high levels, and businesses report that they are experiencing both the most difficult period to find labour, and the highest levels of job churn, since the 1970s. The intense labour market pressure is down to both strong economic demand activity and widespread skills shortages. Businesses are having to offer higher pay and other non-remuneration benefits to not only attract new staff and retain their current workers. Limited MIQ


is a key challenge for businesses. Supply chain disruptions continue to worsen, with freight costs up ten times above normal levels. With various pressures building in the economy, inflation (excluding the GST hike in 2011). Considerable heat in the cost of living has seen the Reserve Bank increase interest rates, with expectations of continued hikes to reduce the level of stimulus in the economy. House price growth continues unabated, with constrained supply of new houses keeping the pressure on. Building levels are at record levels, with over 47,000 dwelling consents in the last year, and the wider construction sector is stretched as housebuilding rises further, commercial investment charges ahead, and infrastructure needs grow. The uneven hit from COVID-19 remains a key concern as New Zealand’s economy evolves, with some areas, industries, and households hard hit. Other parts of the economy are experiencing intense pressure. In general, an upbeat and confident view of the economy remains. But caution over the uncertain path next persists.


Accounting and Finance Market Update.

Your specialist search and recruitment partners in performance. Hunter Campbell is the unparalleled expert in the Accounting and Finance sector. With nearly 100 years’ combined experience, we have the most experienced Accounting and Finance search and recruitment team in New Zealand. Clients work with us because we consistently deliver the highest quality candidates, and candidates work with us because we are proactive partners with strong connections to the best brands in the sector. Our approach brings together specialist expertise, deep understanding, strong relationships, hands-on experience and proactive agility to connect people and culture, acumen and action, IQ and EQ, ambition and outcomes.

We are Hunter Campbell. These are our insights.


Accounting and Finance Market Update. A TALENT SHORT LABOUR MARKET Prior to the arrival of Delta to New Zealand in August 2021, New Zealand’s economy was expanding at more than twice the pace forecast by economists. The impact of New Zealand’s latest lockdowns are yet to be seen, with the RBNZ stating the recent restrictions have not materially changed the mediumterm outlook for inflation and employment. The level of job vacancies has risen above pre-COVID-19 levels across all the industries and regions, with overall job vacancies increasing well above previous record highs. We suspect that the ongoing border closure and resulting constraint on labour supply is artificially inflating these vacancy numbers.

CHANGING RETURNEE PROFILE The expected wave of Kiwis returning to New Zealand following the global impacts of COVID-19 has not eventuated. Although we saw increased engagement from candidates looking to return to New Zealand between April – June 2020, the rates of return have remained stable, and in line with pre-COVID-19 numbers. With easing MIQ requirements on the horizon this flow

A MISALIGNMENT OF TALENT The pandemic increased the focus on finance functions and the reporting and controls they provide during a time of crisis. This placed considerable pressure on our sector. The need for security and confidence in the balance sheet saw a shift in the output of finance functions. Businesses were looking for more traditional controllership, risk/compliance and technical roles in a market full of candidates with a more commercial skill set. This created the largest misalignment between supply and demand for talent that we have experienced. We are seeing this return to a position of balance - with increased business confidence, the focus is shifting back to business partnering and commercial outputs.

A FOCUS ON BIG DATA With this shift in business focus, businesses are embracing the visibility and insight that big data provides. Big data offers the ability to be agile and make strategic decisions – leading to a significant competitive advantage for businesses. The result is an increase in the desirability of skill set in Business Intelligence (BI) and big data, and this skill set is now an integral focus area for Accounting and Finance leaders.

of returning Kiwis may increase. Interestingly, the people returning to New Zealand have been of a different profile. Rather than the usual professionals returning from the traditional Kiwi OE, we’ve seen an increase in a more experienced demographic; professionals with young families returning home for lifestyle reasons.

We are leaders searching for leaders

This has meant a notable increase in the seniority of the talent entering our market. We expect that the annual trend of returnees following the European summer will continue this year. With Accounting and Finance remaining a talent short market, and the serious demand for Accounting and Finance leaders – we welcome this injection of talent to the market.



InterimCFO Interim CFO provides industry leading CFOs to support a specific business need. We have a dedicated talent pool of Interim CFOs who are immediately available to inject niche skills and industry knowledge into your business at short notice. Contact Hunter Campbell if you would like to discuss the Interim CFO offering and how it could support your business


We are a people business that understands the business of people. 7

Salary and Trends. A change in the way we work. COVID-19 has changed the way we work. The expectations of employees and candidates have shifted; flexible, remote working is not only possible – it’s a priority for many. We are seeing this translate into market extremes. Some businesses have reverted to a traditional pre-COVID-19 ‘officebased, 8am - 5pm, five days’ work-week. Other organisations are still working entirely remotely, and surrendering their office leases. Another trend is the concept of an ‘anchor day’ - where an entire team is expected to be in the office together one day a week. However, this impacts the hiring of remote talent as it requires employees to be within travelling distance of the office once a week. In-between the extremes, many businesses are adopting varying degrees of flexible working arrangements, and creative working options to accommodate and reflect the changing expectations of top Accounting and Finance talent.



The challenges of remote working. Remote working poses challenges for businesses. The ability to create and foster a workplace culture is diminished with a remote team, and we expect that this alone is likely to see a resurgence in working from the office. Effective IT infrastructure and systems are needed to support and facilitate flexible working. Larger corporates are generally in a position to do this better. Another challenge is talent development. With remote working, emerging talent has limited access and exposure to leaders to develop from. Productivity is also difficult to monitor when a team is not in the office. However, high performers will be high

performers - whether in the office or not. Conversely low performers are unlikely to benefit from being watched-over in an office environment constantly. Despite these challenges, at Hunter Campbell we believe in the importance of being agile. Businesses who move and respond faster to changed candidate expectations will have the power to connect with the best Accounting and Finance talent on offer.


The Dynamics of Job Searching.

Accounting Support

Qualified Accountant



Salary Range $50,000 - $65,000

Salary Range $87,500 - $110,000

The move towards automation has caused Accounts Payable

Traditionally a segment to gain a CA qualification and make a move overseas or into commercial roles, First Movers are temporarily retained in New Zealand. This has resulted in significant competition in the market.

roles to continue moving away from pure processing and data entry. Today, attention to detail, solving queries and building supplier relationships are all key, in-demand skills.

PAYROLL Salary Range $65,000 - $95,000 This space has seen a significant inflation in salary due to the market being increasingly talent short. Many experienced Payrollers have moved into the lucrative Payroll/HRIS implementation space, or have been pulled into large projects with legislative changes over the last couple of years. We are seeing many businesses investing in training and developing payroll resources internally or outsourcing to external payroll providers.

CREDIT CONTROL/ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Salary Range $50,000 - $80,000 Talented Credit Controllers are always in demand. We have seen an increased investment in attracting capable Credit Controllers as cash has become a crucial focus in the last 18 months. As strong talent is being recognised, salaries have increased slightly and retention strategies have been put in place.

ASSISTANT ACCOUNTANT Salary Range $60,000 - $80,000 The Assistant Accountant space continues to be a high demand

If you’re considering a move overseas, look for either global businesses you can travel with, or contract roles which will give you exposure broader than the Big Four - setting you apart from other talent in the international market. With the talent shortage and intense overworking within these large accounting firms, we are seeing a move away from the Big Four as work-life balance becomes a priority. In fact, some candidates are leaving without having a job to go to. To mitigate this, the Big Four are incentivising talent through bonuses and increased salaries. Our advice would be to define your future now. If partnership is in your future, then staying makes sense. Typical next steps would be to move into a financial accounting role, but we suggest you don’t judge the role based on the job title. Many of these positions are much more dynamic than the job title suggests, often offering a mix of project-based work - so focus on the duties rather than the title. When looking for your next step, look for a role where you can add immediate value. If you’re emerging from the Big Four, your technical skills will come into play, so anything with financial reporting involved gives you the ability to add value from day one.

are interested in, or currently pursuing further studies so they

Whilst in the Big Four, a role within a listed client will always work in your favour to demonstrate technical capability, or you could look to head down a Financial Services/Banking route to add to

can continue to grow within the company.

your skill set.

area. The majority of businesses are now pursuing talent who


As a First Mover, now is a crucial time to consider your plans as the world opens up. As the happens, the overseas market will have an influx of talent, so ensuring a strategic move now will give you an advantage.


JUNIOR MANAGER Salary Range $110,000 - $140,000 A Junior Manager is someone stepping into their first role with a team to manage. This can be a difficult transition from an accountant or business partner role. The easiest way is to make this move internally, and we encourage our talent to ensure they are actively positioning themselves to take on a management role. If internal movement isn’t an option and you will be going through an interview process, you need to be able demonstrate where you have lead people and processes. Consider this in the context of your current role and ways you can gain this exposure.

Traditional elements like controllership, governance and ‘knowing the numbers inside out’ are a given with today’s CFO roles. The required skills are heavily weighted around; utilising big data to create insights, driving strategic initiatives and being able to successfully navigate a business through change across people, processes and systems. Today, successful CFOs need to be effective story tellers, articulating a clear vision for the future to boards, investors and within the businesses themselves. This is only possible for CFOs who have become cross functional experts across different areas of the business. These skills are becoming more important than ticking off exact experience from a previous role, or knowledge of an industry or system. If individuals don’t master the craft of enabling change, driving


innovation and future proofing a business - they will be left behind.

Salary Range $140,000 - $200,000

We have seen the CFO salary range widen considerably due to

This is a crucial stage in your career where you need to identify your skill gaps, and work on them to shape your future career path. This could involve a sideways move to gain broader exposure. If you want to become a CFO, consider what you need to tick off to get there and be deliberate with your development and progression. The Future CFO programme by Hunter Campbell is a great facilitator for this. You don’t need to wait until the next job title to level up. Ensure

the material impact a great CFO can make within a business with base salaries ranging from $200K - $400K for small and medium sized businesses. A big shift has been the creative incentives that certain businesses have been able to offer to differentiate themselves. We have seen many organisations provide a lot more clarity for STI and LTI bonus packages, and an increasing amount of businesses have offered profit share/equity options to connect with the right talent.

you are exposed to strategy and hone your ability to understand


and interpret it, no matter your role. If you are reporting into a

Daily Rates Circa $1,000 - $1,500 + GST

CFO, make them aware of your progression goals and discuss development and promotion.

PERMANENT CFO Salary Range $200,000

The Interim CFO landscape has also rapidly evolved over the past 12–18 months. Many organisations are looking to bring in expertise and specialised skills which may not be readily available in-house or which may not be required on a permanent basis. Progressive businesses are seeing the positive effect of bringing

The role and skill set of a CFO is changing and evolving at a

in interim CFOs to deliver immediate results, upskilling the team

faster pace than we’ve ever experienced.

and bringing fresh perspectives to complex issues.


The evolution of the CFO. Hunter Campbell are makers of good chemistry, the intangible sweet spot between IQ and EQ. 12





Controllership, completely across the financial reporting and numbers of the business

Very analytical and could talk you through the financials with their eyes closed

Across the financials and also forward looking

Financial reporting focus means unlikely to see a threat on the horizon

Outward looking enough to identify competition in the market

Big data and Business Intelligence tools not adopted

Unlikely to identify threats on the horizon nor able to assist in helping to mitigate them



Likely to see future threats and be able to help mitigate them Will effectively utilise and develop company strengths and weaknesses





The company’s systems and technology infrastructure will be first in class

Continually forward looking and well planned

Would rather be in a Sales Marketing meeting and discussing sector challenges than behind a desk

The systems and processes in place are likely to give clarity with future threats Will be a big data advocate, ensuring insights are converted to create a strategic advantage over competitors


On the lookout for incoming threats and will engage within the sector to uncover these A dynamic people leader who can fuse a team through a period of change


Broad thinker that knows the business far wider than the financials Sector and thought leader

06. 13

Future CFO. Hunter Campbell is invested in the future of New Zealand’s Accounting and Finance sector. Future CFO is a programme for emerging talent, designed to support high-performing middle and senior Finance professionals to excel in their roles. The aim is to develop participants to contribute at a strategic level and enable organisational succession through a programme of mentoring, networking and development. This is part of Hunter Campbell’s ongoing commitment to developing the best talent in the Accounting and Finance sector. We have completed our most recent Future CFO Programme for 2021. Feedback on the programme has been exceptional from both participants and organisations. “Leading in business is about learning from others who have walked the path and surrounding yourself with others who can help shape your perspectives. The Future CFO programme was a great opportunity to do just that, helping to build a strong network of other finance leaders across multiple industries, while giving me a solid view on developmental needs to excel in my career. The mentorship forces you to think outside of your comfort zone and stretch yourself professionally in ways you have not considered.” -Recent Future CFO participant

Returning in 2022, get in touch if you want to know more.



Partnership and Potential. Hunter Campbell is a people business that understands the business of people. This enables us to do much more than simply recruit for roles. We add real value to the conversation, share unrivalled insights across our network, and better understand which people and teams will create good chemistry – and in turn, deliver the best results. We take a fresh approach to recruitment, viewing each role as an opportunity to transform the function and enhance performance. As this Kiwi success story discovered, working with Hunter Campbell is far more than working with just a recruitment partner.

THE EVIDENCE Over the past four years, this global business has been on a high growth trajectory, more than tripling revenue through organic growth and acquisitions. Since 2019, the company has completed multiple bolt-on acquisitions, expanding the product offering, and placing the business in a leadership position in all core markets. To sustain this pace of growth and ensure the ability to deliver on the strategic plan, the company has a real focus on continued investment in great people. Hunter Campbell partnered with the CFO who was charged with shaping the future structure of the

finance team. We collaborated to ensure a highly capable team was in place to support both the CFO and ensure the business could respond to this extreme growth phase. This involved mapping out the finance function, roles and responsibilities and seniority of talent required. The broader involvement of Hunter Campbell in the curation of the Finance and Senior Leadership team has meant we have a thorough understanding of the team capabilities and culture, and can select candidates who will compliment and add to this high performing team. This in-depth knowledge allowed us to tell the company’s brand story to candidates; engaging and exciting them about the journey ahead, ensuring they were invested in the role right from the beginning. Underpinning the entire process was the idea that drives the nature of business – creating good chemistry. It’s the power of us, the power of you and who we connect together.


Financial Services. Hunter Campbell’s Finance offering covers Funds Management, Wealth Management, Corporate Development, Corporate Strategy, Institutional and Corporate Banking, and Investment Banking.


We are leaders searching for leaders as we drive excellence and move your business forward. We partner with leading entities including award winning financial institutions, household-named corporates, internationally acclaimed institutions (including Government entities), and high growth businesses.


The New Zealand financial markets are small and well-networked. We work to identify, attract and connect the best talent with our clients to enhance a culture of performance. We apply a methodical framework to identify overseas talent, and facilitate their move to New Zealand. Our track record speaks for itself, with the successful placement and relocation of individuals from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The demand for talent is increasing, particularly influenced by the lack of migration to New Zealand. Exceptional local talent tends to be employed and retained, which reduces the associated talent pool available to New Zealand based organisations. The flow-on effect is a shift in power back to talent. High calibre candidates are in a position of having multiple options to choose from, creating upwards pressure on salary expectations. Although remuneration is not the most important factor for all candidates, organisations that cannot be competitive will ultimately struggle to attract the talent they need to grow.

The world of portfolio management is still relatively small, however with more funds under management within KiwiSaver and managed funds, Fund Manager hiring has increased. One of the highest growth areas within these organisations is in the risk and compliance functions, which has seen a steady increase in hiring.

RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT Another area of notable growth within fund managers, corporates, and advisory/consulting firms is responsible investment and sustainable finance. Investors are becoming increasingly vocal on their expectations, choosing to allocate capital to organisations which have rigorous frameworks in place to ensure ESG. Factors are incorporated into the investment decision making process. Many firms will look toward the awardwinning New Zealand Super Fund for ESG best practice.



We are leaders searching for leaders as we drive excellence and move your business forward. 17

Looking to the future. We expect the employment market to remain competitive.

The vaccine rollout and easing of border restrictions will see the world reopen, and this will impact New Zealand’s talent pool. The extent of this impact will depend on whether New Zealand businesses have done enough to keep our top talent on shore, or whether the pull to Australia and the United Kingdom wins out. Workplace flexibility and the impacts on business culture are likely to see a return of people flocking back into offices and a rise in the importance of employer branding. The future is bright for Hunter Campbell. Our investment into building the highest performing specialist Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement and Accounting and Finance recruitment team has resulted in expansion, and we have outgrown our current office space. We’re looking forward to moving into a new office in Ponsonby; one that supports our continued growth, represents our refreshed brand, and enables the next stage in our journey.



We are the drivers of good chemistry, your specialist Accounting and Finance Search and Recruitment Partners. We are Hunter Campbell.

Lee Marshall

Jason Hinton

021 774 388

027 555 0921

Daniel Turner

Josie Clarke

Managing Partner

Chris Cooper

Manager, Accounting Permanent

Manager, Financial Services

Manager, Contract

Consultant, Accounting and Finance

021 193 0369

021 197 4491

027 773 4733

Katie Kelly 021 418 585

*Photo to come after lockdown

Sam Pritchard

Senior Consultant, Accounting and Finance

Luke Spratt

Senior Consultant, Contract Accounting and Finance

Regina Manaf

021 220 8786

021 224 7093

021 225 5056

*Photo to come after lockdown 19

Specialist search and recruitment partners. 20

Specialist Recruitment

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