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International Accounting Graduates in Australia

Foreign accounting students put in ‘too hard’ basket.  Hiring international accounting graduates on temporary visas is in the “too hard” basket for many local businesses, says a veteran education agent.

But he adds that foreigners also have an obligation to improve their English skills and get out of their comfort zone to secure jobs, rather than seek the security of migrant communities.


To hire people on temporary visas and avoid penalties employers have to run continual checks against the federal government’s database.
“Visa status is a key consideration for prospective employers,” said John Findley, a registered migration agent and ­education agent for the University of Newcastle.

“A temporary resident’s status can change quickly and without notice to an employer,” Mr Findlay said.

Deloitte hired 14 international graduates in 2013 but required them to have permanent residency as a condition of employment. “We’d like to hire more but students are telling us the immigration department’s revised English requirements make it extremely difficult to gain permanent residency,” a spokeswoman for the firm said….

…. His comments reinforce The Australian Financial Review analysis ‎highlighting the difficult job market for local and international accounting graduates, and amid a push by Labor to remove accounting from a list of in-demand occupations for migrants.‎

International accounting graduates who have managed to get work say work experience and getting involved in local culture is key.’


Universities may well have been cutting corners for revenue with less than optimal language and business communication support for students. However, communication is a two way process, not based just on language (30-40%) but cultural context etc.  A British IT person in Melbourne on 457 temporary visa complained that a colleague did not speak English well to the point of incompetence, but that begs the question, who employed him? I would also suggest that IT or IS skills would seem essential for any accountant nowadays dealing with IT and now digital based systems.

Further, if you look at the medium long term trends, i.e. not focusing on the present, there will be significant growth in the industry, while significant numbers of baby boomers retire which will equate to skills shortages.

For more information about accounting employment, career prospects, education and training in Australia click through.

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