Mid-year is always a busy time for tax professionals as individuals and organisations work to sort out their tax affairs following the turn of the financial year. As a result, tax graduates looking for work will find that tax accountancy roles are plentiful, ranging from filing individual tax returns to assisting larger businesses by joining corporate tax teams.
According to the government’s Job Outlook website, job prospects for tax accountants are high, with this trend to continue for the next five years. In the same period, job prospects for finance managers and analysts have an above-average rating. These three core areas for tax graduates are healthy and can all provide stepping stones to more complex areas of the tax industry if desired.
The nature of each of these areas, however, is shifting. In accounting and financial management, the roles will be less about compliance and more about providing advisory services, taking a holistic view of a client’s financial position. The complexity surrounding superannuation and trust structures in particular will require a tax professional’s advice.
The effect of tax reform
Changes to the tax system will inform the trend for tax analysts. The ongoing saga with the carbon tax is one to watch as it will affect a number of organisations directly and may have indirect follow-on effects for other organisations.
Further into the future, comprehensive tax reform is another item on the agenda that tax graduates will need to follow. There are roles on both sides of reform in policy research, advisory and development at the Australian Tax Office and other stakeholder organisations, as well as post-reform roles educating clients and rolling out the changes.
Globalisation will continue to occur with both Australian organisations going global and international interests being directed here. There are many legal and financial implications that intersect with the tax sector, including inbound and outbound employment, business and trade.
Understanding different tax jurisdictions will be an advantage if you want to work for multinational organisations, import/export businesses or in the foreign investment sector. There are a number of advisory and compliance roles in these areas, as well as a requirement for business planning and tax-structuring skills.
Being across the tax implications of foreign workers earning an income in Australia and Australian workers being employed elsewhere will also be helpful. You may work with individuals or the employing organisation.
While there is a general demand for tax professionals in the foreseeable future, you can ready yourself for specialisation by taking a look at what’s happening at different levels in the sector and angling towards the niche that interests you.