There has been a lot written recently on the risk of jobs within the financial sector losing out to automation. That may be true, to an extent, but these jobs aren’t disappearing; instead, they’re shifting and evolving with the times, particularly as we see the increased and rapid rapid integration of financial technology (‘fintech’) into the finance function.

According to Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s 2019 Global Fintech Report, businesses that are quick to adopt emerging technologies are more likely to not only see a quicker return on investment, but emerge as leaders within the sector.

While digital disruption has had a huge impact on job functions within finance, the consequences of technological advancement have also streamlined many tasks that would have been considered laborious – through leveraging the power of automation.

The top 5 high demand jobs in Australia

To better understand the future landscape of the financial sector, Robert Half surveyed Australian CFOs about emerging finance roles and what will be high demand jobs in Australia due to technological advancement.

If you’re intent on upskilling or expanding your finance team, it’s worth becoming familiar with what these roles entail, and what to look out for in skilled candidates.

1. Wealth Management Consultant

When surveyed, 30% of Australian CFOs believed that the Wealth Management Consultant is an emerging role within finance due to technological advancement. 

A Wealth Management Consultant’s job is to work in partnership with their clients to deliver a range of financial services in order to enhance or maintain their financial situation. A suitable candidate for this role requires good people skills; a deep, niche knowledge of the range of financial products available and which ones are appropriate for a given situation; and an understanding of the financial markets.

2. Strategic Planning Specialists

Strategic Planning Specialists are responsible for setting business goals, focusing resources, identifying opportunities and threats, and ensuring the organisation as a whole is working towards the same outcome. The responsibility within a finance function for this role involves looking at a business holistically, identifying ways to adapt to both technology and rapidly a changing marketplace, not just at budgets and the bottom line.

Leadership skills are important for this role, as is the ability to solve problems creatively, and communicate clearly.

3. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems Specialist

The ERP Systems Specialist is also tipped to become a high demand job in Australia, with 25% of Australian CFOs believing it will be critical to the finance function due to technological advancement.

ERP systems are software that help manage the day-to-day activities within a business, such as accounting and procurement. Though ERP systems can be used outside of the financial activities of a company – such as through supply chain logistics or compliance - it plays a big role in the way companies plan, budget, and report on their financials.

This role arrives at the intersection of finance and IT; the most successful ERP Systems Specialists require a background in technology as well as business administration or finance more specifically. Abstract thinking, communication skills, and even leadership abilities are all things to look out for when recruiting for this role.

4. Forensic Accountant

As cyber-crimes continue to be a primary concern for many organisations, so too does the need for trained Forensic Accountant practitioners. A Forensic Accountant is trained to analyse financial records in order to determine if a crime has been committed. They’re often employed by government agencies or law enforcement agencies, but also by accounting firms and private companies.

Essential skills in a Forensic Accountant include critical thinking and strong analytical skills, a background in accounting, and the ability to communicate clearly, as they’re often giving evidence in legal cases.

5. Financial Planning & Analysis Specialist

21% of Australian CFOs believe the Financial Planning and Analysis Specialist is an emerging role due to digital disruption. Budgeting, forecasting, and reporting are the main responsibilities of a Financial Planning & Analysis Specialist, usually at a company level, but also at the departmental level.

It’s the role of the specialist to provide financial data, trend reporting and analysis to senior management. A candidate who is detail oriented, strongly analytical and possesses a high degree of attention to detail is crucial for this responsibility within the finance function.

Finding talent for finance

Because finance is so important to the success of a business, hiring the right people is essential.

Companies looking ahead should pay attention to the changing trends within the sector, and start searching for talent now, particularly for these high demand jobs in Australia within finance.

The research statistics are based on an annual study developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm, surveying CFOs in Australia. This survey is part of an international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.