Market Trends & Salary Review



As the market has evolved so has Perceptor

Welcome to our 2023/24 Market Trends & Salary Review. In May 2024, Perceptor will celebrate our 25 year anniversary and we have published this Review every year since inception. If experience counts for anything, we should offer some informed and perceptive thoughts on the Senior Finance market – we will try to do exactly that!

After the Covid years, the market has quickly adapted to the current environment, one where rising interest rates are gradually slowing the economy. In reality, we are simply reverting to pre-Covid settings and most businesses are adapting well, though the pain can be seen in highly indebted or unprofitable companies.

The big change, however, is the historically low unemployment levels which appear to be remaining low despite record immigration numbers. Can this be sustained as the economy slows? Quite possibly.

In our market, mid to senior Finance and Commercial roles, it is likely to remain tight as demand for high-calibre talent continues to grow, even in a slowing economy, and the supply remains limited.


Market Trends & Observations

So much has changed in the last year. After a busy hiring market through the Covid years, driven by huge economic stimuli courtesy of the Government, the volume of hiring activity has slowed in 2023 and settled at a lower level of movement.

Business is more cost-conscious and candidates are more cautious when considering moving companies thus slowing hiring activity. This means retention is becoming easier but attracting new employees is harder as they may choose to sit tight for a while.

The next year should see a more normal level of movement with companies focusing on having the right teams in place with the required skillsets to add value (and within aligned cultural fit) in a more challenging economy. Here are our market observations.






Remuneration Tensions

With inflation over 7% in the last year and many household costs rising even more, there is greater focus on salary increases and bonus payments. Given Finance candidates are highly numerate, they are conscious of going backwards financially if pay rises are less than 7%, or bonuses are not paid in full, and this is causing some tension at annual review time. For some candidates, it will create the catalyst to consider moving companies if they feel there are better paid opportunities elsewhere.


Cost Pressures

With input and employee costs rising across the board, most corporates are scrutinising their profit and loss account with an eye to reducing, or at least controlling, any discretionary expenditure. Travel and entertainment budgets are being cut and areas of duplication minimised. This could lead to some headcount reductions in some situations but most companies are not overstaffed in Finance and do not want to lose expertise and capability in such a key function.


Business Partnering

As the evolution of commercial finance continues, the bar is being raised in terms of business expectations. CFOs are encouraging their teams to engage with other functions, understand the business and ask probing questions. This requires a curious mind-set, strong analytical skills and superior communication skills, written and verbal. Sophisticated software tools including Artificial Intelligence are also extending opportunities for CFOs to provide greater insights, and this is increasing demand for BI/Insights Analysts who have a combination of analytical and IT programming skills.


AI Impacts

There is always a new acronym in the world of Technology that is often described as a “game-changer”. Perhaps AI is the genuine article and will change everything. For now, it offers the next iteration of automation for Finance teams and no doubt will offer tremendous opportunities to automate routine tasks and create more sophisticated documents, forms and controls. This is a positive development, as the routine, junior roles in Finance teams can be upgraded to more interesting, value-adding roles.

Salary Trends

Senior Executive Finance Appointments

The CFO market has been relatively buoyant over the last couple of years and salaries have increased by 10-15% in that period. However, as the market is now slowing, we expect lower increases of up to 5% for senior finance roles. Bonus payments recently have been generous due to strong company performance but the slower economy will make it harder to secure full bonuses in most sectors. The flow of talent from larger corporates to smaller growth companies will likely continue given the opportunities that exist in the mid-market space.

Mid-Level Market

Commercial finance teams have continued to grow and become more integrated with the business operations so this market has been active. This growth has enabled greater structure within teams, providing more opportunities for internal promotion and talent retention. Controller and reporting roles have also seen substantial movement as companies grapple with constantly changing external reporting and compliance obligations. Increased sustainability reporting will also put pressure on reporting teams over the next year or two. Salary increases at this level are currently 3-5%, slightly below inflation.

Qualified Market

The boom market for candidates with three to seven years’ experience is a lot less extreme but the supply/demand equation remains tight. Churn levels may increase as salary increases offered are going to be less than candidates expect, which may precipitate movement. Whether these candidates want to pursue experience in the accounting stream or financial analysis, they continue to have plenty of options to progress their careers. Salaries at this level have increased between 5-10%.


Having struggled to retain and recruit finance talent over the last few years, companies will be very reluctant to downsize teams even as the economy slows and cost pressures rise. Significant risks and pressures remain but we are expecting the year ahead to revert to normal levels of movement, offering high-calibre candidates a range of opportunities to progress their careers.


Large Corporate (ASX100 or major multinational)

PositionYearly Salary ($,000)
Group CFO700 – 900
Deputy CFO400 – 600
Divisional CFO350 – 550
GM Finance320 – 380
Group Financial Controller300 – 350
Group Treasurer300 – 400+
Deputy Treasurer240 – 300
GM Tax280 – 350
Chief Risk Officer / Head of Internal Audit300 – 350+

Medium Sized Corporate

PositionYearly Salary ($,000)
CFO320 – 420
GM Finance / Group FC250 – 320
Head of Finance230 – 280

The figures stated show total package including cash, superannuation and benefits. Discretionary components such as bonus and shares/options are excluded. Bonus components tend to range from 40-100% of total package, with senior roles at the higher level.

Commercial Finance & Analysis

PositionYearly Salary ($,000)
Head of Commercial Finance250 – 300
Financial Planning & Analysis Manager210 – 250
Corporate Development Manager200 – 270
Project Manager180 – 220
Strategy Manager180 – 250
Senior Commercial Manager180 – 240
Finance Business Partner / Commercial Finance Manager150 – 180
Senior Financial Analyst (3-6 years)120 – 160
Financial Analyst (1-3 years)100 – 130
BI / Insights Analyst130 – 160

The figures stated show total package including cash, superannuation and benefits. Discretionary components such as bonus and shares/options are excluded. Bonus components tend to range from 10-40% of total package, with senior roles at the higher level.

Financial Reporting, Tax, Treasury, Risk & Compliance

PositionYearly Salary ($,000)
Head of Shared Services280 – 320
Head of Financial Control / Financial Controller250 – 300
Compliance & Controls Manager160 – 200
Tax Manager180 – 240
Treasury Manager170 – 230
Internal Audit / Risk Manager160 – 220
Financial Accounting Manager160 – 220
Corporate Reporting Manager160 – 220
Management Accounting Manager170 – 210
Senior Tax Accountant (5 years+)150 – 180
Senior Financial Accountant130 – 155
Group / Corporate Accountant120 – 150
Group Treasury Accountant120 – 150
Management Accountant100 – 135
Financial Accountant100 – 130

The figures stated show total package including cash, superannuation and benefits. Discretionary components such as bonus and shares/options are excluded. Bonus components tend to range from 10-40% of total package, with senior roles at the higher level.


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