Despite growth in business activity, accounting and finance professionals in Australia are not expected to see a high salary increase in their next review, according to Hays.
In a statement, the recruitment agency said its 2016 Hays Salary Guide shows 22 per cent of accountancy and finance professionals can expect a 3 per cent salary increase in their next review.
A vast majority (66 per cent), however, can expect an increase of less than 1 per cent, while the rest are expected to receive no pay rise.
"The job market is strong for accountancy professionals in almost all sectors, industries and locations around Australia, but it's clear that employers remain reluctant to offer substantial increases unless absolutely necessary to secure a candidate with skills in short supply," said David Cawley, regional director of Hays Accountancy & Finance.
"Despite seven in ten employers expecting business activity to increase in the year ahead, and permanent headcounts also expected to rise, cost consciousness remains in vogue," he said.
According to Hays, 16 per cent of employers offered no salary increases over the past year. Of those who did, 58 per cent of employees received an increase of less than 3 per cent while 20 per cent saw their pay rise by between 3 and 6 per cent.
Only 6 per cent of employees over the past year received an increase of 6 per cent or more.
Mr Cawley warned companies not to be complacent, saying 41 per cent of employees will ask for a pay rise in their next review.
"Another 25 per cent are as yet undecided about popping the salary question. Meanwhile, staff turnover has already increased in 29 per cent of organisations," he said.
And demand is rising for accounting and finance professionals, he added.
"As ever, Big 4 first movers remain in high demand, especially from larger organisations looking to bolster their internal finance function," Mr Cawley said.
"Professional practice continues to be talent short. Quality candidates receive multiple job offers creating high staff turnover, especially within business services and tax."
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