News & Insights

2023 recap: Our top 5 insights and takeaways


The past 12 months were defined by numerous economic headwinds. From rising interest rates, higher living costs, and diminished borrowing capabilities, business leaders grappled with balancing competing priorities. Despite these challenges though, the prospects for careers and income in the finance and accounting sectors in Australia remained positive.

“The year has been another wonderful opportunity for Moir Group to review and deepen our commitment to our identity, purpose, and values, both as a team and a community,” Moir Group Director Stephen Moir said.

In this article, we have identified the top five insights that have distinguished 2023 for Moir Group.

1. Australia is in a good position — there are business opportunities everywhere, especially as we embrace the energy transition.

In our most attended session in the past 17 years, our special guest Paul Bloxham, Chief Economist for Australia, New Zealand and Global Commodities at HSBC, shared his take on the current economy, and what to expect. He said: “The energy transition is predicted to be disruptive to the global economy in the coming years. However, Australia is in a strong position to profit from these changes.”

Australia has committed to targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050. This is backed by an investment of $24.9 billion over this decade to deliver climate change and energy transformation priorities.

The shift to Environmental Social Governance (ESG) comes with a range of opportunities. We are seeing ESG increasingly integrated into business strategies, operations, risk management, and decision-making processes. “ESG will not be viewed as a separate initiative, but as a fundamental part of business operations,” commented Stephen.

2. Trust goes to the heart of everything — if you lose it, it’s hard to get it back.

Organisational culture is the shared values, beliefs, behaviours, and practices that shape the way a company operates. It is the collective personality of an organisation, and it influences how employees perceive their work environment, make decisions, and collaborate. When this is rocked, faith and trust in the business are also shaken.

“It’s incredibly important to have a clear sense of your purpose and your values, and to understand how they are intricately linked to your business strategy and your work culture… Leaders are in a position to improve employee mental health and wellbeing at scale by establishing trust,” said Stephen. Trust goes beyond formal structures and processes; it encompasses the unwritten rules and social dynamics that guide employee behaviour and shape their overall work experience.

When values align and employees have trust in their workplace, “good work” is possible. “Good work is sustainable work that nurtures your self-esteem, social connections, financial security, status, and sense of identity,” said Cassie Dryburgh, Moir Group Senior Consultant.

3. The finance function is central to every organisation — it is a fantastic career choice

“We have seen many CFOs become CEOs this year. This is indicative of a market that is prioritising the role of the finance function and its expertise,” explained Stephen. Businesses, boards, and shareholders are turning to CFOs for direction as we see a real squeeze on margins. Uncertainty, however, also creates opportunities to become a more agile, stronger business.

Earlier this year we hosted a webinar with guest speaker Barbara Galloon, the Senior Finance Director of the Pacific Region for Avis Budget Group. She spoke authentically about the valuable, and often challenging, lessons she has learnt throughout her colourful finance career. She also shared what a CFO should be focusing on in 2023 and the future.

4. It is important to value yourself and to keep building your networks

“Take control of your career — do it justice. Don’t undervalue it. Recognise yourself and your excellence,” said Stephen. A big part of planning for the future is networking. In the article, Honing your leadership skills now to get you promoted later, Andrew Pownall commented that being visible, especially to other parts of the business, is important. “Taking some time to help others make sense of the numbers would be appreciated by your colleagues, and also shows how much value you bring to the company.”

Growing workplace diversity, fast-paced innovation and changing organisational priorities now call for finance leaders to have strong social skills. Because let’s face it, everything in business comes back to relationships and people.

After extensive research, Moir Group has identified some of the main non-technical skills which are important for career progression into leadership roles.

You can learn more about Australia’s tight and resilient labour market here — Download the Finance and Accounting Salary Guide 2023-24.

5. Keep hiring processes diverse, equitable and inclusive

Company leaders and HR professionals attended a webinar with Dr. Karen Dunwoodie and Dr. Luke Macaulay from Deakin Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE) to better understand how their hiring processes can be more inclusive. They explained that many refugees and asylum seekers are highly skilled with a range of professional experiences and looking for work now.

“Biases embedded in the hiring process prevent the local workforce from expanding its knowledge base and international experience. Improving recruitment and hiring processes can make a company less insular and more globally capable,” said Luke.

Inclusive language in the workplace is key to creating a sense of psychological safety. It promotes equal opportunities and allows staff to express themselves impartially. Over the past few years, we have adopted a wholly digital way of working. In this article, we explored what digital accessibility is and why it is good for business. 

Final word

What are your hopes for 2024? Are you looking to move into your next finance, accounting or ESG role? At Moir Group, we believe that a satisfying job leads to a fulfilling life. For more advice about finance and accounting, or for help in making your next career move, contact our team or browse our latest jobs.

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Moir Group acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present and encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people of all cultures, abilities, sex, and genders.