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Sydney Accounting Salary Survey Insights: Generation Breakdown

Sydney Accounting Salary Survey Insights: Generation Breakdown

by Richard Lloyd

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One of the main areas of focus in our recently released Sydney Accounting Salaries Report was the impact of generation.

With four different generations now working alongside each other, today’s workplace is home to more generational diversity than ever before. This has created a discussion about the impact of the multigenerational workforce on the employment landscape. For example, is this diversity a good thing for promoting learning and knowledge sharing, or are the differences between the generations likely to incite workplace conflict and decrease productivity? The results of our survey indicate that we aren’t as different as we might be led to believe.

Experience Remains Key

In our Sydney Accounting Salaries Survey, we defined the generations as:

  • Baby Boomers: 50+ years old
  • Generation X-ers: 35-49 years old
  • Millennials: 21-34 years old

*Generation Z (<21 years old) was included, but we received too few responses for it to be identified as a statistically meaningful segment.

As expected, Generation X made up the majority of respondents (46.96%), with Millennials in second place (42.42%) and Baby Boomers coming in last (10.62%), showing that they are gradually leaving the workforce. Millennials on the other hand, made up the majority in both the Support and Mid-level role brackets, demonstrating that this group will soon be taking up management positions in the workforce. At the Senior Management level, as expected Generation X have displaced the Baby Boomers as the dominant group in this bracket (62.50%).

In terms of salary, Gen X-ers are the top earners with a median salary of $114,000. However interestingly in the Mid-level bracket Baby Boomers (just 6.69% of respondents) take home a higher median salary, $113,500 compared to the $107,000 and $90,000 earned by Gen X-ers (45.65%) and Millennials (47.39%) respectively.

With job tenure being fairly consistent across all generations and role levels, experience shines through as the most important factor; with Baby Boomers tending to earn more than the median salary across all generations while Millennials earn less.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

While experience can help to procure a higher salary, our results also show that money doesn’t necessarily buy the employee workplace happiness. As part of our survey, we asked each of our respondents a number of questions about how happy they were, on a scale of one (lowest) to five (highest):

  • How satisfied are you in your current role?
  • How valued do you feel in your current role?
  • How well does your employer support your professional development?
  • How transparent is the pay structure within your organisation?
  • How willing would you be to consider a new job opportunity?

While many of the results made logical sense (Gen X-ers in Senior Management feeling most valued and Millennials feeling that their development is more supported), a couple of results did take us by surprise.

Baby Boomers in the Support and Senior Management levels are noticeably less satisfied than the other generations. This is a concerning statistic, considering that the workforce is generally ageing and Baby Boomers are retiring later than previous generations. It shows that steps need to be taken to increase the quality of work/life for older employees, else we risk them becoming disengaged and leaving the workforce before passing on their knowledge and experience.

For a more detailed breakdown of Sydney Accounting salaries by generation, as well as more insights into the Sydney Accounting market, feel free to click here to secure your copy of our first ever Sydney Accounting Salary Report.

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