Finance & Accounting Market Insights Q1 2017

Published on 19th January 2017

2016 saw another exciting year for Finance & Accounting recruitment in the Malaysia market, in particular within FMCG, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare sectors and Shared Services, which cuts across all industries.

For Q1 2017, we expect to see steady growth within Finance & Accounting in stock areas, with some key niche emerging areas seeing a surge in demand.

In the months ahead, we will also see shared services hubs focusing on volume hiring and foresee the commercial industry facing an upward trajectory in demand for experienced accounting and risk professionals.

Enter the job seeker's market

Going into 2017, a market climate that favours the job seeker will continue to flourish, with Finance & Accounting talent demand focusing on core areas of change management as well as migration professionals, especially those with Project Management certifications and Lean Six Sigma qualifications.  

We are also seeing established Finance shared services hubs moving up the value chain by evolving from transactional towards high value-added services. By centralising strategic global or regional functions in a shared services hub, there will be a big drive in demand for Finance & Accounting professionals with experience in financial analysis, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), taxation, compliance, internal control and process improvement. With the rise of zero-based budgeting and FP&A functions, there will be a surge in demand for finance professionals with strong analytical skills and tools such as Microsoft Excel, and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) skills, 

We also see a continuing hiring trend for tax expertise in local and overseas markets, which will attract returning Malaysians and world-class expatriate talents to Malaysia's talent pool.

Companies will face challenges in talent acquisition as they seek to move further up the value chain and as KL becomes more of a regional or indeed global hub for some businesses. To that extent, we see leadership qualities as a big area for demand.

Business will need to explore out the box approaches to meeting demand such as identifying Returning Malaysians or bring open to candidates outside the industry sector which has tended to be a prerequisite in the past.

Finance & Accounting
Salary Report for Q1 2017*

Commerce & Industry

Job title Years of experience Annual salary range (RM$)
Audit / Internal Control
Head of Audit 12+ 250K–300K
Internal / External Audit Manager 5–10 100K–144K
Internal / External Auditor 3–5 80K–100K

Financial Accounting
CFO 15+ 360K–540K
Finance Director 12–15 240K–360K
Regional Financial Controller 10+ 200K–300K
Financial Controller 8–10 180K–230K
Finance / Accounting Manager 6–10 84K–180K
Financial Accountant 3–6 70K–100K
Accounts Payable / Accounts Receivable Accountant Up to 8 years 50K–100K

Management Accounting
Management Accounting Manager 8–10 120K–144K
Senior Management Accountant 5–8 90K–120K
Management Accountant 3–5 60K–90K

Planning & Analysis
Head of Planning & Analysis 10–12 216K–300K
Financial Planning & Analysis Manager 8–10 144K–180K
Senior Financial Analyst 6–8 96K–120K
Financial Analyst 3–6 50K–96K

Vice President / Head of Tax / Tax Director 12+ 220K–300K
Tax Manager 8–10 120K–200K
Tax Accountant / Senior Accountant 3–7 50K–120K

Head of Treasury 10–12 200K–300K
Treasury Manager 7–10 150K–190K
Treasury Accountant 3–6 70K–100K


*Notes about salary table:

  1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
  2. The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
  3. 12-month base salaries are assumed.
  4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
  5. Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
  6. Holiday entitlements range from 1225 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
  7. Healthcare policies are standard.
  8. Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15–​20% of the base salary for senior executives.​