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Demand for Accountants with commercial skills on the rise in Malaysia



Skilled finance professionals remain in high demand in Malaysia’s accountancy & finance job market as employers grow their businesses and add more value for clients, says recruiting experts Hays.

According to the recruiter’s latest Hays Quarterly Report for July to September, strong demand exists for Team Leads and Managers for Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Financial Reporting in shared services centres.

“In an interesting trend, we’re seeing increased demand from shared services providers for candidates with commercial and audit skills as opposed to pure shared services experience,” says Tom Osborne, Country Manager of Hays in Malaysia. “This is because shared services centres are moving up the value chain and becoming less transactional.

“There is a positive outlook for the industry as international organisations want shared services centres in Malaysia in order to take advantage of local skilled labour and language capabilities.”

However, the perception of working in shared services centres remains considerably poor in Malaysia, says Tom. “It continues to be a challenge for employers to attract and retain talent. Therefore we advise employers to create career growth and development opportunities to help attract suitable candidates.

“In the commercial sector Tax Managers, especially within indirect tax and GST, remain in high demand following the recent Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation and the need to establish an entire framework for businesses. This demand is set to continue till year end.

“Meanwhile, there is an increased demand for Business Controllers, especially within the plant environment as investors recognise the potential to expand operations in Malaysia. This is supported by Malaysia’s economic stability, financial opportunities and a strong pool of qualified finance professionals.

“Financial planning and analysis professionals are also highly sought after within FMCG and other service industries in order to reduce costs and increase efficiency.”

In terms of candidate trends, the recruiter continues to see a preference from employers for local professionals for most jobs. Soft skills are also highly valued. “Interpersonal and communication skills are important factors in a candidate’s ability to secure their next role, along with experience and qualifications,” says Tom.

For more insight on the areas of staffing demand, please see our Hays Quarterly Report.

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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For further information please contact Lucy Sharp, Regional Marketing Manager of Hays, on +61 2 8226 9885 or



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