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Complacent accountancy bosses risk staff exodus as two thirds of staff on the move

Nearly two thirds of  UK accountants (63%) will be actively looking for their next job over the next six to twelve months, according to the latest research by  More than a third of accountants (36%) admitted they are already looking for their next role.  Eight in ten accountants would consider moving abroad for their next position  in order of preference North America, Australia and New Zealand and Western Europe were stated as top career hot spots.

When asked what could make them stay in their current job, nearly half (47%) responded with “pay rise or promotion”, whilst 12% are looking for a “better work-life balance” For some though (20%) their mind is made up and they plan to walk out of the door as soon as possible.

Yet many feel despondent that bosses will make any changes to win their staff back – with six in ten accountants stressing that career development is not high on the list of company priorities and there is a lack of coaching and general support in the firm.

57% also went on to say that their company has failed to anything to retain their staff over the last year, a further 20% could not comment since they had only recently joined their company.

52% of respondents had been unsuccessful in gaining a promotion – the reason cited by many was their & lsquo;firm does not actively promote staff’ followed by & lsquo;it takes a long time to get to next level and I need to bide my time’ and’ my firm does not have the budget to pay for an increase in salary’.

When asked what support their company could provide, many accountants are calling for clear career development plans to be put in place, better training, mentoring and funding for  professional qualifications.

Other highlights of CareersinAudit’s research included:

&Oslash  One in three  envisage leaving the profession within the next 3-5 years, with this rising to 58% within the next 6-10 years

&Oslash  5% are planning to exit the profession within the year – 30% are planning to set up their own business and 28% are hoping to start a new career

&Oslash  More than a third (35%) recently qualified accountants expect to be promoted within the year, whilst another third (34%)  expect this to happen in 1-2 years

Simon Wright, Sales and Marketing Director at comments:

“Accountancy bosses cannot afford to be laissez-faire about staff-retention.  Our research indicates that many in the profession are not prepared to make do with the status-quo and, if need be, will travel far and wide to get their next foot on the career-ladder.

“Year on, we see that those at the top are failing to give enough career guidance and training to their employees.  Today’s accountants have ambition.  Indeed half of the accountants  surveyed have a five year career plan and more than a third of  newly-qualifieds are expecting a promotion imminently.  If senior management do not invest time helping to chart out staff careers they  should expect an increasing number to leave the firm.”

Footnote:’s research was conducted between August-September 2014 amongst 1,440 accountants.  UK sample size was 298.  Work positions of respondents included Auditor, Accountant, Senior Auditor, Audit Manager, Head of Department, Partner, Financial Director /CFO.


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