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More than a third of accountants actively looking for new job

Accountancy bosses could be at risk of losing vital talent within their organisation, according to new research.


More than a third of accountants (34%) admitted they are actively looking for a new job and this figure rises to nearly two thirds (63%) within the next six months to a year. has conducted the annual survey for the last six years to gauge career sentiment amongst the accountancy profession.


Previously the top reason cited for looking for a job was because the accountant had not receiving a pay rise or promotion. The top reason cited in the latest research, however, was “I want to work abroad” (30%), followed by “I haven’t received a pay rise or promotion” (24%) and “I don’t like the company culture” (16%). 


When asked about the main reason for moving abroad for work, the top reason cited was “better work life balance” (28%) followed by “better career progression” (26%). 


The research found that there had been an increase in those wanting to move to the Middle East (13%), which last year had decreased in popularity (10%).  When the research was first was published in 2010, the Middle East was cited as second most popular career destination (19%). 


Simon Wright, operations director at, commented, “Money and status are always going to feature high as to why accountants are looking for a new job.  Yet the latest research shows an interesting shift. Work/life balance and better job prospects are perceived to be the biggest draw for heading to foreign climes. Employers may need to shake up working practices and make changes if want to retain star employees.  Depending on the structure and size of the company, bosses could consider offering staff the opportunity to work abroad on secondment either within the company or, perhaps through an associated network.


“Another red-flag has been raised because nearly a fifth of accountants on the move are doing so because they don’t like the company culture.  Bosses can’t be complacent and need to look at ways to create the best working environment – whether that is offering a structured career path to show how they can get promoted, flexible working hours or organising occasional social events for all the staff.  With more employees looking for a better work/life balance, they want to enjoy getting out of bed for work and the perks and non-financial benefits that come with the job.”


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