In today’s business environment, the notion of accounting is essential. It is considered to be one of the most important parts of the business world. For this reason, accountants are in demand across various industries and sectors, may it be from running a gas station to managing a huge company or even a nation’s government, there is a need for skilled accountants. Due to the indispensable role that accountants play in financial management, complaints, and decision-making, the demand for accountants remains strong. Without them, different industries and sectors from all over the world would not be able to function well. However, despite accounting being one of the most in-demand professions, hiring, training, and retaining talents has been the biggest challenge that companies have been facing for the past years.
Research from Deloitte found that 82% of the big employers of the accounting and finance industry find it very challenging to attract and retain talent. This is because many accountants have been quitting for the past years and there has been a dwindling number of college students entering the accounting field. Additionally, there are various factors that greatly contribute to the difficulty of retaining talent. One factor is the high demand for skilled accountants – as businesses compete for qualified professionals, many struggle to retain talent as they are unable to offer attractive compensation packages or career advancement opportunities. Another reason is that the newer generation of accountants may have different expectations regarding work-life balance and workplace culture. Most employees today, prioritize flexibility, personal development, and a healthy work environment. With this, organizations that fail to provide support to the work-life balance culture may face challenges in retaining young talent. Lastly, another reason why organizations face issues in retaining talent is due to the fact that some organizations could not provide a clear path for advancement and do not provide training or diverse experiences. Accountants, just like any other professionals, seek value opportunities for career growth and development, and if their current organization has failed to provide them with career progression and development opportunities, they may seek these opportunities elsewhere.
With this, businesses should reevaluate and improve their talent retention strategies. What businesses need to face the challenges in retaining talents is a strategic and holistic approach that is focused on addressing the needs and aspirations of their employees. First, in order to retain talent in the accounting profession, it is crucial for businesses to offer competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits packages. Companies that want to attract and retain top accounting talent should regularly review and benchmark compensation and ensure that it is aligned with industry standards and would provide incentives for high performance.
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, one reason why organizations face issues in retaining talent as they have failed to provide career development and growth opportunities. Hence, it is greatly recommended for organizations create a clear career progression path that would outline opportunities for advancement and professional development. This could be done by offering training programs, mentorship, and sponsorship opportunities that would help accountants enhance their skills, acquire new certifications, and broaden their expertise.
Furthermore, employees deliver the best when they are happy and comfortable at work. In fact, one study from Forbes revealed that happy employees are as much as 20% more productive in the workplace than unhappy employees. Employers play a significant role in keeping employers happy and satisfied in the workplace which helps them in retaining talents in the company. In order to do this organizations should promote a healthy work-life balance and offer flexible work arrangements where feasible. The work-life balance can be achieved by providing options for remote work, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks which could help accountants maintain a better work-life integration and improve job satisfaction. Another way for employers to contribute to employee happiness and retain them in the company is by establishing a positive company culture where feedback and recognition are greatly encouraged. In order to retain talent, companies should foster a positive work environment that values employee engagement and recognizes achievements. This could further be achieved by regularly communicating organizational goals, providing feedback and recognition for a job well done, and involving accountants in decision-making processes that affect their work.
Another way to retain talent in the accounting profession is by promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. By fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that values and respects individual differences, employees would feel welcomed and cared for. Employees are more likely to stay in a workplace that values diversity and promotes an inclusive environment as they feel a sense of belonging and it helps them enhance their creativity and innovation, expand their networks, and provide them with opportunities for growth. Hence, organizations should create a supportive environment where all accountants feel included and have equal opportunities for growth and advancement. The evolving business landscape, complex regulations, technological advancements, and the need for financial analysis greatly contribute to the ongoing demand for skilled accountants. Hence, for companies, they should make their best effort in retaining talents in the accounting profession. With this, I would like to end this essay by quoting Marissa Mayer, “It’s about getting the best people, retaining them, nurturing a creative environment & helping to find a way to innovate.” Retaining talent is and will always be an ongoing process. Organizations should regularly assess and adapt their retention strategies based on the feedback from accountants, changing industry trends, and the evolving needs of the workforce. Thus, an organization that prioritizes employee satisfaction, well-being, and growth could create a work environment that encourages accountants to stay and thrive within the organization which equates and could further result in organizational success.
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About the Author
- Mariel Tricia Gotiongco is a BS Accounting Information System student from Mapua Malayan Colleges Laguna. She is passionate and dedicated to her quest in seeking new knowledge and skills. She is an enthusiastic learner who loves working with people and gaining experience from outside the four corners of the classroom.