ACCA Talent Trends survey reveals accountancy talent crunch in UK

  • 64% of accountants surveyed noted they are hybrid working, beating the global average (35%)
  • 39% expect to move to their new roles in the next 12 months

The world of work has gone through the biggest transformation for over a generation and a new era has begun: 39% expect to move roles in next 12 months, inflation is fuelling wage demands, concerns over burnout are growing, and the adoption of hybrid working has some way to go. 

In one of the largest ever studies across the accountancy profession,  ACCA UK’s (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) new annual Global Talent Trends Survey 2023 provides a unique and vital view of how people feel about their life at work.

Over 8000 professional accountants from 148 countries including the UK were asked about the concerns they held around work in the future as well as aspirations for their careers. The survey also assessed key workplace issues such as employee engagement, wellbeing, and attitudes to technology adoption.

The research highlights a talent crunch for employers as they struggle to retain staff with big career mobility ambitions and an eye on their next role. In the UK, 39% expect to move to their next roles in the next 12 months, and a further 21% over the next two years. Meanwhile the biggest worry for employees is the impact of inflation on salaries, as well as workplace stress.

At a time of significant workforce change and a challenging global economic climate, the survey indicates that a career in accountancy remains a smart choice for those seeking long-term career prospects and possibilities to continually acquire new skills. The opportunity to acquire a professional qualification which affords cross-sectoral and international mobility further adds to the perception that choosing accountancy leads to a career with choices and flexibility. Seven key themes that emerged are:

  1. The inflation crisis continues to fuel wage pressures and creates retention challenges.
  2. Hybrid working is ‘work in progress’ for many countries, but the UK has adapted fast: 64% of respondents saying they have a hybrid working pattern. In comparison, 57% of respondents globally cite they are working back in the office full time.
  3. Addressing burnout has to be a priority with 71% of global respondents wanting more help from their organisations to manage their mental health.
  4. Job mobility is driving a possible talent crunch for employers – globally 44% expect to move to their next role in 12 months, rising to 69% over the next two years.
  5. Technology is now seen to be empowering accountants to add value, but 42% worldwide suggest they feel overwhelmed by the sheer pace of change.
  6. Inclusion measures score well in the UK with 73% feeling their organisation culture is inclusive but concerns particularly by younger respondents are expressed on social mobility.
  7. Accountancy provides career security in turbulent times, with younger people prioritising career development, financial reward and money rather than broader ambitions to address wider social issues through the jobs they perform.

 

Jamie Lyon, Head of Skills, Sectors and Technology at ACCA, said: “Employers are adapting and experimenting with new ways of working across the workforce. Career development and remuneration are the top two attraction factors to an organisation, yet they’re also the two areas which have most influence on employees’ decisions to leave.”

Lloyd Powell, Head of ACCA Cymru Wales, comments: “The findings demonstrate that flexibility and creativity is key when it comes to the future of work and it’s vital that organisations prioritise the wellbeing of their employees. It’s clear that having an empowering business culture is key to retaining the top talent. However, we need to see more progress being made across the board and attracting the next generation of talent to the accountancy profession is vital to healthy economies.”

 

The full report can be accessed at www.accaglobal.com/talenttrends2023

 

About Lisa Baker, Editor 2308 Articles
Lisa Baker is the Editor of Always Finance, and writes about Business, Finance Technology and Healthcare. Lisa is also the owner of Need to See IT Publishing.