• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Younger accountants more likely to leave employers

Young accounting and finance professionals have been seeing the highest turnover over the past two years and are most likely to leave their current jobs over the next year, according to a new report.

The report, released Tuesday by the Institute of Management Accountants and the staffing and consulting firm Robert Half, found that accounting and finance professionals between the ages of 18 and 36 experienced the highest turnover (39%) over the past 24 months and are most likely (26%) to leave their current employer in the next 12 months. Notably, 8% of them are considering leaving the profession altogether in the next 12 months.

Nearly 30% of professionals who plan to leave their current employers within the next 12 months expressed dissatisfaction with their work and coworkers, according to the survey.  They were also five times more likely than those intending to stay to feel disengaged at work. Over 80% of the professionals who expressed their intention to leave in the next six months don’t expect to advance in their current organization, and only one-quarter who intend to stay shared the same view.

The study surveyed 1,236 current and former accounting and finance professionals and academics in the U.S.  Of the 1,236 U.S. survey respondents and 12 interviewees, 49% self-reported as female professionals, 48% self-reported as male, and 3% self-reported as nonbinary or chose not to disclose.

“The accounting and finance profession is facing significant barriers to retaining talent, but this study provides us with insights into key factors contributing to the job turnover currently impacting the profession,” said Susie Duong, senior director of research and thought leadership at the IMA and co-author of the study, in a statement. “It’s essential that organizations acknowledge the reasons for which professionals are leaving at a high rate and implement effective strategies that can change the trajectory of the talent pipeline.”

The pandemic has affected work arrangements and prompted many employees to consider leaving their jobs when they’re not able to work remotely. On the other hand, the ability to work remotely has also contributed to greater freedom in moving from job to job. Employers with hybrid work arrangements are likely to experience the lowest employee turnover in the next six or 12 months compared to those with fully remote setups and those that require employees to be 100% on-site, the survey found. In addition, 7% of accounting and finance professionals in a hybrid working environment intended to leave the profession in the next 12 months, while that percentage is significantly higher for those working remotely (16%) or on-site (13%), according to the report.

“Organizations in every industry need to prioritize retention, but it’s especially important for leaders in accounting and finance who are faced with challenges related to talent shortages,” said Steve Saah, executive director of finance and accounting permanent placement at Robert Half, in a statement. “It can’t be a reactive strategy — organizations should have a plan that prioritizes attracting talent and creating a positive lifecycle that leads to less turnover. This report is a valuable resource for those looking to increase and protect their talent needs.”


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