Stern Strategy Group (for IMA)
IMA and Robert Half Release New Research on Talent Retention in the
Accounting and Finance Profession
The report provides strategies for organizations to enhance talent attraction and retention within the finance function
Montvale, N.J. and Menlo Park, Calif. October 17, 2023 — IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals in business, today released a report about talent pipeline challenges in the accounting and finance profession in the U.S. in collaboration with global talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half. The report, “Talent Retention in the U.S. Accounting and Finance Profession,” also contains supplemental guidance and recommendations for organizations to attract and retain in-demand talent, using measures such as upskilling and reskilling, flexible work, and professional development opportunities to help employers create agile, future-forward accounting and finance teams.
The study, surveying 1,236 current and former accounting and finance professionals and academics in the U.S., begs the critical question: how can employers enhance their organizations’ success? Especially, since nearly one-quarter of accounting and finance professionals surveyed intend to leave their employer within the next year.
“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 Dr. Susie Duong, senior director of research and thought leadership at IMA and co-author of the study. “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 study includes key findings of turnover trends, including those planning to leave their employer or the profession and the key drivers, as well as major talent retention factors among accounting and finance professionals:
- Accounting and finance professionals ages 18 to 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. Furthermore, a notable 8% are considering leaving the profession altogether in the next 12 months.
- Nearly 30% of professionals intending to leave their current employer within the next 12 months expressed dissatisfaction with their work and coworkers. They were also five times more likely than those intending to stay to feel disengaged at work.
- More than 80% of professionals who intended to leave in the next six months did not expect to advance in their current organization, while only one-quarter who intended to stay shared the same view.
“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, Robert Half. “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.”
For further information and a numerical analysis of ongoing accounting and finance talent pipeline challenges, the full findings of the study are available here: https://www.imanet.org/research-publications/ima-reports/talent-retention-in-the-us-accounting-and-finance-profession
About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA® is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. Twice named Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, IMA has a global network of about 140,000 members in 150 countries and 350 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.
About Robert Half
Robert Half (NYSE: RHI) is the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm that connects opportunities at great companies with highly skilled job seekers. Offering contract and permanent placement solutions in the fields of finance and accounting, technology, administrative and customer support, legal, and marketing and creative, Robert Half has more than 300 locations worldwide, including nearly 100 locations in 18 countries outside the United States. Robert Half is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm that provides internal audit, risk, business and technology consulting solutions. Robert Half, including Protiviti, has been named one of the Fortune® Most Admired Companies™ and 100 Best Companies to Work For and is a Forbes Best Employer for Diversity. Explore our comprehensive solutions, research and insights at RobertHalf.com.