The global accounting and finance profession is currently experiencing a critical challenge for the talent pipeline, marked by a significant mismatch between the high demand for skilled professionals across diverse industries and the scarce availability of such talent. IMA, with the support of more than 40 research partners worldwide, surveyed  over 5,000 current and former accounting and finance professionals globally to gain insights into the prevailing job turnover dynamics in the profession and proposed effective strategies for talent retention. Regions covered include the U.S., the Asia-Pacific region, China, India, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa region.

The research revealed that accounting and finance professionals are leaving their employers at a high rate globally. Moreover, young professionals between the ages of 18 and 38 are leaving employers and the profession at a particularly high rate. While compensation still matters, we found that job satisfaction, career advancement opportunities, work flexibility, employee engagement, and a sense of belonging were key contributors to their departures.

Among the key findings of this comprehensive look at talent retention:

  • While nearly one-third (29%) of respondents in our study said they left a company in the past 24 months, almost the same percentage of respondents (30%) are expected to leave their current employer in the next 12 months.
  • Those ages 18 and 38 experienced the highest turnover (38%) in the past 24 months and had the highest percentage (38%) among the various age cohorts intending to leave their current employer in the next 12 months.
  • A lack of career advancement opportunities is the main determinant of job turnover for young professionals between the ages of 18 and 38.

To effectively retain talent, organizations can implement strategies such as:

  1. Providing competitive compensation and benefits
  2. Fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace culture
  3. Recognizing outstanding performance
  4. Providing career growth and development opportunities
  5. Promoting a healthy work-life balance

As CFOs and other accounting and finance leaders consider talent retention as one of their top priorities, continuously reevaluating talent retention strategies in response to emerging challenges caused by rapid advancements in technology, shifts in workforce demographics, and evolving employee expectations is paramount to sustain organizational growth.