- The UK’s Accounting sector is witnessing significant turnover.
- According to a recent survey by Sellick Partnership, almost half (49%) of Accountants surveyed have changed their jobs in the past two years.
- Accounting firms are finding it difficult to fill resulting job openings.
Accountants reconsidering their job roles in the UK
The field of accountancy in the UK is experiencing a noticeable shift, with many professionals looking for new opportunities.
The situation is worsened by post-pandemic skills gaps and an uncertain economic outlook.
A recent report by Sellick Partnership, a UK-based professional services recruitment specialist shows that almost half (49%) of those surveyed have changed their jobs in the past two years.
The survey also found that a third of accountants are not completely satisfied with their jobs and are seeking better benefits by switching roles.
Even those with esteemed qualifications like CA (Chartered Accountant), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), and AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) are reconsidering their career options.
Factors contributing to the Accountants’ move
Here’s what the Sellick Partnership survey reveals about an accountant’s decision to leave a job within an organization.
- The survey indicated that salary (57%) holds prime importance when professionals make job decisions. Many are also looking for additional benefits, such as an attractive bonus structure.
- A significant 35% expressed dissatisfaction with their compensation, feeling either slightly or significantly underpaid.
- An astonishing 28% believed their salaries did not match industry standards.
Absence of Flexible Work Arrangements:
- Concerns about maintaining work-life balance and enduring long hours have contributed to burnout among professionals.
Lack of Clearly Defined Career Plans:
- A notable 38% of respondents mentioned that they didn’t have a well-defined career development plan.
Culture and Mentorship in an Organization:
- 25% of professionals also emphasized the value of a harmonious company culture and mentorship opportunities.
How firms can attract and retain more talent
John Thistlewaite, a senior consultant at Sellick Partnership told Accountancy Daily, that the accountancy sector is undergoing a transformative phase, requiring effective employee engagement strategies for talent retention.
Thistlewaite further mentioned that with candidates placing increasing importance on social values, employers must adapt to align with the evolving expectations in today’s marketplace.
Apart from that firms should consider the following steps to retain talent:
- Shift in Work Models: The shift to hybrid working can reshape the appeal of traditional work models. Firms can adapt to these changing preferences to attract and retain new talent.
- Comprehensive Support and Growth: Providing comprehensive training, development opportunities, and robust support mechanisms can contribute to employee retention.
- Enhanced Packages: Employers must offer better job packages. This can attract many professionals seeking a fulfilling work environment in the wake of the cost of living crisis in the UK.
- Inclusive Work Environments and Growth Prospects: Just re-evaluating compensation packages is not going to cut it. Firms need to foster inclusive work environments and offer growth prospects to their employees as well.
USA, Ireland, Germany, and Europe overall are also facing the talent crunch
The abovementioned factors and Brexit have resulted in a brain drain in the UK.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) highlighted a shortage of skilled individuals in key areas like audit and accountancy. Ireland too has declared Accounting as a critical skill.
“Due to a mixture of Covid, the difficulty to travel, and economic growth, there is now a talent war going on. Additionally, not as many students in Ireland are interested in enrolling at the Professional Accountancy Body of Ireland, as they once were. To improve the situation in 2022, the Irish government declared a critical shortage of Accountants, Auditors, and Tax professionals.” says Eamonn Siggins, Chief Executive of CPA Ireland.
However, this is not just a case in Europe, as more than 300,000 accountants and auditors in the USA left their positions in the last 2 years as well.
This creates a fantastic opportunity for experienced expat accounting and more so for Auditing professionals to seek opportunities in Europe and UK.
(The USA outsources a large amount of work to India, Brazil, Philippines among other countries, and the UK also follows this path. However several firms in Germany and Ireland avoid outsourcing work.)
How to look for a job in the UK?
All of them work with prominent companies in the UK.
Ayush provides some valuable insights on searching for jobs in the UK from India,
- Skillset to Role Matching: Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight relevant qualifications and experiences that make you a strong fit for the position.
- Head-hunters and LinkedIn: Utilize LinkedIn to connect with head-hunters and recruiters from your domain. Networking with industry professionals can lead to valuable job opportunities and insights.
- LinkedIn Job Search: Take advantage of LinkedIn’s job search feature, which allows you to filter and search for relevant job openings. Narrow down your search based on location, industry, and specific job titles.
- Direct Applications: Visit the websites of companies you aspire to work for and apply directly through their portals. Ensure that your skills align with the specific role you are applying for.
- Company Portals: Companies evaluate applications received through their own portals, so don’t underestimate this method. Be patient, as the process may take time.
- Contact your connections: Reach out to the people in the company that you want to apply to and ask for guidance.
Recruiters also look for how confident you are and how good your communication skills are.
When it comes to visas, there are scale-up visas, startup visas, skilled worker visas, and global talent visas. You can find out more about the Global Talent Visa, here which Ashish used to relocate to the UK. This visa does not require sponsorship.
Additionally, you can also secure a job in the UK through the study pathway. Recent changes in The United Kingdom’s Skilled Worker Visa rules will allow international students to switch to a skilled worker visa easily.
We do not know about the future but right now we see a lot of hiring wherein Indian Big 4 employees are taking up roles in Europe and the UK.
Data Analysts, Fund Accountants, FP&A professionals, Consultants, Auditors, and Finance Professionals equipped with tech talent can find opportunities.
Also, note that it is not an easy process to find an opportunity and can take a while… Research well and speak to people who have made the move.
Information in this article was obtained from Accountancy Daily.