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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Survey reveals accounting talent shortage in Middle East


Employers in the Middle East face a severe accounting talent crunch as they struggle to retain employees with high career mobility ambitions and an eye on their next role, according to a survey.

ACCA’s (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) new annual Global Talent Trends Survey 2023 says that in the Middle East, 57% expect to move on to their next role within the next 12 months and a further 28% within the next two years.

At the same time, employees are most worried about the impact of inflation on wages, as well as work pressure.

workforce changes

In a time of significant workforce change and a challenging global economic environment, the survey shows that a career in accounting remains a smart choice for those looking for long-term career prospects and continuous acquisition of new skills. Access to professional qualifications that offer cross-sector and international mobility further adds to the perception that choosing accountancy leads to career choice and flexibility.

More than 8,000 professional accountants from around the world, including the Middle East, were asked about their concerns about the future of work and their career aspirations. The survey also assessed key workplace issues such as employee engagement, well-being and attitudes towards technology adoption.

seven key themes

* The inflation crisis continues to fuel wage pressures and create retention challenges.

*Hybrid work is “work in progress,” with 57% of global respondents saying they are working full-time in the office. In the UAE, 27% say they are a hybrid workforce, 9% work entirely from home and 69% still work entirely from the office.

*Tackling burnout must be a priority, with 71% wanting their organization to do more to help them manage their mental health. Mental health is a major issue in the Middle East, ranking second out of 11 future of work issues.

*Job mobility is driving a potential talent crunch for employers – 44% expect to move to their next role within 12 months, rising to 69% within the next two years.

*Technology is now seen as empowering accountants to add value, yet 42% of respondents said they were overwhelmed by the pace of change.

*Scores high on the inclusivity indicator, with 68% saying their organization’s culture is inclusive, but younger respondents in particular expressed concerns about social mobility.

*Accounting provides career security in turbulent times, with young people prioritizing career advancement, financial rewards and money over broader ambitions to solve wider social problems through the work they do.


Jamie Lyon, Director of Skills, Industry and Technology at ACCA, said: “Employers are adapting and experimenting with new ways of working for their employees. Career development and compensation are two of the most attractive factors for organizations, but are also the two that have the greatest impact on employees’ decision to leave.”

Fazeela Gopalani, Head of ACCA Middle East, FCCA, said: “Attracting the next generation of talent to the accountancy profession is critical to a healthy economy. ACCA’s first annual talent trends survey ensures that the voices of those studying and working in the profession are heard , and the industry helps create a work environment that future talent aspires to be.” — trade arab news agency


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