Independent research conducted by Robert Half noted that talent management in corporate finance is now a major business concern, with 42 per cent of Australian CFOs and finance directors claiming that retaining finance employees is the greatest pressure facing their accounting and finance function; while another 34 per cent pointed to sourcing and recruiting skilled financial talent as a major concern.
David Jones, senior managing director of Robert Half Asia Pacific, told AccountantsDaily that a changing finance and accounting environment, namely a push to a more collaborative workplace, has led to a shortage of talent as companies seek accountants that have developed key personal skills.
“Finance roles in particular now are forever increasingly having to communicate to people outside of finance departments, and perhaps do that in in a more informal way than they did in the past,” said Mr Jones.
Furthermore, companies are continuing to invest in technological development as opposed to personnel, which has placed an added strain on accountants as they deal with smaller internal teams and struggle to keep pace with a changing profession.
Mr Jones specifically identified investment in front-end development, business intelligence tools and a shift to the cloud as the most significant technological investments which have threatened the accounting and finance space.
This influx of technology and a greater emphasis on personal skills, coupled with the stressful and cyclical nature of accounting can leave employees disgruntled, overworked and eager to seek employment elsewhere, Mr Jones claimed.
“In order to strengthen their position in a highly competitive market, finance executives must respond to sector trends and ensure that they recruit, retain and manage their best talent effectively,” he added.
“People can be courted quite easily, because they’re not having those career based, courtship-type conversations with their present employers.”