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Accountants seeking greater ‘sense of purpose’

New research has identified a shift in the goals of accountants in the workplace, as they seek to understand how their contribution helps their organisation achieve its objectives.

Professional Development Reporter 21 October 2016
— 1 minute read

Research by recruitment firm Hays found that the value of employee engagement, in terms of a competitive salary and perks, has fallen and been replaced by a desire to work with purpose and make a difference.


In a survey conducted by Hays, 94 per cent of employees said a clear understanding of how their role helps the organisation achieve its objectives is a ‘very important’ or ‘important’ engagement factor.

“What’s more, 26 per cent said they would look for another job if they did not have this understanding, while 51 per cent ‘might’ look elsewhere,” said Hays.

Hays Accountancy and Finance senior regional director for Victoria, Susan Drew, said accountancy and finance professionals want to know how their work plays a part in meeting the organisation’s objectives and strategy.

“Their roles aren’t just about numbers – accountancy professionals can have a significant impact on an organisation’s success and therefore they need to know where it’s heading,” said Ms Drew.

“Just think of a CFO, for instance. CFOs have been instrumental in reviewing the policies and controls within their organisation, which has brought them into close contact with operations teams – and so coining the term ‘business partner’ into day-to-day business and finance language.”

Ms Drew said accountancy professionals who understand what they are working towards know that they are making a difference and are contributing to something that matters.

“They’re given ownership in the organisation’s success because they know what is expected of them and what their part is in achieving the desired outcome. That goes a long way in terms of engagement and retention,” said Ms Drew.


Accountants seeking greater ‘sense of purpose’
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