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Survey reveals accountancy talent crunch in Middle East

The Middle East is facing a 57 percent talent shortage for accountants, a new survey has revealed.

The Global Talent Trends Survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants highlights a talent crunch for employers as they struggle to retain staff with big career mobility ambitions and an eye on their next role.

A total of 57 percent of respondents said they expect to move to a new job in the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, the biggest worry for employees is the impact of inflation on salaries, as well as workplace stress. The inflation crisis continues to fuel wage pressures and creates retention challenges.

Hybrid working is “work in progress” with 57 percent of respondents globally citing they are working back in the office full time. In the UAE, 27 percent said they were hybrid workers, 9 percent fully home-based, and 69 percent are still fully office-based.

Addressing burnout has to be a priority with 71 percent wanting more help from their organisations to manage their mental health. Mental health is a key concern in the Middle East, ranking second out of 11 in future work concerns.

Technology is now seen to be empowering accountants to add value, but 42 percent suggest they feel overwhelmed by the sheer pace of change.

Inclusion measures score well with 68 percent feeling their organisation culture is inclusive, but concerns particularly by younger respondents are expressed on social mobility.

However, accountancy provides career security in turbulent times, with younger people prioritising career development, financial reward, and money rather than broader ambitions to address wider social issues through the jobs they perform.

Jamie Lyon, Head of Skills, Sectors and Technology at ACCA said: “Employers are adapting and experimenting with new ways of working across the workforce. Career development and remuneration are the top two attraction factors to an organisation, yet they’re also the two areas which have the most influence on employees’ decisions to leave.”

Fazeela Gopalani, FCCA, Head of Middle East ACCA, said: “Attracting the next generation of talent to the accountancy profession is vital to healthy economies”, adding that employers must “create a working environment where tomorrow’s talent wants to be.”

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