Editor's note

Employee Recruitment and Retention

Supplement Issue 3

April 2024

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Future-proofing accountants’ skill sets

Welcome to the third in a series of digital supplements published by The Accountant. In this edition we will be looking at all things recruitment and retention.  

I have been working for this magazine for six years and the most prevalent issue that I encounter when speaking to members of the profession is the difficulty of attracting and retaining quality talent. However, it has been a challenge for much longer than that.  

One of the difficulties with employment and recruitment is the pace of change within the profession and wider business landscape and therefore the requirement for increasingly specialist skills. Yet despite this, the accountancy profession arguably has an image problem it is desperately trying to overcome. For many outside of the profession, accountancy is seen to be a career that will mean the same job day in, day out over the course of a 50-year long career. But that is far from the truth, and it is a myth that accountancy firms, regulators and professional bodies alike are trying to overcome.  

Arguably, there has never been a more exciting time to enter the profession. Accountancy is constantly adopting new technology, expanding its remit to cover more advisory services and evolving in the ESG field. The trouble is trying to demonstrate this to prospective accountants. 

We will also be looking at how businesses can improve their offering, through increased pay to fostering a culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance, to retain the very best accountancy professionals.  

This is something that we, along with our partners, Russell Bedford International and SMS Latinoamérica, will be exploring throughout this supplement. 

The goal of improved talent recruitment and retention is not just to better serve the individual firms but to improve the profession at large. By having a workforce which utilises the skills of people from a myriad of different educational backgrounds and expertise, the profession will be better able to serve its wide-ranging clients and boost the quality of financial and non-financial reporting alike.  

Joe Pickard

Group editor of The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin