Talent Attraction and Retention in Larger Accounting Firms
The survey of audit staff is one of the most in depth ever undertaken in Singapore. Commissioned by ACRA and conducted by ACCA, nearly 1200 audit staff were asked what gives them job satisfaction and what will make them stay or go. The report also proposes follow up actions for audit firms.
The survey's key findings include:
- An audit career continues to be seen as highly attractive due to the unique learning experience it offers, strong comradeship shared among colleagues and high future earning potential.
- In spite of this, only 38% of audit staff surveyed were satisfied with their career in audit and many would like to see fundamental changes. Many saw their high work-load as strongly connected to the need for clients to improve their management accounts and to pay fees that reflect the true value of an audit. Much of the dissatisfaction relates to workloads overshadowing rewards.
- Audit staff surveyed also wanted more open and transparent communication with the partners, even higher involvement of partners throughout the audits, and greater international exposure.
Commenting on the results, Ms Juthika Ramanathan, Chief Executive of ACRA said: "It is timely that the audit profession is re-examining its talent management as it affects audit quality. The survey results resonate with ACRA's audit inspection findings, such as the need for audit engagement partners to increase the time and quality of their supervision. The feedback also affirms the need for high quality financial reporting by preparers which ACRA is promoting through its Financial Reporting Surveillance Programme."
Said Chiew Chun Wee, Head of Policy, Asia Pacific, ACCA "The survey showed that the staff's passion for audit was competing with frustrations with their work-life 'imbalance', which they have attributed to a considerable extent to unsatisfactory financial reports prepared by clients. I think an audit career has much to offer and an individual can benefit greatly from the enriched professional experience. Hence, the audit profession, its clients, the regulators and the accounting industry at large should work together to improve the quality of accounts, in turn leading to efficient, higher quality audits."
Download the Talent Attraction and Retention in Larger Accounting Firms survey.