JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (October 8, 2013) – Only 14 percent of hiring managers in the accounting and finance fields are willing to negotiate employee development opportunities during the hiring process even though 26 percent report most employees leave their companies because of lack of career development opportunities, according to Accounting Principals’ latest Workplace Insights Survey. Other top reasons include employees leaving for a better work/life balance (21 percent), as well as the need for increased salary/compensation (21 percent).

Surprisingly, the survey shows salary is the thing finance hiring managers are most willing to negotiate (39 percent), ahead of vacation time (11 percent), flex time (11 percent), device benefits, such as phone bill reimbursement (7 percent), or title (4 percent).

"It was interesting to see that despite knowing that employees are leaving due to a lack of employee development, companies are not likely to negotiate around these opportunities," said Jodi Chavez, Senior Vice President of Accounting Principals. "At the height of the recession, employees were more likely to stay put when they had a job, but now opportunities are much more plentiful. This shift should motivate employers to reassess their strategies to conform to the state of the new job market – which means retention should be top of mind."

In fact, talent retention is becoming a larger challenge facing finance and accounting hiring managers in their roles. The survey showed that 39 percent of finance hiring managers believes their company has a harder time retaining talent than three years ago. Knowing that employees are looking for development opportunities, one way to reduce attrition could be to hire and promote more from within. Yet, the survey found finance hiring managers slightly favor looking outside for new talent (55 percent) over training internal talent (45 percent) when hiring for positions at their organization.

Additionally, hiring managers noted that despite knowing employees are leaving for lack of career development opportunities, they are not particularly concerned about it; only a small minority of hiring managers said employee development and upward mobility keep them up at night (14 percent and 10 percent, respectively). Instead, their top concerns are split between recruitment (25 percent) and team effectiveness (24 percent).

Other findings include:

  • Salaries Expected to Increase in 2014. Half (52 percent) of finance hiring managers expect they will increase pay in 2014.
  • Recruiting mid-level talent in finance continues to be a recruiting pain point. Of the respondents, 38 percent cited mid-level positions as the most difficult to fill, but only 8 percent believe the same is true of executive roles.
  • Diversity programs have yet to become the norm at companies. Less than half of those surveyed (44 percent) said their company has a diversity program in place. Of those hiring managers who do have a diversity program at their company, only 22 percent said they are regularly measured against the program’s success. The same number of respondents said their company has a diversity program in place, but it is more of a formality and not enforced.

"With recruitment and retention still such a challenge in the finance and accounting fields, hiring managers must consider different ways of keeping their employees happy and engaged," said Jodi Chavez. "This must include elements such as legitimate diversity programs, employee development initiatives, and other perks. It is the only way to ensure that companies are getting—and keeping— the very best talent."


API conducted a survey of 502 finance and accounting hiring managers within the United States. This telephone survey was fielded by Braun Research from August 16-27, 2013 and the results have a margin of error +/- 4.4% for this sample size.

About Accounting Principals

Accounting Principals is a leader in the recruitment and placement of accounting and finance professionals, offering a complete range of workforce solutions in accounting, finance, mortgage and banking. Our nationwide branch network consists of experienced professionals that average five years of real-world accounting experience plus more than five years of finance and accounting recruitment experience. In addition to providing clients with a combination of temporary staffing, temp-to-hire and direct placement services, Accounting Principals also helps clients overcome their challenges through an in-depth understanding of their business needs. For more information, please visit www.accountingprincipals.com.

About Braun Research, Inc. (BRI)

BRI is a well-respected and internationally recognized firm that employs techniques and standards approved by leading survey research academic organizations in the world. BRI is an active member in a number of respected organizations throughout the industry, including The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), Council on Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR) and Council on American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO).