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Accountants value WFH flexibility above pay

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When looking to change employer, choice of workplace counts more than money, report finds.

By Josh Needs3 minute read

The ability to work from home is more valuable to accountants than a higher salary or bonuses, according to recent research.

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A survey of 1,300 Sydney-based accountants in up to 38 different job roles showed 57 per cent said they valued flexibility – including the ability to work from home – more than a larger salary.

One of the founding directors of Richard Lloyd Accounting Recruitment, Geoff Balmer, said the same trend would be seen Australia-wide.

“I imagine the trend is similar elsewhere, particularly the working from home arrangements, those issues will be found all around Australia,” said Mr Balmer. 

Of those considering a new employer, 46 per cent said the most important factor was flexible working-from-home options. An increased salary or monetary bonus came second at 39 per cent while a good mentor/manager and career progression were important to 32 per cent and 29 per cent.

However, asked what was important when making the decision to stay with their current employer, 43 per cent said work culture and the team.

Mr Balmer said that this showed having a positive culture was the best approach to retention for accountancy professionals.

“Having a supportive and positive team culture reduces interpersonal conflict and improves employee engagement, leading to greater retention rates,” said Mr Balmer.

Increased salary or monetary bonus was ranked third most important at 31 per cent, only slightly ahead of business stability at 29 per cent.

Both were behind flexible working-from-home options that was ranked as second most important with 41 per cent of respondents selecting it.  

The report also indicated that 86 per cent of respondents currently benefit from working-from-home options, showing those accountants who have experienced it rated it highly.

Receiving professional memberships as a benefit was valued by 43 per cent of participants, with recognition that being a member of an association could increase an accountant’s standing.  

Mr Balmer said that this year’s report showed the importance accountants are placing on a work/life balance, with flexibility one of the primary reasons to stay in a role and also the most important when trying to attract new employees.

“A desire for flexibility in remote working has continued to grow, with many citing it as a primary reason to stay with their current employers and as a defining factor in their level of job satisfaction, even going so far as to place its importance above that of their salary,” said Mr Balmer.

“When attempting to attract new talent the findings from this survey suggest that employees will be most drawn towards remote or flexible working from home roles with clear opportunities for career progression.”

Accountants value WFH flexibility above pay
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