Indian accountants set to embrace the future with a modern outlook on the world of work: ACCA India Talent Trends in Finance Survey

– This first-of-its-kind survey of accountancy and finance professionals, reveals that India ranks among the top ten countries globally to adopt hybrid working but also ranked in the top three where accounting and finance professionals had the highest concerns around well-being –

Mumbai, April 19, 2023: A unique survey among financial professionals in India shows an ambitious workforce that is ready to take advantage of all the 21st century workplace has to offer.

Key trends identified by the research – the inaugural ACCA India Talent Trends in Finance Survey 2023 – underline that all finance professionals value career developments and opportunities to learn and grow. They are willing to be mobile in order to achieve their career ambitions – and that means crossing borders if necessary, as well as employers.

They also expect to be offered hybrid working opportunities, which is one explanation of why well-being and mental health is such a high priority for one in every two (50%) finance professionals. This is a trend that is especially important for the finance industry in India, where the World Health Organization predicted economic losses worth over US$1 trillion between 2012 and 2030, owing to mental health conditions.

And while they express concern that technology – including AI – could replace some of the jobs they currently perform, their desire to combat this risk with more training and development suggests the profession has a bright future in India.

The Survey highlighted five key talent trends in the finance and accountancy profession:

1. A holistic approach to well-being is needed among finance professionals and their employers, ranging from the consideration for personal well-being and self-actualisation in the workplace, to social relevance, and physical and physiological safety. Among the finance professionals surveyed in India, almost 50 % highlighted well-being and mental health
concerns as the foremost workplace concerns of the future, with close to 80%
interested in organisation-led support in managing mental health.

2. Technology is empowering, but professionals still worry about its impact on jobs and well-being. In India, over 90% of respondents believe technology helps professionals add value, but almost 90% also want more training and development from their employers. About 51% of the Gen Z (professionals aged below 25) respondents in India are particularly concerned about technology replacing their jobs, with experts alluding to a generation that is more adept at social engagement tools than core workplace ones. Another 46% of professionals aged between 25 and 42 also feared technology taking their jobs.

3. Hybrid work opportunities are crucial. Unlike the global trend of returning to working fully from the office, the survey found out that India has a significantly high appetite for hybrid work arrangements. The survey identified several noticeable factors that are critical to the success of hybrid working arrangements in organizations, including trust, communication, and access to technology. Of the professionals surveyed in India, 70% are working partially or fully remotely. A staggering 92% of all the professionals surveyed were interested in working from home at least once a week – showing a high demand for hybrid work opportunities in the country.

4. Upskilling and reskilling is shown to drive satisfaction among professionals. The survey recommends that organizations prioritize learning and development opportunities for their finance and accountancy talent, to keep up with the pace of change in the profession. Gen-Z (professionals aged under 25) seemed more inclined than older professionals to continually acquire new capabilities/skills.

5. A desire to move across borders through the profession was visible, with about 44% respondents in India desiring to move across the globe within 12 months. Satisfaction gaps captured for India depict that there is more than a sector-sensitive talent war raging, painting a picture of a more purpose-driven desire to move or stay within an organization. This finding highlights the importance of purpose-driven work and a positive work culture in retaining finance talent in India.

Md. Sajid Khan, Director-India at ACCA, said, “Attracting the next generation of talent to the accountancy profession is vital to healthy economies. ACCA’s inaugural India Talent Trends in Finance survey ensures the voice of those pursuing and working in the profession in India is heard, and that the profession helps create a working environment where tomorrow’s talent wants to be.”

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