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Shared services facing ‘potential’ talent deficit, finds global survey


14 Sep 2017


Euro & Finance
Social Europe & Jobs

Ambitious young professionals working in shared services have a huge appetite for fast career progression, according to a global study from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).


Generation Next: managing talent in finance shared services survey uncovered that nearly 90% of young professionals in this sector want a job in a different area of finance in their next career move or later on. In shared services:

  • 68% are looking to change role within the next two years;
  • 71% expect their next position will be a promotion, and
  • 54% expect they will have to move outside their current organisation to achieve this.

The research takes a closer look at the aspirations of young finance professionals working in shared services today and builds on ACCA’s Generation Next research, which polled close to 19,000 professionals under the age of 36.

Maggie McGhee, Director of Professional Insights said: ‘These trends clearly have implications for the shared services function. If the emerging talent is more transitory than previous generations, and looking to progress with new challenges at a faster rate, there is a potential for a draining of talent from this sector if employers cannot match the career aspirations of this generation.’

‘Finance may not necessarily be the intended destination of young professionals, and many have entrepreneurial ambitions that they often want to fulfil very early on in their career. In many cases, as opportunities for professional growth are perceived to be limited in this sector, many are looking for a way out. While shared services increasingly represents a career destination in its own right for those in more senior positions, leadership must ensure the attractiveness of a longer-term career permeates throughout the shared services organisation at all levels.’

Technology holds no fear for this generation and could be used as a recruitment opportunity for shared services employers. With 88% of respondents in shared services seeing technology as an opportunity to focus on higher-value activity, being the innovation lab of the organisation can represent an attractive proposition to this tech-savvy generation.

Across the profession, opportunities for growth and development are top attraction and retention factors; however these are perceived to be limited in finance shared services. For the industry, this can represent a potential risk for talent deficit in the long-run.

‘If employers are to retain the best and brightest, they must look to develop effective management programs that are suited for a generation with ambition.’ concluded McGhee. ‘Employers must work out forward-thinking career paths that can satisfy ambitions for career progression, and ensure engagement taps into top talent aspirations for building up a broader portfolio of skills, relevant beyond pure finance.’

Generation Next: managing talent in finance shared services is the first of a four-part series of reports that brings deeper talent insights into specific sectors across the profession, offering guidance to attract, engage and retain future finance talent around the world.

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For media enquiries, contact:

Monique McKenzie, ACCA Newsroom
T: +44 (0)20 7059 5030
M: +44 (0)7725 613 447
Twitter @ACCANews


About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 198,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 101 offices and centres and 7,291 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. More information is here:


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