Hiring and Keeping Accounting and Finance Talent in the Philippines

Gina was a hardworking Finance Staff who was earning an average rate. Every day, she was waking up early so she wouldn’t be late to work in the office. This had been her daily routine, five days a week, even before the pandemic began.
One day, she filed her resignation to her boss, telling him that she had received a better offer from another company. Surprised, her boss tried to counter-offer the benefits, but Gina still refused. When her boss asked about her reason, Gina confidently answered that she wanted to expand her skills and knowledge in finance and accounting. She didn’t want to miss that opportunity.
In a typical employee situation like resignation, Gina’s answer was the most commonly used by many Filipino workers whenever they decided to quit their office job. Of course, that is one of the best and most professional reasons, aside from saying that you received a better offer.
But is it the only reason why a Finance staff like Gina would leave their current position? Probably yes – but not always. There are several factors why an employee resigns. It can be personal reasons: financial, emotional, physical, or mental.
Resignation is part of all businesses. However, it is alarming if many employees are quitting their job in a short period. It will massively affect the company’s turnover rate, which will lead to higher recruitment, hiring, and training costs. If that is the case, it shows that the problem lies not only in the employee’s personal issues but in the company as well.

The Great Resignation

Since the beginning of 2021, the majority of employees have resigned from their jobs voluntarily. This economic trend became a global issue as it affects not only the United States, but also several countries including Australia, China, India, and other parts of Europe.
Despite the growing labor shortages due to lockdowns, a lot of workers started to rethink their work conditions and careers. This is no different for office employees, particularly those who work in finance and accounting.
According to Sprout Solutions, a Software as a Service (Saas) company here in the Philippines, voluntary resignation increased by a whopping 176% during the pandemic. Additionally, their data said that most of those who quit are employees from the professional, scientific, and technical service industries. That may sound distressing for many CFOs and business leaders, especially in this time of competitive hiring environment.
But what are the causes of this Great Resignation, anyway? And how will this trend influence businesses in the Philippines?

Why are Finance and Accounting staff leaving their jobs?

Several common issues are rising in the finance and accounting sector, not just here in the Philippines but also around the world. Although typical, these problems caused many finance teams to disintegrate and lose employees. The top reasons would be:

Burnout due to overwhelming workload

Career dissatisfaction because of low-level tasks

Lack of opportunities and work-life balance

Inefficient processes due to the absence of automation

The pandemic has pushed many industries to drastic changes. They adjust their operations to cope with health protocols and new government-mandated policies. Temporary work-from-home has been arranged for office workers, but not all businesses have the ability to provide this type of work setup. Instead, they maintained the usual finance and accounting functions, regardless of the opportunity to optimize their operations.
Now, let’s go back to Gina.
Her situation is relevant to the current issue that the finance and accounting sector facing today. Her workload might probably make her feel dissatisfied because of the low-level tasks associated with her job. Managing invoices, collecting receipts, and manual data entry were just some of the mind-numbing tasks that made her exhausted and feeling trapped.
Gina realized that she spent several years studying finance and accounting, yet her job did not give justice to her strategic and analytical skills. Plus, it was taking away her work-life balance due to her workloads and the hours she was spending commuting from home to the office.
Hence, when she received a better offer – permanent work-from-home, cloud accounting training, higher rate, and several company benefits – she didn’t think twice to grab the opportunity.
So, in what aspect did Gina’s previous company lack for their employee to quit her job?

The Recruitment and Hiring in the Philippines Today

Recruitment and hiring processes have never become so competitive until today. In fact, local companies now compete not only with other Filipino businesses when it comes to recruiting finance and accounting talents. They are also competing with companies outside the country.
The global workforce in the accounting sector is constantly expanding in the Philippines. Many foreign companies and even accounting firms are shifting to offshore work arrangements. As the Philippines is the second place among the top countries for the best outsourcing businesses, it’s no doubt that it will be harder for local businesses to attract an accountant to work with them.

How to Attract and Keep Your Accountant and Finance Staff

With Gina’s previous company, there are various aspects that need to consider as to why she decided to leave her job. But she emphasized that she wanted a fulfilling job that would provide her with a work-life balance as well. Fortunately, on her end, she did find a company that matched her current goals and priorities in life. However, her previous company needed to move on and get a replacement.
So, where did the company go wrong? They resisted the change.
While most foreign businesses are getting ahead with advancements and digitization, many industries in the country have been left behind. A lot of local companies are still embracing the old system, not even giving a chance to process automation.
If only Gina’s old tasks have been automated – using digital tools and software to manage invoices, collect and follow-up receipts, and even data entry or bookkeeping – she probably stayed longer in the company. Her career growth was her priority, and the company overlooked that aspect.
Although there are many ways to attract and keep an accountant and finance staff, moving to digitization and process automation can be a great initiative to fascinate talents joining the company. Since the low-level tasks will be automated, the finance and accounting team will focus more on analytical and strategic tasks. Training can be ensured, giving them that sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in their chosen career.

Eliminate Those Mindless Tasks and Replace Them with Automation

That’s the only way to put it – eliminate manual finance and accounting processes. Automate routine tasks that do not need high-level analytical skills. In that way, your company could focus on what matters most. By recognizing and investing in your employees’ growth and satisfaction, it would be more feasible for the company to reach success.
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