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Why your Accounts & Finance staff may want to leave!

Posted by Brett Lewis on 25/04/2024


It is well known that there is a shortage of quality Accounts and Finance candidates in the market. Good quality candidates are a highly sought after commodity and they know it. That is why they are often open to better opportunities. This can be frustrating for CFOs, FDs, and Financial Controllers who could not only lose an important member of their team but will also have to go through the process of finding a replacement as well as the associated costs.

Salary isn’t the only reason why accounts and Finance staff may look for new opportunities. In a skill-short market, where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find talent for your team, knowing how to increase your chances of retaining staff is vital. Please see below ten reasons why someone may want to leave your company and what you can do to prevent them from doing so.


  1. Salary and Benefits: With inflation and the “cost of living crisis”, Accounting and Finance professionals expect to be paid what they are worth. They know there is a skill-short market so naturally feel they can increase their salary. Benefits are key too including bonuses, paid leave, pension and death in service etc. With this in mind, make sure you are assessing the market to see what salaries are for people at this level. Perhaps offer enhanced bonuses depending on company and individual performance, or more flexible working. For someone going through studies, you could offer them study support on the condition they complete their studies at your company. However, the employee may have reached the end of the road with you and may generally need to move on to further their career.
  2. Career Development: Generally employees, no matter their industry, want to see opportunities for growth and development in their career. Aside from money, this could mean an opportunity to take on more responsibilities. It would be a better career path in a growing business that isn’t possible in your company. To try and keep them, you may need to create realistic succession plans to show employees there’s room to grow in your organization. This may not be possible due to the size and scope of your business. If they leave for this reason, at least you’ll know you’ve done all you can to keep them.
  3. Poor Management and Leadership: Good leadership of a business is crucial to employee retention. Employees will often look elsewhere when they feel they aren’t getting the right managerial support. Often employees will want someone above to mentor them. They may look elsewhere if this isn’t happening If you are a manager, learn what management style works for each employee. What motivates one member of staff may not motivate someone else.
  4. Toxic Workplace Culture: A toxic workplace culture can naturally prompt existing team members to search for new roles where the environment is better. Also, in these circumstances, employers won’t work to the best of their ability as they are always looking over their shoulder. Focus on building a respectful and collaborative culture, where the working environment is better. Try and foster better relations with your team and among work colleagues. Arrange social events where people can get to know each other outside the workplace. This goodwill should carry over into the working day.
  5. Lack of Appreciation: People can be sensitive. Every employee wants to feel appreciated. If you’re not recognizing your team for the work they do, they’re more likely to search for a new role. Implement a recognition strategy that encourages managers to share feedback and insights with team members on a regular basis. If you don’t wish to be so formal, a simple “thank you” or “well done” is sufficient.
  6. Work-Life Balance: Poor work-life balance has grown increasingly common in the accountancy and finance industry, particularly since the pandemic. Remote and hybrid work are making it harder for employees to see the gap between their professional and personal worlds. Employees are increasingly less willing to put up with a poor work-life balance for long and may look elsewhere as a result Employers need to encourage team members to use their annual leave and disconnect from the workplace whenever necessary. They should also encourage more flexible working wherever possible.
  7. Disconnect from Company Values: Accounting and Finance employees are looking for more meaning from their jobs. They want to feel as though they’re having a positive impact on the industry, and they’re keen to work with companies that share their values. Ensuring you understand the values your employees hold and making it easy for them to understand the vision of your business is crucial to staff retention.
  8. Job Security: In these times of economic uncertainty, the thought of job cuts is more common. This leads to worried staff thinking their days could be numbered. This will encourage them to look elsewhere. While it is impossible to guarantee long-term employment for your employees, make sure you are transparent about any possible redundancies or your plans to downsize. If certain people’s jobs aren't going to be affected, let them know to put them out of their misery.
  9. Wanting a Less Stressful Job: Some employers may want a less stressful job. Perhaps they are less motivated in the workplace and money is no longer a priority. Maybe they have other things going on in their lives that are more important than work. While they don’t want to retire, they may just want a role with less pressure. If you are an employer who doesn’t want to lose such a person, you can offer them a less pressurized role, or reduced hours. Perhaps offer more hybrid or remote working. If you like them and they are trustworthy, try and work with them. After all, good employees are worth their weight in gold. If due to the structure of your business, this flexibility isn’t possible, make sure you wish them luck and give them a good reference!!
  10. Wanting Hybrid Working: Let’s face it, before 2020, no one even knew what hybrid working was. Employers often wouldn’t trust their staff to work from home. However, the pandemic, better technology, and the fact that many employers have seen productivity improve from home working, has changed this perception. It is now well known that businesses that expect five days in the office are struggling to attract staff in an already scarce candidate pool. If you want to keep your talent, a hybrid working model is important. There needs to be some control as you should have set days in the office to allow your staff to communicate face to face. If there is no hybrid working, you may struggle to keep good staff. While it’s impossible to guarantee your staff will never leave your business, it is important to understand the reasons they might leave and what you can do about it. I hope you found this blog useful.


At Savant Recruitment, our team of Accountancy specialists possess extensive knowledge and expertise in talent solutions, supported by comprehensive market research. Whether you want to establish a team from the ground up or augment your current team, we are equipped to offer skilled support and guidance, as well as access to the best talent in the industry. If you require further information on how we can assist you, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Brett Lewis is an experienced Accounts and Finance Recruitment Consultant with many years working in the London market. Here to talk if you need help with anything. Please call me Brett Lewis on 07946 496 675. Alternatively, you can email at


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