Majority of finance workers in Asia open to job changes, survey finds

The report also highlighted most in-demand roles in Singapore

Majority of finance workers in Asia open to job changes, survey finds

The 2024 Hays Asia Salary Guide, surveying 8,525 skilled professionals and 3,089 employers across Asia, found that 35% of accountancy and finance professionals are looking to change organizations while staying in the same role or industry.

Additionally, 31% of respondents seek a promotion or a new role within their current company, while 43% are open to new opportunities, according to recruitment company Hays who investigated the latest trends driving accountancy and finance professionals in recent times. 

John Borneman, regional director at Hays Singapore, noted that Singaporean employees are primarily motivated by a lack of career progression and a desire for new challenges rather than salary packages.

“Candidates looking to take a leap are putting increased value on work-life balance and flexible work options as return to the office mandates become more prevalent. Furthermore, salary expectations have tempered slightly and become more aligned to employers' expectations compared to previous years,” he said.

“This may be more challenging due to the current talent competition. Candidates looking to take this leap will want to review their skillsets and benchmark them against business needs today. Consider working with a recruitment consultant to better identify skill gaps that would prove valuable in your arsenal.”

Career trends in accountancy and finance

Managing data effectively has become an indispensable skill in today’s professional landscape, according to the report. With the demand for precise analysis on the rise, proficiency in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is expected to be a common requirement among job candidates. Additionally, as businesses undergo transformative shifts driven by new technologies, adept change managers will play vital roles in ensuring seamless transitions away from outdated processes.

The survey also found the most in-demand positions for this sector. These include:

  • Business partner: The integration of data analytics tools and the urgency to streamline operations amidst the COVID-19 crisis have led to a significant demand for business partners. These professionals are instrumental in deciphering complex data for internal stakeholders, enabling informed decision-making and enhancing visibility of profit and loss (P&L) on regional or market levels.
  • Finance analyst: The demand for finance analysts has notably increased, especially in firms operating across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Each analyst oversees critical revenue and expense drivers within their designated markets, contributing to a comprehensive overview of market-specific challenges and opportunities.
  • Finance transformation lead: In response to the pandemic, firms are prioritizing efficiency enhancements, leading to widespread adoption of online processes and modernized systems. Finance transformation leads are pivotal in orchestrating these transitions, particularly in multinational corporations (MNCs) burdened with legacy processes across disparate systems.

For 2024, the function found to be emerging as dominant in the field of accountancy and finance in Singapore is corporate finance. The escalating demand for corporate finance professionals underscores the growing reliance on individuals proficient in finance analytics for their ability to drive strategic decision-making. Consequently, there is intense competition among firms to secure these highly sought-after candidates.

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