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A study to gain insights into the factors that influence newly qualified accountants in Ireland to stay or leave their organisation in order to improve retention strategies in accounting firms

Kennedy, Linda (2013) A study to gain insights into the factors that influence newly qualified accountants in Ireland to stay or leave their organisation in order to improve retention strategies in accounting firms. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Recruiting qualified accountants has been identified as a challenging process (Gladen and Beed 2007). As the economy picks up it is anticipated that a talent war will emerge as larger accounting firms begin to hire more rapidly. This study found that poor retention has already impacted the client relationship, the quality and efficiency of jobs and in some cases the retention of clients, all of which affect the profitability of companies which in turn will affect the companies’ ability to stay competitive. As people are accounting firms’ assets, it is therefore essential for accounting firms to know how to help retain their key employees to meet their business needs.

While employee retention is an essential element of talent and business management it has been observed that there is a lack of research examining what influences employees to stay in an organisation (Musser 2001). Additionally, Maertz and Campion (1998) recommend that retention should be studied in conjunction with turnover. Consequently, the purpose of this dissertation was to gain insights into the factors that influence newly qualified accountants in Ireland to stay or leave their organisation in order to improve retention strategies in accounting firms.

The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with newly qualified accountants to gain insights into what factors influenced their decision to stay or leave their organisation. The overall results showed that the main factors influencing respondents to stay included post qualification experience, highlighting their desire for career progression, the people and pay. The main factors influencing respondents’ decision to leave included a change of job role, ‘the lack of work-life balance and the long hours’ and a lack of career progression. The recommendations in relation to improving employee retention in accounting firms included providing a career plan, flexible work arrangements and better communication.

In addition, a Director and a Partner from a medium sized accounting firm were interviewed for the purpose of this study. This involved presenting the main findings from the literature and from the respondents’ interviews to the Director and Partner. This was completed so that both the previous theoretical findings and the suggestions arising from this study would be subject to scrutiny by practitioners that could be in a position to assess their relevance and practicality. Overall, they agreed with the majority of recommendations suggested by the newly qualified accountants believing that they were “practical” and “reasonable” to implement.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Employee Retention
H Social Sciences > HG Finance > Financial Services
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 13:19
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2013 13:19
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/875

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