IMA Asia Pacific and AFA Release New Research on Talent Retention in the Asia-Pacific Accounting and Finance Profession

The report provides strategies for organizations to enhance talent attraction and retention within the finance function

SINGAPORE, Oct. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals in business, today released a report about talent pipeline challenges in the accounting and finance profession in the Asia Pacific region in collaboration with the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA), the umbrella organization for the recognized national Professional Accountancy Organizations of the ASEAN Member States. The report, “Talent Retention in the Asia-Pacific Accounting and Finance Profession,” provides an overview of the key factors contributing to turnover in the region, as well as actionable recommendations for organizations to attract and retain top talent.

More than 1,700 current and former accounting and finance professionals across the Asia-Pacific region were surveyed and the results highlight elevated turnover rates, especially among young professionals, with 90% of the surveyed respondents hailing from countries including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The study delves into the reasons behind this turnover, with a specific emphasis on the younger workforce. Key influences of job retention include factors like job satisfaction, opportunities for career advancement, work flexibility, employee engagement, and a sense of belonging.

“Talent retention is the cornerstone of a resilient and thriving accounting and finance profession,” said Dr. Josh Heniro, managing director of IMA Asia Pacific. “Our research, conducted in collaboration with AFA, as well as our esteemed research partners, highlights the challenges and opportunities presented by an evolving workforce landscape. Their support and contribution have enabled us to recognize the importance of creating a nurturing environment, offering growth opportunities, and maintaining a work-life balance to keep our professionals engaged. By prioritizing talent retention, organizations can ensure that they have the skilled and experienced workforce essential for future success.”

The report outlines practical strategies that organizations can adopt to address these challenges:

Providing competitive compensation and benefits. Fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace culture. Recognizing outstanding performance. Offering career growth and development opportunities. Promoting a healthy work-life balance.

“In the ever-evolving accounting and finance landscape of the Asia-Pacific region, it is imperative that organizations prioritize talent retention,” said Aucky Pratama, executive director of AFA. “This report not only offers invaluable insights and recommendations for organizations to develop and implement effective talent retention strategies, but also underscores the collaborative effort between AFA and IMA in advancing our profession. By collectively addressing these challenges and reinforcing talent retention, our profession can maintain its resilience and adaptability, ensuring a sustainable and thriving future for accounting and finance.”

For a comprehensive numerical analysis of the talent pipeline challenges in the accounting and finance sector, please refer to the full study available here:

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)

IMA® is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. Twice named Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, IMA has a global network of about 140,000 members in 150 countries and 350 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit

About AFA (ASEAN Federation of Accountants)

AFA was organised on 12 March 1977 to serve as the umbrella organisation for the recognised national Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States. Our ten Primary Members collectively represent a regional network of more than 200,000 accountants in ASEAN jurisdictions, supported by a global network of Associate Members with around 2 million members and students worldwide. AFA is an accredited Civil Society Organisation of ASEAN recognised under the ASEAN Charter and a Network Partner of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For more information about AFA, please visit