Accountants ready for new opportunities outside South Africa.

1 min read


  • South African accountants are looking for better-paying jobs overseas due to a talent crunch in the international financial sector.
  • Main reasons for leaving include improved opportunities abroad and the desire for international experience.

In the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) annual Global Talent Trends Survey 2024, it was found that the shortage of talent, the cost of meeting pay rise demands, and the abundance of job opportunities for professional accountants are driving South African accountants to seek employment outside of the country. Nearly 50% of the reasons for moving companies are linked to emigration in some way, with the main reason for moving being improved opportunities abroad.

This trend is affecting the accountancy profession, as many students are not pursuing careers in auditing due to a perception issue. Young professionals value purposeful work, a work-life balance, and flexible work hours, which are not always offered in the industry. The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants has also seen a decrease in the number of candidates writing key exams.

Despite this trend, South Africa has seen a reverse emigration trend, where skilled South African emigrants are returning home due to factors like increased standard of living, family ties, and favorable exchange rates. Cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg are becoming popular destinations for returning South Africans.

Overall, while there is a trend of South African accountants seeking opportunities overseas, there is also a wave of skilled emigrants returning home, providing a mix of challenges and opportunities for the country’s financial and accounting sectors.

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