The Association of International Accountants (AIA) has called on SMPs to attract, retain and upskill talent to survive and thrive!

AIA Council member and managing director of a leading professional firm in Cyprus,
George Josephakis, speaking at the EFAA for SMEs conference in Lisbon last week, urged small and medium accountancy practices (SMPs) to think big and focus on attracting, retaining and upskilling talent.

Today’s workforce are looking for competitive compensation, professional development opportunities, promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, firms who embrace technology and have robust sustainability policies.

By prioritising these areas, accountancy firms will position themselves as forward thinking and attractive employers, they demonstrate socially responsible practices, efficiency, and adaptability, all of which are highly valued by talented professionals seeking fulfilling careers in accountancy.


To attract talented individuals to the field of accountancy, organisations must highlight the potential for career growth, the variety of industries and roles available, and the impact accountants can make in shaping financial strategies.

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Collaborating with educational institutions and offering internships can also help identify and attract promising candidates early on. Promoting diversity and inclusion in the accountancy profession is vital for attracting and retaining talent from all backgrounds. Encouraging a diverse workforce brings fresh perspectives, fosters innovation, and enhances problem-solving abilities.

Companies should strive to create an inclusive culture that values diversity, provides equal opportunities for growth, and ensures fair and unbiased promotion and compensation practices


Retaining talented accountants requires creating an environment that fosters professional growth and job satisfaction. Providing competitive compensation packages, including salary, bonuses, and benefits, is essential. However, it’s equally important to offer opportunities for career advancement, work-life balance, and a supportive company culture.

Encouraging open communication, recognising and rewarding achievements, and
promoting a healthy work environment can significantly contribute to retaining top talent.


The field of accountancy is constantly evolving, with new regulations, technologies, and industry practices emerging regularly. To retain and engage talent, organisations should invest in upskilling programs and provide ongoing professional development opportunities. This can include training on new accounting software, industry-specific knowledge, leadership skills, and soft skills like communication and critical thinking.

AIA encourages our members to upskill through our Certificate in Business Finance, Diploma in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Diploma in Management Accounting and Costing, Diploma in Auditing and Internal Review, and Diploma in Advanced Greek Taxation, to enhance their expertise and marketability. These are all available in Greek.

Technology plays an increasingly significant role in the accountancy profession. Embracing automation tools, data analytics software, and cloud-based platforms can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and free up accountants to focus on higher-value tasks. Organisations should invest in training employees on these technologies and provide access to the necessary resources. Demonstrating a commitment to staying abreast of technological advancements can make the profession more attractive to tech-savvy talent.