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Services

We understand that no two organisations are the same. Find out more about how we've customised our recruitment offerings to help clients across South East Asia meet their needs.

Read more
About Robert Walters Philippines

Since our establishment in 2016, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters

Learn more

Why is the Philippines an emerging hub for Accounting and Financial Services talent?

The Philippines has long been renowned for its talented workforce across various industries. However, recent post-pandemic trends have highlighted a significant shift in the professional services sector, particularly in offshore finance engagements. What initially began as freelance or part-time roles has now evolved into a thriving demand for Filipino accountants’ expertise.

Novy Salas-Tabunan, consultant at Robert Walters Philippines shares her insights about the primary factors that have contributed to the rise of the Philippines as a sought-after hub for accounting and finance professionals and how you can attract top talent for your organisation.

Quality Talent and Cost-Effectiveness

The growing preference for Filipino finance professionals is driven by their combination of quality and cost efficiency. With approximately 200,000 registered Certified Public Accountants according to the Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy in 2023 and experienced professionals from prestigious audit firms, Filipino accountants have a strong foundation in finance and are well-versed in the latest industry knowledge and skills.

Novy emphasises, “The Filipinos fluency in English facilitate seamless communication with international clients, while their cultural adaptability and strong work ethic make them ideal for multinational companies.”

Moreover, from a financial perspective, Filipino professionals offer significant cost savings. The lower cost of living in the Philippines makes it economically advantageous for companies to outsource their accounting and finance needs to the country. Companies in the professional services sector are offering competitive compensation packages that exceed the market standard increase of 15-25%.

By outsourcing and often providing remote setups, these companies save on facilities management expenses, allowing them to reallocate their budgets to further enhance the compensation packages for talent. This enables firms to offer attractive pay while still realising cost savings compared to hiring their respective local talents.

“This cost-effectiveness however does not come at the expense of quality, as Filipino professionals are known for their diligence, accuracy, and commitment to delivering exceptional work,” Novy notes.

Continuous learning & upskilling

Filipino accountants possess exceptional technical competencies, with the Philippines Financial Reporting Standards (PFRS) aligned with the globally recognised International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) used across 168 jurisdictions. This alignment ensures that Filipino professionals are adept at navigating complex financial landscapes.

Additionally, many Filipino accountants are proactively enhancing their skill sets through online studies and obtaining certifications such as CMA (Certified Management Accountant), ERP-related credentials such as Xerox Certifications and other relevant qualifications. This continuous upskilling makes them highly competitive in the global market.

“However, the growing demand for their expertise brings both opportunities and challenges. While it opens abundant opportunities for job seekers, it also tightens the local talent pool, creating a competitive environment for both domestic and international companies seeking to tap into this rich vein of talent,” Novy highlights.

As more professional services firms set up operations in the Philippines to leverage its skilled workforce, the challenge of maintaining a sufficient supply of qualified professionals intensifies.

Flexible work arrangements as a preferred benefit

The rising global demand for Filipino accounting and finance professionals creates a dynamic yet challenging landscape for local companies. Freelance outsourcing opportunities for Filipinos have increased over the years. According to Payoneer’s 2019 Global Gig Economy Index, the Philippines ranked sixth globally as the fastest-growing market, with a 35 percent increase in freelance earnings. The pandemic further accelerated this trend, leading to a significant boost in the number of freelancers in 2020-2021.

Post-pandemic, candidates are increasingly drawn to companies offering flexible work arrangements. “While the hybrid model is appealing, many professionals take on the option to work entirely from home when the opportunity is presented for a better work and life balance,” says Novy.

Implementing creative strategies to attract talent

The heightened demand for Filipino accountants and finance professionals presents both opportunities and challenges. While this trend benefits candidates with more lucrative and flexible job options, it poses a significant threat to companies unable to compete effectively.

This shift highlights the growing importance of flexibility in attracting top talent in the accounting and finance sector.

The critical question is whether these companies are prepared to face this escalating competition as they may risk losing their best talent to professional services firms unless they can adapt to this new landscape.

To be successful in this candidate-driven market, Novy advises organisations to implement innovative strategies beyond competitive compensation. Companies must consider the impact of workplace culture, long-term career development, and employee engagement initiatives to attract talent and retain employees.  By prioritising these factors, businesses can ensure they remain capable of meeting the evolving expectations of finance and accounting professionals in a rapidly changing global market.

If you require further expert advice on your hiring needs, visit our hiring advice hub or contact us for a confidential discussion.

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