Talent shortages, global business skills and Generation Y attitudes are just some of the challenges facing the accounting profession in the years ahead, according to a new report.

As competition for skilled professionals grows, the report, from the Robert Half International Financial Leadership Council, recommends new recruiting strategies, including enhancing the image of the accounting, finance and auditing professions in the media and on college campuses, and raising referral bonuses. The report also notes the challenge of adapting to the attitudes of Generation Y entry-level workers.

To retain them, the report recommends that young employees receive more career guidance, projects that involve continual learning, and a better balance between routine and challenging assignments so they won't be demoralized by tedious compliance work.

The future accounting workforce will also need better communication and analysis skills, according to the report. To operate in an increasingly global business world, professionals need to increase their "cultural literacy" and familiarity with new financial reporting models. The report also foresees that firms will need to widen their recruiting net and look globally for talent in the years ahead.

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