Age discrimination is prevalent in the accounting industry, according to a survey by recruitment website CareersInAudit.com.
The survey found 57% of the accountants questioned agreed that ageism is prevalent in the industry and 48% of them agreed it is harder to get promotions or a new job after hitting the age of 40.
Some 37% of respondents aged 40 years or over believed their career had stalled due to their age, and 44% of them answered they were not given a reason for their lack of promotion by the company.
Only 20% believed it was because the other candidate had a superior skill set, while 9% said they did not fit the company culture.
"HR departments should be scrutinising their equality policies and ensuring that all applicants, regardless of age, are given a detailed breakdown of why they were unsuccessful," CareersInAudit.com operations director Simon Wright said.
According to CareersInAudit.com, research showed bosses prefer younger employees as they are less likely to ask for high salaries and are more likely to put in long hours, especially in the current economic climate.
The survey also indicated some respondents believe companies try to "mould" young employees to fit their needs, as companies doubt older employees can be managed in this way.
Wright went on to encourage accounting firms to do more to help the career advancement of its employees and said: "if the right training was given to all staff, of all ages, then we could see a different culture emerging and a much fairer playing field for the more experienced accountants."
CareersInAudit.com surveyed 2,011 accountants, 400 of them were based in the UK and rest were from Europe, Americas and Asia Pacific and Africa.
Article by Sebastian Clark