ACCOUNTANTS here get itchy feet after about five years on the job, unlike their global counterparts who job-hop almost from the get-go.

But once the wanderlust strikes, there is no stopping them: only 5 per cent are still with the company after 10 years - the lowest percentage across 15 countries covered in a survey.

Recruitment firm Robert Half polled more than 2,100 chief financial officers and finance directors across industries in 15 countries; of the poll participants, 150 were from here.

The poll found finance and accounting employees here to be pretty loyal for the first four years.

One in three (34 per cent) finance and accounting employees here will last two years or less in a new job, but this is more than double the global average of 15 per cent.

Loyalty keeps employees from moving as long as the fifth year (12 per cent) - the same as the rest of the world - and then they fly out the door.

At the other end of the scale, however, with only 5 per cent staying past their 10th year of service with a company, Singapore has far fewer long-term employees than anywhere else.

Globally, 19 per cent of employees stay beyond the first decade. The country with the highest proportion of employees with 10 or more years' service is Austria, at 42 per cent.

Robert Half's Singapore director Stella Tang said the survey findings suggest many reasons for finance and accounting professionals' job mobility.

"Such employees will have many jobs within their working lifetime. They will move for a range of reasons - better remuneration, promotion, a new challenge, an overseas posting or more flexible work arrangements," she said.

She added that these employees are highly mobile also because they are highly skilled. As Singapore's position as a global business and financial hub grows, opportunities for talented finance and accounting employees to move across industries and functions will present themselves.

Ms Tang said, however, that not all employees leave a job by choice.

Some leave because they have not performed up to the mark, or were either asked to leave or pushed to a more junior role they did not want, she said.

The survey found that the most common reason employees leave a company within the first year is that they have failed to meet their employer's expectations; this was the case with a quarter of them (26 per cent).

Another 18 per cent leave because the job scope did not meet their expectations; 15 per cent leave because of a poor fit with the corporate culture.