Entigrity

In the dynamic landscape of accounting firms, mastering employee retention in accounting firms is not just a challenge; it's a strategic imperative. A one-size-fits-all approach won't cut it. Imagine choosing a coffee order - some prefer a straightforward black coffee, while others lean towards a fancy caramel macchiato with an extra shot of espresso. Just as coffee orders differ, so do the preferences of your prospective employees.

The consequences of talent shortages are straightforward but impactful: they impede business growth. According to PwC, approximately 25% of CEOs have had to cancel or postpone critical strategic initiatives in the past year due to a lack of qualified personnel.

Fortunately, there is time to address this issue proactively. Let's explore a few strategies firm owners can employ to navigate the skills shortage and benefit their businesses and financial performance.

An overview of the worldwide shortage of accounting talent:

The ManpowerGroup's 2022 Global Talent Shortage Survey has identified the most challenging skills to find in today's job market, and it reveals that accounting and finance positions (such as certified accountants, auditors, and financial analysts) rank among the top seven most challenging roles to fill globally. Moreover, these roles are anticipated to be the second-most in-demand positions in over 40 countries in the upcoming quarters.

Why is there a shortage of accountants?

The U.S. accounting scene is going through a rough patch. They are struggling to have enough number crunchers, especially Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). They are facing a shortage of accountants

According to the WSJ,  in the last two years, more than 300,000 accountants and auditors said, "I'm out!" and left their jobs voluntarily. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that they are going to be short about 136,400 accounting and auditing pros every year from 2021 to 2031. That's a big gap to fill!

Why is this happening?

1. There's a drop in the number of accounting graduates in the U.S.:  In the 2019-2020 academic year, only 72,923 students snagged their bachelor's or master's degrees in accounting.
2. Unappealing salary packages: The salary situation for Audit Associates in public accounting doesn't look too enticing. According to Robert Half's 2022 Salary Guide, the average starting salary for them is around $59,750. That's not exactly making wallets dance with joy, is it?
3. Accounting just isn’t cool: People often call it a "boring job," and accountants get stuck with labels like 'bean counters' and 'number crunchers.' It's safe to say being an accountant isn't winning any popularity contests for being the most exciting gig in town.

Here are the 6 tips for accounting firms to attract & retain talent:

6 tips for accounting firms to attract & retain talent

1. Cultivate an Inviting Company Culture

1.1. Promote Positive Work Environment:

A company's culture serves as a compass, guiding employees toward shared success. An environment buzzing with enthusiasm fosters creativity, open communication, and heightened productivity. It’s akin to a breath of fresh air, dispelling the dread associated with the Monday blues. Promoting a positive work environment helps firms to attract and retain accountants. 

1.2. Advocate for Work-Life Balance:

Flexibility is the name of the game. Offering flexible schedules, remote work options, and recognizing personal commitments aren’t just perks; they're akin to the welcome drinks at a 5-star hotel—enticing and essential for attracting accounting talent.

1.3. Encourage Ethical Business Practices:

Transparency, integrity, and fairness act as a magnet for responsible, dedicated staff. Employees are drawn to firms that prioritize ethical business practices, and it becomes a vital aspect of retaining accountants committed to these values.

2. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits

2.1. Maintain Fair Pay Policies:

We did a bit of digging into what today's accounting rockstars are pulling in for salaries. In the big, bustling metro areas, it seems like most of them are cruising in the sweet spot of $80,000 to $99,000 a year. Not too shabby, right?

Now, if you zoom into smaller towns with populations between 10,000 and 50,000, the fresh grads are kicking off their careers with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $69,000. Nice start!

And get this: for those city slickers with two to three years of experience, the majority are raking in more than $80,000. They've leveled up!

But wait, there's more. The seasoned pros, the ones rocking four to five years of experience in metro areas? Well, a solid 36% of them are cruising past the $100,000 mark. That's the sweet spot for the accounting veterans.

So, whether you're just diving into the accounting game or you're a seasoned player, there's some serious green to be made. Cha-ching

Equitable pay scales are no longer optional. It's like offering free Wi-Fi in restaurants; it's anticipated and contributes significantly to attracting accounting talent and retaining them who value fair compensation.

2.2. Extend Generous Benefits:

Generosity pays off. Health insurance, retirement plans, and paid leave are more than perks—they're the cherry on top of the cake. People love it, and they want it, making it a pivotal factor in attracting accounting talent and retaining them.

2.3. Create Performance-Based Rewards:

It's not just about paying for time; it's about recognizing performance. Incentives and bonuses serve as a powerful reminder—“We see your hard work, and we appreciate it.” This magic touch enhances employee retention in accounting firms.

3. Insist on Continuous Learning and Growth

3.1. Provide Training and Development Opportunities:

Stagnation is the enemy. Opportunities for skills development and capacity building act like power-packed energy bars, providing the chance and energy to push beyond known limits.
According to the Manpower survey, “81% of employees expect training programs from their employers to help keep skills up to date”. Meeting this expectation increases the likelihood of retaining employees in the long term, providing your firm with greater confidence in retaining the skills it has invested in through training and development.

3.2. Facilitate Career Progression:

Clear career paths with defined advancement opportunities are motivating billboards. They show ambitious employees their potential destination, making it a critical factor for retaining skilled accountants.

3.3. Support Industry Certification and Education:

Supporting staff in acquiring professional licenses and higher education courses reflects trust, promotes commitment, and cheers them on their journey of personal development. It solidifies the commitment to retaining top-notch talent. 
Just like us, At Entigrity, we launched a not-for-profit educational platform called Entigrity Academy, which strives to democratize access to global professional courses like CPA, EA, CISA, CIA, CMA, and CFA for Indian students and professionals. Our staff also access these courses for upskilling and professional development.

4. Build a Team-Based Organisational Structure

4.1. Foster Teamwork and Collaboration:

A collaborative office environment promotes bonding, increases idea sharing, and boosts collective productivity. It’s like playing in a band, where every instrument played in harmony creates beautiful music—here, beautiful work.

4.2. Encourage Employee Engagement:

Initiatives that involve staff in decision-making and organizational affairs foster a sense of ownership and increase loyalty. It’s kind of like throwing a house party and involving everyone in meal prep; everyone has a stake in its success.

4.3. Invest in Leadership Development:

Leadership is not just about authority; it's about guiding others through uncharted territories. Nurturing potential leaders through mentoring and leadership training programs is a vital investment. It's like planting a seed and nurturing it to grow, ultimately becoming a sturdy tree.

5. Leverage Technology and Modern Tools

5.1. Implement Innovative Accounting Tools:

Modern accounting and productivity tools like Xero, Quickbooks, Blackline, and Freshbooks simplify work processes. They are like handy Swiss army knives, providing a solution for every challenge and drawing in tech-savvy talent who appreciate working with the latest tools.

5.2. Advocate for Digitally Forward Practices:

A tech-friendly workplace is like a passport in the digital age. It attracts and retains a younger, digitally oriented workforce who are more comfortable working in a digitized world than manually.

5.3. Offer Tech Training and Support

Adapting can be tough. To ease the transition into tech-reliance, firms must provide regular training and support, like a mentor guiding you in the transition from high school to college.

6. Incorporate Diversity and Inclusivity

6.1. Promote Equal Opportunities:

Equal opportunities draw diverse talent and boost innovation. Offering a level playing field for all is akin to allowing each player an equal chance to win at a game—it's fair, competitive, and highly stimulating!

6.2. Foster a Diverse and Inclusive Environment:

Creating a varied and welcoming environment increases employees' sense of belonging and loyalty. It’s kind of like a potluck dinner, where each dish enriches the overall feast, and everyone gets to enjoy a variety!

6.3. Support Workforce Diversity Initiatives:

Promoting diversity in hiring and employee relations brings new perspectives and ideas to the table. It’s like adding different ingredients to a melting pot, each adding a unique flavor, making the end result a fantastic dish to savor.

Offshore Accounting Services:

Alternatively, you can leverage the services of an offshore staffing provider like Entigrity to access qualified offshore talent with minimal hassle. As a leading offshore accounting service provider, Entigrity takes care of the entire recruitment process, carefully curating candidates based on your requirements. With our expertise, you can save valuable time, energy, and uncertainties.
By partnering with Entigrity, you benefit from nearly a decade of experience managing offshore accountants and bookkeepers across Australia, New Zealand, and North America. This ensures you receive expert guidance and advice tailored to your specific market.
Choosing offshore accountants through Entigrity offers a proven and efficient solution that addresses multiple firms' needs. Our experienced on-the-ground team members give you access to a broader talent pool, allowing for easier diversification and streamlined onboarding.

3000+ staff

Conclusion: Sustaining Talent β€” A Vital Factor for Success

Attracting and retaining talent is a vital factor for success, just like having good food is essential for a picnic. Cultivating an inviting company culture, providing competitive compensation, advocating for continuous growth, fostering team spirit, leveraging technology, and being inclusive can all act as the perfect recipe for talent sustainability. So, shall we start cooking up this feast?

FAQ's

Once you've read all the tips above, having a few curiosities or doubts lurking in your mind is normal. So, let’s tackle some of the most common questions head-on!

Q1: How can a positive work environment be established?
Ans: Encouraging open dialogue, appreciating contributions, and promptly addressing concerns from the leadership level fosters a positive work environment for employee retention in accounting firms.

Q2: What constitutes competitive compensation?
Ans:  Competitive compensation includes a fair salary that matches or exceeds industry standards, generous benefits, and performance-based rewards. It’s like the full package - you cannot compromise on any one part!

Q3: How can an organization promote continuous learning?
Ans:  Foster a culture of continuous learning through training opportunities, career progression options, or support for further education, addressing the aspirations of accountants looking for growth.

Remember, folks, your employees are your most significant assets – and sometimes, putting them first can be the game-changer for your firm’s success. It’s time to buckle up and level up your talent attraction and retention strategies before your competitors steal your spotlight!


Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner for 725+ accountants, CPAs, and tax firms across the US and Canada. With a flexible and transparent hiring model, the company empowers firms of all sizes to acquire skilled accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation staff. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants,' Entigrity ensures precise alignment with the hiring needs of accounting firms, providing staff under your control and management, minimizing concerns about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads, or benefits. Entigrity is a proud independent member of the BDO Alliance USA. We have collaborated with IMA to train and upskill 5,000 Professionals in India. We were also recognized as one of the "Dream Companies to Work For" and won the "Great Place to Work® Certified™" in the accounting offshoring industry. 

Sia Kal
MANAGING PARTNER

Sia has spent all his career developing business improvement methodologies for Accounting and Law firms. He has created compelling marketing content, professional courses and workshops accredited for CPE, and seminars attended by hundreds of firms worldwide. Sia has enabled hundreds of professional services firms, including former managers of the β€˜Big 4’, to resolve issues that impeded their ability to achieve success beyond expectations. Sia’s passion is to instill morality and fair dealing in the business world to cultivate relationships. His key to success has been β€˜putting people before profit,’ a strategy that has proven to be profitable.

Recent Post

Build an Accounting Firm Gives More Money Time Freedom

Build an Accounting Firm Gives More Money Time Freedom

Christopher Rivera, 242

10 Oct, 2023 242
CPA Evolution - Insight into the Profession as an Accountant

CPA Evolution - Insight into the Profession as an Accountant

Christopher Rivera, 253

27 Sep, 2023 253
How the Accounting Industry is Transforming Itself

How the Accounting Industry is Transforming Itself

Christopher Rivera, 250

10 Sep, 2023 250
SOMERSET CPAS

SOMERSET CPAS

Jacob Scott, CPA, 781

08 Aug, 2023 781
SUMMIT CPA

SUMMIT CPA

Mike Goossen, CPA, 723

08 Aug, 2023 723
ACKTIFY CASE STUDY

ACKTIFY CASE STUDY

Christopher Rivera, 694

08 Aug, 2023 694
Client Updates - August 2023

Client Updates - August 2023

Christopher Rivera, 647

01 Aug, 2023 647
Client Updates - July 2023

Client Updates - July 2023

Christopher Rivera, 731

01 Jul, 2023 731
Client Updates - June 2023

Client Updates - June 2023

Christopher Rivera, 932

01 Jun, 2023 932
CPA Vs Ron Smith Season 2 Episode 5

CPA Vs Ron Smith Season 2 Episode 5

SIA KAL, 831

20 Feb, 2023 831
CPA vs Ron Smith Season 2 Episode 4

CPA vs Ron Smith Season 2 Episode 4

Jack Anderson, 2535

13 Feb, 2023 2535
CPA vs Ron Smith Season 2 Episode 3

CPA vs Ron Smith Season 2 Episode 3

SIA KAL, 1032

12 Dec, 2022 1032
12 PRACTICAL TIPS TO BUILD AND MANAGE OFFSHORE TEAMS FOR ACCOUNTING FIRMS

12 PRACTICAL TIPS TO BUILD AND MANAGE OFFSHORE TEAMS FOR ACCOUNTING FIRMS

Mike Goossen, CPA|Shawn Parikh, 2626

06 Apr, 2021 2626
8 ACTIONABLE RECOMMENDATION ON INTEGRATING ONSHORE & OFFSHORE STAFF AND BUILD ONE TEAM

8 ACTIONABLE RECOMMENDATION ON INTEGRATING ONSHORE & OFFSHORE STAFF AND BUILD ONE TEAM

Shawn Parikh, 2667

06 Apr, 2021 2667
GUIDE TO START CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES

GUIDE TO START CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES

Mike Goossen, CPA, 3209

12 Jan, 2021 3209
BOOKKEEPING SYSTEMS TO HELP BRIDGE THE GAP WITH USING OFFSHORE STAFF

BOOKKEEPING SYSTEMS TO HELP BRIDGE THE GAP WITH USING OFFSHORE STAFF

Leena Parikh, CA, 10029

02 Mar, 2022 10029
HOW TO RAISE RATES WITHOUT LOSING A CLIENT

HOW TO RAISE RATES WITHOUT LOSING A CLIENT

Mike Goossen, CPA, 10212

14 Feb, 2022 10212
WHY PERSONALITY MATTERS SO MUCH FOR ACCOUNTANTS TODAY

WHY PERSONALITY MATTERS SO MUCH FOR ACCOUNTANTS TODAY

Christopher Rivera, 10086

08 Feb, 2022 10086
Team Updates - Oct.

Team Updates - Oct.

Shawn Parikh, 2317

20 Oct, 2022 2317
16th September 2022

16th September 2022

Shawn Parikh, 2863

16 Sep, 2022 2863
Roles Restructuring and Other Updates

Roles Restructuring and Other Updates

Shawn Parikh, 2357

05 Sep, 2022 2357
Entigrity Proudly Sponsors SYNERGY 2023

Entigrity Proudly Sponsors SYNERGY 2023

Christopher Rivera, 138

03 Nov, 2023 138
Entigrity Shines at SurePrep Transform 2023: Leading the Way in Offshore Staffing Solutions

Entigrity Shines at SurePrep Transform 2023: Leading the Way in Offshore Staffing Solutions

Christopher Rivera, 190

26 Oct, 2023 190
Entigrity a Proud Sponsor at SurePrep Transform Conference 2023

Entigrity a Proud Sponsor at SurePrep Transform Conference 2023

Christopher Rivera, 179

11 Oct, 2023 179
SAY NO TO STAFFING STRESS THIS TAX SEASON

SAY NO TO STAFFING STRESS THIS TAX SEASON

Mike Goossen, CPA, 4748

01 May, 2020 4748
OFFSHORE STAFFING VS OUTSOURCING - WHAT TO CHOOSE

OFFSHORE STAFFING VS OUTSOURCING - WHAT TO CHOOSE

Mike Goossen, CPA, 4300

06 Apr, 2020 4300
OFFSHORE STAFF IS SIMILAR TO LOCAL STAFF

OFFSHORE STAFF IS SIMILAR TO LOCAL STAFF

Mike Goossen, CPA, 3911

01 Apr, 2020 3911