For years, accounting firms have struggled to find and retain qualified talent. This article breaks down the reasons and identifies the solutions.
For years, accounting firms have struggled to find and retain qualified talent. This article breaks down the reasons and identifies the solutions. Accounting recruiting – attracting and retaining top talent – has been a challenge for many accounting firm owners in recent years. While other industries, such as specialty commerce and healthcare, are also experiencing challenges with talent acquisition, they are particularly acute in the financial services sector. "About a quarter of CEOs said they had already had to cancel or delay a key strategic initiative in the past 12 months because the right people were not available to execute it," the PwC report states.
The talent shortage can have a significant impact on business growth.
In Accounting, There Is A Global Skills Shortage
Globally, accounting and finance roles (certified accountants, auditors, financial analysts) ranked seventh out of 10 positions that are the hardest to fill. In the U.S., accounting and finance roles ranked fifth out of 10 jobs that are the hardest to fill, while in Canada and Australia, they ranked eighth and ninth, respectively. Several factors are making accounting recruiting difficult, but the good news is, solutions exist. We'll take a look at them in this article.
What’s Driving The Shortage In Accounting Recruiting?
Two drivers behind the talent shortage in the accounting industry are technology and more discerning talent.
Technology: Back in the day, the top requirement for a job in finance was the ability to crunch numbers. Advances in technology have changed that.
Apps and automation can now do the number crunching and as a result, firms are seeking candidates who can find meaning, trends, or patterns in data and apply those findings in a wider business context. Think data science and data analytics skills here – skills accounting professionals may not have had the time or resources to develop.
Accounting Talent Itself: Job candidates know what they want in a position. Obviously, they want compensation and benefits, such as good pay.
How Will The Accounting Staffing Crisis Be Addressed?
Understanding what staff wants and fulfilling those needs – which might require some compromise – will go a long way toward resolving the accounting staffing shortage:
- Purpose: Be transparent and authentic about your mission when it comes to providing employees with a sense of intent. State this on your website, in marketing materials, and when you’re interviewing candidates.
- Training: Another finding in the survey is that 79% of employees who access free training like their jobs more. This makes them more likely to be long-term employees. Is free training a benefit you can offer at your firm, for example, through a LinkedIn learning subscription?
- Flexibility: Many employees have come to appreciate the time they save commuting and likely having more control over their schedule in the year 2020. Expect versatility to come up with work interview questions as well.
- Company Culture: Given the backgrounds and experience of the staff, cultural differences are understandable. Socially linking the teams provides stability and ease of understanding. Even if this isn't the case, leaders must promote regular interaction among team members to reinforce relations, clear cultural misunderstandings, and form close-knit, cross-functional teams. Whether you work with local, collocated resources or with an offshore team, it is always imperative to create a culture of belonging. Creating a unified culture of belonging across borders, time zones, and statuses is essential.
- Feedback: Don’t underestimate the power of providing your staff with regular feedback. 81% of employees who have been assessed report higher job satisfaction.
- Offshore Staffing: You can turn to offshore as a way of obtaining qualified offshore talent. An offshore accounting service provider recruits the talent for you, saving you or your recruiting team a lot of time. Once you partner with the provider, they’ll present you with resumes you can review, and then you can choose who to interview and hire. Sure, you can choose to use an accounting recruitment agency, but there’s a difference between them and an offshoring service provider. Entigrity, for example, even helps clients build and manage their global teams.
Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 550+ accountants, CPAs, and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still, you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.