By Janita Kapoor
Attracting and retaining talented accountants, both at junior and senior levels, can present a significant challenge for firms.
Finding the right balance is crucial, as highly experienced accountants may lack certain key skills, while newer accountants may still require the essential experience gained over many years in the industry. Striking this balance often means expanding the search beyond the conventional pool of job seekers.
The Skills Gap and Accountant Recruitment
The skills gap in the accounting industry poses a problem for businesses seeking top talent. Modern accountants need to excel in more than just number crunching. Many processes can now be digitized, requiring a relatively high level of digital literacy. Additionally, contemporary accounting roles rely on a strong understanding of data and analysis to contribute to business success.
Some accountants, especially those with long tenures in traditional organizations, may not possess these technical skills. Navigating the learning curve of apps and software can be steep, and hiring companies should not underestimate the cost of providing this training to their employees.
Defining the most important skills for a team can be challenging, especially as new roles often blend aspects of multiple traditional roles. In fact, a study found that 77% of respondents disagreed with the traditional definition of an accountant. This highlights the significant changes in the industry and the difficulty in finding the right combination of skills and experience as the role has evolved.
The Appeal of Accounting and Finance
To attract top candidates, businesses must strive to offer a better workplace experience than their competitors. The hiring market is highly competitive, and skilled workers may be scarce, making it crucial for employers to stand out from the crowd.
Here are some strategies firms are employing to attract new hires:
Flexible working hours.
Competitive pay and bonuses.
Naturally, implementing these options can incur significant costs for a business, especially when extended to all employees. This is where offshoring work to a remote team or team member can provide a cost-effective and productive solution.
Addressing Burnout and Seasonal Hiring Challenges
Accountants often experience burnout during busy periods of the year. It becomes particularly challenging to recruit new accountants during these times, making it essential to retain the talented accountants already on board. Firms can focus on retention through several approaches.
Controlling workload plays a significant role in this process. During busy periods, accountants often work long hours to meet critical deadlines. Instead of overwhelming employees, companies choose to outsource some of the workload to reduce stress and prevent burnout.
Finding Experienced Accountants
Apart from competing with other firms, there are alternative options available to access experienced and skilled accountants while alleviating pressure on the existing team.
Offshoring accounting work has become a popular way to tap into proficient accountants as needed. They serve as an extension of the in-house team, relieving businesses of the responsibility of hiring additional staff.