Accounting Influencers Roundtable


Reasons for the Acute Talent Shortage in Accounting

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On this episode of The Accounting Talent Podcast, host Rob Brown is joined by Jeff Phillips, CEO of Paget Business Services and founder of AccountingFly, to dive into the alarming talent shortage facing the accounting profession. Statistics reveal around 300,000 fewer accountants and auditors in the US over the past two years, a staggering 17% drop. The root cause? A weak value proposition from the profession, offering less attractive compensation, flexibility, and work-life balance compared to industries like tech. This perception is driving college students away from accounting towards seemingly greener pastures in investment banking, consulting, and tech firms.

Accounting firms face intense competition for talent, not just from each other but from aggressive employers in other sectors with enticing perks and career paths. However, there is hope. By rethinking their value propositions, exploring untapped talent pools like offshoring, remote work, freelancers, and developing innovative hiring/training approaches, firms can regain their appeal to the next generation of accountants. The profession’s future hinges on its ability to revamp its employer branding and talent strategies.

“The accounting profession is not going to die, Rob. It’s not going to wither on the vine. There is lots of talent out there and there are options and hope.” – Jeff Phillips

Key Takeaways:

1. There is a shortage of accounting talent, with around 300,000 fewer accountants and auditors in the United States over the last two years, representing a 17% loss.

2. The accounting profession is facing a brand and value proposition problem, as the compensation, flexibility, and work-life balance are perceived as weak compared to other industries like tech.

3. College students are choosing alternative career paths like investment banking, consulting, and tech companies, which are seen as more attractive than “boring old accounting.”

4. Accounting firms are not just competing with each other for talent but also with more aggressive employers in other industries, offering better perks and career paths.

5. There are solutions and untapped talent pools that accounting firms can explore, such as offshoring, remote work, freelancers, and non-traditional hiring and training approaches.

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Thanks to our sponsors:

ACCOUNTINGFLY. Accountingfly connects employers with top U.S.-based accounting talent through a variety of services including dedicated searches, Always-On Recruiting, and freelance placements for seasonal or temporary needs. They specialize in remote accounting recruitment, recognizing early on the significant advantages that remote work offers to employers, job-seekers, and their own operations. They pride themselves on their track record of matching the right candidates with the right opportunities and building a robust team of industry experts. Additionally, their partnership with Going Concern—an esteemed source for accounting news and insights—further enhances their ability to stay on the cutting edge of remote recruiting by tapping into a natural pipeline of job seekers.

If you’d like to sponsor the show and elevate your brand with our audience, reach out to show host Rob Brown on LinkedIn and his team will reach out to fix up a chat to explore.