Accounting Influencers Roundtable


Talent Strategies That Work in Accounting: Gary Shamis

Gary Shamis discusses talent acquisition and retention in accounting firms, focusing on clients, people, and growth and attracting talented employees.

Through expert interviews and high-level panels, Talent in Accounting explores talent, culture, recruitment, leadership, mental well-being, and more with expert interviews and high-level discussions.

Talent Strategies That Work in Accounting: Gary Shamis

In this episode of the Accounting Influencers Podcast, hosted by Rob Brown, Gary Shamis delves into the challenges accountants face in growing their firms today. The traditional formula of growth, which involved hiring more people as the client base expanded, is no longer as straightforward. Gary highlights several key factors affecting this paradigm shift in the United States, which could resonate with European audiences.

First, he discusses the significant decline in the number of people taking the CPA exam, down by 50% compared to five years ago. This drop is attributed to great resignation, pandemic-induced life reevaluation, the rise of virtual work culture, and unattractive starting compensation in public accounting.

Moreover, Gary emphasizes the emergence of various career options like technology, investment banking, private equity, and fintech, which weren’t as prevalent two decades ago. These factors have led to a shortage of talent and issues related to succession planning within accounting firms.

Gary then reflects on how firms previously managed growth, focusing on clients, people, and growth. However, with the current capacity challenges, the approach needs to adapt. He introduces a four-pronged strategy, highlighting the importance of hiring and retaining millennials, revisiting and streamlining processes with external input, refining practice management for profitability, and embracing outsourcing as a viable solution.

This episode provides valuable insights for accountants aiming to navigate the evolving landscape of the industry and address capacity-related challenges while seeking sustainable growth opportunities. The conversation underscores the need for adaptability, innovation, and a willingness to explore new avenues in modern accounting.

Guest Bio

Gary Shamis is a former top 40 US accounting firm managing partner who sold to BDO in 2015. He is now CEO of Winding River Consulting, a high-level strategy consulting for the Restaurant, CPA, and professional services industries. Gary won EY Entrepreneur of the Year and is a Top Ten Managing Partner Elite (Accounting Today), among many other accounting accolades. He was called the “very model of the modern managing partner. He was awarded Most Admired Peer (INSIDE Public Accounting) and has over a dozen appearances on the Most Influential list (Accounting Today). He has served within the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ranks. He co-authored How to Manage Your Accounting Practice: Taking Your Firm from Chaos to Consensus.

Your Host

Host Rob Brown is a renowned presenter, facilitator, and chair for high-level conferences and events in the accounting and fintech profession worldwide. He’s an expert on trust, reputation, talent, career development, and more. Author of Build Your Reputation and a TEDx speaker with over 300,000 YouTube views: stroke survivor, a committed Christian, and a black belt in kickboxing. Based in Nottingham, UK, he enjoys chess, backgammon, and orange chocolate but is allergic to grapefruit.