Attracting and Hiring Accountants During a Shortage

Hiring accountants during a shortage with Addison Group

Accountants balance a company’s books, protect against overspending, and ensure you’re in financial compliance. What happens if you have a vacancy in your accounting department and struggle to find a replacement? That’s a question many organizations have been trying to answer due to the lack of Staff Accountants available.

The lack of available accountants has many companies struggling to maintain the everyday financial tasks needed to keep everything running smoothly. For example, a Business Insider poll found 82% of hiring managers at public companies and 69% at private companies reported that talent retention for finance and accounting positions is an obstacle.

Below we outline why there is a decrease in staff accountants in the market and how to attract talent when hiring for accounting roles.

Why is There a Decline of Accountants

The decline of available staff accountants is mostly attributed to two factors. The first factor is that fewer people are graduating with a degree in accounting while existing Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are retiring. Business Insider also reports 75% of CPAs hit retirement age in 2020, and accounting majors declined 20-40% in recent years. With high retirement rates and the lack of new accountants entering the market, there’s not enough new talent to replace those leaving the profession.

Some reasons why people aren’t as interested in breaking into the accounting field:

  1. Lack of work-life balance: There is a perceived lack of work-life balance and schedule flexibility in the accounting profession. In some cases, there are accounting roles that have heavier hours. Post COVID, work-life balance and hybrid schedules have been a top priority for tenured employees and recent college graduates. Fully in-office positions requiring 50+ hour work weeks are struggling to attract top talent in the accounting field.
  2. Lower pay: Many accounting professionals understand that their success and compensation could be affected, if not dependent, on advanced education and certifications – accomplishments that require significant investments in both time and money. This factor, coupled with lower starting salaries for entry-level accountants, has discouraged younger generations from pursuing accounting careers.   

How to Attract Talent When Hiring Accountants

With the above factors in mind, there are several ways hiring managers can successfully attract top talent: 

  1. Recruiting on College Campuses: Some companies are going back to school to recruit new and promising accounting talent. According to SHRM, many banks recommend companies establish their footprint on campuses by speaking to business classes, advising student organizations, and offering free coffee at cafes around campus. These tactics can ensure that you’re getting in front of students that do select to pursue a career in accounting before the competition.  
  2. Hiring Contract Workers: Many companies are supplementing their workforce by hiring accountants on a contract basis. You can typically find these candidates quickly and save your organization money too.
  3. Investment in Technology: Another assumption by younger professionals is that accounting is manual, redundant, and boring by nature. With technological advancements like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and new automation solutions, companies can change this negative presumption and minimize repetitive tasks and necessary overtime.
  4. Utilize Salary Guides and Industry Experts like Addison Group: The market has shifted salary grades at all levels, and now compensation expectations for both existing and incoming talent entering the market is changing. You need to put your company at a competitive advantage to not only attract the best talent, but also to retain your employees. Knowing how your benefits package and overall compensation is compared to other companies hiring is critical.

Implementing some of these options can help ensure that you’re not missing out on accounting talent and continue to run your finance and accounting department efficiently.

Sometimes You Need Help Hiring Accountants

The decline of available accountants has many companies scrambling to find talent in an increasingly tight market. Hiring available candidates quickly and proficiently is key, and the above strategies can help identify and attract top talent.

With more than 20 years of experience, Addison Group has the expertise to find qualified and valuable candidates for your open roles. Reach out to us today!


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