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Strategies for Attracting, Managing, and Retaining the Workforce in CPA Firms

Table of Contents

Introduction

The U.S labor market observed, nay is observing, the period of unprecedented churn. The beginning of it all can be traced back to early 2021. The period, as we all came to know it as “The Great Resignation” or “The Great Reshuffle”, whatever you would like to call it, saw businesses of all shapes and sizes struggle to attract, retain, and manage staff.

It is 2023 now and while the situation has gotten better for some industries, the others are still facing the resource crunch and the aftermath of the great resignation. The accounting industry is one of the worst hit industries with huge number of early retirements and resignations making accounting and CPA rethink their business strategies.

In an attempt to resurrect businesses to the state of “old-normal,” leaders have started to relook at their hiring and staff retention strategies. Organizations are open to making tweaks to attract and retain the best talent out there. While perks like flexible work environment and remote work culture have become a norm amid most forward thinking organizations, these perks are just not enough for CPAs and accounting firms to attract the right talent.

This instigates the conversation around the right and most efficient strategies that modern CPAs and accounting firms can leverage to recruit, retain, and manage the talent that is there. Let us look at some of these highly effective strategies, one-by-one.

Attracting Top Talent in Accounting

According to a recent study, 65% of hiring managers in finance and accounting industry are hiring for fresh roles and not just replacements, while around 33% are hiring for the vacated positions. It clearly highlights the fact that there is no shortage of opportunities in the finance and accounting world.

In order to meet those hiring targets or to fill in those vacated positions, organizations are trying everything from onboarding bonuses to hard cash incentives. In some of the organizations the joining perks also include increased vacation time, improved title, and a really attractive welcome kit.

And while all of those incentives make a rather compelling argument in favor of any organization offering them, as an organization here are few tricks that you can try to increase your onboarding numbers.

  • Competitive Compensation: It shouldn’t be in the list, but alas, it has to be included. We still see poorly structured compensation packages getting advertised here and there. Please refrain from doing that. If you are to attract top talent highlight a healthy base salary, bonuses, and other benefits. Some other benefits can include retirement plans, health insurance, flexible work environment, and paid time off. Also, it’s worth mentioning that there still exists huge gap in gender pay, so try and practice equal pay for equal work. It not only will create a positive image for your CPA firm, but also will help you attract top talent.
  • Invest in Technology: There’s only so much a human can do. This is why having a good technology ecosystem to help your employees is always a smart investment. It not only helps your existing employees accomplish their goals efficiently, but also showcases your commitment to innovation and productivity to the potential hires.
  • Use Outsourcing: Gone are the days when outsourcing was seen as a foe by the employees. Now, it has emerged as an efficient alternative to get the mundane and time sensitive accounting tasks done. Outsourcing processes like tax preparation, bookkeeping, and accounting allows CPA firms to give some breathing space to their workforce and allow them to contribute towards the growth of their business.

Accounting With a Multigenerational Workforce

With the evolution of workforce, CPA firms across the globe are driven by multigenerational teams. From baby boomers to Generation X to millennials and now Gen Z, they all are part of the same accounting ecosystem, but with different communication styles, values, and even work habits, which can impact the productivity and dynamics of any team.

Thus, as a CPA firm owner, it is crucial to create an environment that is inclusive in nature and values the perspectives of each generation.

Here are some of the effective ways to manage a multigenerational workforce in a CPA firm:

  • Foster a Culture of Mutual Respect: Every member of the team needs to feel the sense of unity and purpose irrespective of their generation and background. Thus, it is imperative to foster a culture that encourages mutual respect.
  • Leverage Technology: The comfort level with technology will be different for different generation. Thus, whenever you are introducing a new tool make sure there is proper training and support to bridge the generational gap and boost productivity. You should also prefer the tools that everyone is comfortable with.
  • Offer Cross-Generational Mentoring: Cross-generational mentoring by pairing employees from different generations will create an environment of growth and learning. While it will allow older employees to share their knowledge and experience, the younger generation will bring in their fresh perspectives and technological savviness.
  • Be Flexible: When you have a multigeneration workforce, it is crucial to be flexible, as every generation will have different work-life balance needs. You can introduce flexible schedules or even remote working options to accommodate all the needs.

While these are some of the effective ways in which you can manage accounting with a multigenerational workforce, it will also help you with improved employee retention numbers and attract new talent, irrespective of their generation.

Leveraging Technology & Outsourcing for Workforce Management

Accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation outsourcing services along with technology have emerged as two of the most effective tools for managing workforce and reducing churn in CPA firms.

CPA firms are increasing using technology for automating routine tasks such as data entry, bookkeeping, and tax preparation to allow their employees to focus on higher-value tasks such as delivering strategic advice to clients.

Accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation outsourcing providers further allows CPA firms to outsource some of the specialized tasks like valuation services, forensic accounting, and international tax planning to experts at outsourcing firms. This allows them to broaden their services spectrum without investing heavily in hiring additional staff.

Technology and outsourcing both are excellent tools for optimizing workforce management in CPA firms. It allows you to offer specialized services, automate mundane tasks, and opens up several development opportunities, both on employee and business front.

Conclusion

In summary, the best strategies for attracting, managing, and retaining the workforce in CPA firms is an amalgamation of technological tools and business decisions, which ultimately enables businesses to improve efficiency and minimize cost.

While outsourcing provides you access to specialized skillsets, which otherwise can be very expensive to onboard, it allows your existing workforce to free up time from their mundane routine and actively contribute towards the growth of the firm.

By using the right mix of technology and outsourcing solutions, you easily will be able to unlock the full potential of your existing workforce and attract new ones in the years ahead. If you are looking for an outsourcing partner to manage your accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation offerings, we will be happy to help you get started. Write to us at: marketing@datamaticsbpm.com and we will connect you to one of our accounting experts and set you on a course to profitability and a happy workplace.

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