Owning an accounting firm isn’t just about the bottom line — it’s also about people. Keeping your employees happy is always a priority for firm owners, but it’s even more critical now as the world faces an unprecedented accountant shortage. In fact, more than 90% of accounting and audit firms say hiring and retaining skilled personnel is at the top of their priorities list.
Your operations determine your retention rate
Rising client expectations and ever-changing regulations have created a severe strain on accounting firms. Combine that with the talent shortage and your employees face a bigger risk of burnout than ever before. Overworking your team is a surefire way to increase staff churn and, in turn, put an even bigger burden on the employees who remain. More than one-third of accounting firms say retaining talent is “extremely challenging,” which is why adding as much efficiency as possible is so crucial.
Put yourself in Gen Z’s shoes
Even though more than 40% of small accounting firm partners are over the age of 60, that hasn’t stopped them from envisioning what it takes to keep Gen Z employees happy. If you haven’t put yourself in their shoes, it’s time to start. After all, by 2025, Gen Z will account for one-third of the workforce, and they are the first generation to come into the workforce as digital natives — so creating a technology-driven culture is a must. In addition to the time and cost-savings we’ve talked about, this type of culture will give you a competitive edge in hiring and retention.
Fewer young professionals are entering the accounting world, but an overwhelming majority of the industry (85% of accountants) believe technology can help turn this around by making way for more engaging work. That’s a critical insight because younger professionals simply won’t do what their elders did. The days of spending 40 years or so at one firm, with 10 of those first years doing boring grunt work in hopes of moving up the ladder, are over. On the contrary, Gen Z is notorious for job hopping.
It’s not just Gen Z, though
More than half of accountants say they are not confident they’ll remain at their current firm through the next year — and a majority of those are considering leaving the industry altogether. While you’ve likely heard plenty about the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting, there’s another term to be aware of: the Great Recalibration. Accountants of all ages are actively rethinking how much time and energy their job should require. Their measuring stick? A combination of work-life balance, burnout, and their ability to take on a stronger role at the company. As a result, they’re recalibrating their way out of their current situation in droves.
The right technology can be a relationship-saver
We’ve talked quite a bit about integrations between technology platforms, but what you also must consider is how your technology integrates with your employees. Solutions can’t just focus on IT; they must also be readily adopted by your staff.
When you’re considering a tech solution, don’t only look at features and functionality.
You must also think about:
How it will empower your employees to do their job better, faster, and with greater accuracy
• How it will eliminate menial and redundant tasks
• How intuitive it is for them to use
• How it adds value to their daily work
Check off everything on this list and you’re on your way to creating a more fulfilling, less stressful work environment that people want to be a part of.