Navigating the Accounting Talent Shortage: Hiring in Today's Market

published on 14 April 2023

Is your accounting firm falling behind due to a lack of skilled talent? Outsourcing recruitment to a staffing company might be the solution.

In today's competitive accounting industry, hiring and retaining top talent is becoming increasingly difficult. Federal data shows that over 300,000 accountants and auditors in the United States have left their jobs in the past two years, adding to the challenge of finding skilled candidates. Furthermore, according to a recent survey by Intuit QuickBooks, 9 out of 10 accounting firms in the United States have struggled to find qualified candidates in the past year. By outsourcing recruitment to a staffing company, accounting firms can access offshore skilled and specialized talent, helping them stay competitive.

In this article, we will go through three major advantages of implementing an accounting talent solution for your accounting firm.

What Is Causing The Talent Shortage?

There are several reasons for the shortage of accounting talent, many of which have been exacerbated by the Big Quit in 2021. Some professionals are opting to change industries to those with higher pay and more promising futures, such as technology, while others are choosing to retire early. Even some experts, like Adrienne Gonzalez, have expressed that many young accountants and students might be bored with the nature of the work. The repetitive and monotonous nature of accounting work can deter people from entering the field, and even those who do may be put off by the volume of such work.

The use of outdated technology is also a problem, and the introduction of new tools is not always met with enthusiasm by those who have to use them. The lack of innovative technology is a major factor contributing to the reluctance of young people to pursue accounting as a career.

While cloud-based software and AI have the potential to address some of these issues, many accounting firms are still traditional and slow to adopt new technologies. This lag in technology adoption is hindering firms' abilities to attract and retain talent.

Breaking Down the Barriers to Finding Accounting Talent Solutions

To find the right talent in this market, accounting firms need to explore innovative recruitment solutions. One such solution is leveraging technology to streamline the recruitment process, such as using artificial intelligence to screen resumes and identify top candidates. This is becoming increasingly popular but it does not solve two remaining problems: on the one hand, this technology is still very new and can hardly predict the future loyalty of a candidate or his decision to remain in the job. On the other hand, there is still a lack of talent available in the market.

Another solution that’s been around for quite some time is partnering with outsourcing staffing companies that specialize in accounting talent solutions. By working with these companies, firms can access a larger pool of candidates and tap into specialized expertise, leading to better-quality hires. But we still face the problem of the market itself. The solution? Going offshore and fully remote. Although the accounting talent shortage is not limited to the United States, some regions face a different problem: crowded universities, few job opportunities, and difficult economies. There is a huge pool of professionals from regions such as South America who are eagerly seeking to work for international companies. It sums up.

Another way to break down the barriers to finding accounting talent solutions is to create a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. For us, this goes without saying. Companies with a diverse workforce are better work-life balance, have better financial performance, and attract more top talent. To create a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, firms need to focus on recruiting and retaining talent from underrepresented groups. They can also implement policies that promote work-life balance and flexible work arrangements to attract a wider pool of candidates. By creating a workplace culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion, accounting firms can break down the barriers to finding accounting talent solutions and build a stronger, more successful organization.

Pros of Outsourced Staffing for Accounting Firms

Access to a larger pool of candidates: Staffing services have access to a wider range of candidates than individual businesses as they cover both in-house employees who are looking for a change and freelance remote professionals.

Going offshore: Outsourced Staffing Services usually have a large network of international potential hires. A wide range of candidates around the world ensures the most competitive price without compromising experience and expertise.

Expertise in recruitment and pre-selection: Staffing services have a proven well-oiled recruitment system and are more likely to use the latest techniques to find top talent. Their pre-selection process makes sure to understand what drives the candidate's interest and how motivated are day to build a long-term working relationship.

Take A Proactive Approach To Talent Recruitment

It is important for firms to be proactive and strategic in their approach to recruitment and talent management. By staying on top of industry trends and adopting new technologies, accounting firms can attract and retain top talent.

The industry's talent shortage is a significant challenge to face, but it is not an unmanageable one. By exploring innovative recruitment solutions, partnering with outsourcing staffing companies, and creating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, accounting firms can break down the barriers to finding accounting talent solutions and build a stronger, more successful organization.

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Kevin Mitchell, CPA

Senior Manager and CPA with over 20 years of experience in accounting and financial services, specializing in risk management and regulatory compliance. Skilled in managing audits and leading teams to deliver exceptional services. Proud father of two.

🔗 Kevin Mitchell | LinkedIn


Gonzalez, A. (2023, March 1). The Accountant Shortage Has Finally Been Figured Out. You’re Not Underpaid, You’re Bored!  Going Concerned.

McDonald, P., & I. (2023, March 7). Ways to Solve Your Accounting Firm’s Last-Minute Staffing Needs. CPA Practice Advisor.

Cytron, S., & I. (2023, March 7). The Search for Talent in Firms. CPA Practice Advisor.

Ellis, L. (n.d.). Why So Many Accountants Are Quitting. WSJ.

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