Are you struggling to fill CPA or accountant roles at your company? You are not alone. Today, businesses of all shapes and sizes grapple with a glaring shortage of accountants and CPAs. Where have all the accountants gone? What can be done to combat this severe talent gap? In this blog, we look at the accountant shortage of 2023 and, more importantly, what a business can do to address it.
Why is there an Accountant Shortage?
The current accountant shortage has been brewing for years. In the wake of the pandemic and at a time when a growing number of baby boomers are retiring, hundreds of thousands of accountants and auditors have left the profession over the past few years. At the same time, fewer people are pursuing careers in accounting. According to a recent report by the AICPA, the number of people sitting for CPA is at its lowest level since tracking began in 2006.
Other factors have contributed to the problem. For one, the role of the accountant has evolved over the years. With new technologies constantly being introduced and the rise of specialization, accountants today are expected to wear multiple hats, from financial strategists to tech experts. Coupled with longer hours and lower salaries than other finance jobs, many would-be accountants are pursuing different career options.
Impact of the Accountant Shortage
Regardless of the reasons, the impacts of this shortage are far-reaching, and companies are already feeling the consequences of the lack of accountants. Large corporations such as Advance Auto Parts, Joby Aviation, and Evotec have disclosed efforts to address material weaknesses in their financial reporting due to a lack of accounting staff. In addition, the cost of hiring experienced accountants has surged with fewer professionals in the market. For both large and small businesses, the strain and the potential risks of financial mismanagement can be a recipe for failure.
Strategies to Address the Accountant Shortage
Combatting the shortage of accountants requires a multi-prong approach. Some of the strategies companies might consider include:
- Improved Benefits and Flexibility. Many businesses offer better salaries and enticing benefits packages to lure accounting talent. Others are trying to attract a new-age workforce with flexible work schedules, including hybrid and remote work opportunities.
- Attracting Accountant Talent Earlier. Fostering collaborations with local universities can open doors to early recruitment. Internship and mentorship programs can provide real-world experience, making the profession more appealing to students.
- Retraining and Upskilling. Businesses can also consider retraining professionals with transferable skills internally or from other sectors. Retention should always be at the forefront of internal training. Understanding and adapting to the evolving needs of accountants can ensure longevity in the profession.
- Staffing Solutions. Companies looking to bring in talent faster should consider interim staffing solutions to fill gaps by hiring contractors, looking at staff augmentation options, or outsourcing accounting functions to specialized firms that can provide the necessary expertise and support. For permanent and long-term hires, turning to a recruiting company that specializes in accounting can be a way to expand an organization’s reach and cast a broader net in luring a qualified talent pool.
With a lack of new professionals entering the field and the need for accountants only growing, the accounting function could have long-term implications for businesses. It’s critical for companies to put strategies in place today to keep their accounting functions thriving now and in the future.
Ease Your Accountant Shortage with Vernovis
Are you a Midwest employer struggling to find CPAs and accountants? Vernovis can help! We are a Total Talent Solutions company specializing in finance and accounting functions. We offer customized staffing solutions to meet your needs, including staff augmentation, contract-to-hire, direct placements, and recruitment outsourcing. Whether you need accountants on-demand to boost your team or are looking for a long-term placement, we can help you fill that talent gap. If you want a more agile, efficient, and engaged accounting team, contact us today.