What do you want your firm and your team to be, do, create and experience over the next five years? If you’re like most firm leaders, you’re looking to grow. According to a recent survey performed by Accounting Today for Wolters Kluwer, 96% of firms are taking steps to grow their business in the next three to five years.
But two significant roadblocks stand in their way: staffing shortages and burnout.
The labor shortage in the accounting profession isn’t new — firms have been talking about it for years —but the problem is poised to get worse without action. Just consider the following:
Projected bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. accounting enrollments were down 4 percent, 6 percent, and 23 percent in 2018, and the number of new CPA exam candidates hit a 10-year low
Among accounting graduates who do not plan to become CPAs, top reasons for not pursuing the CPA credential include not seeing value or relevance to their careers (32%) and not seeing the return on investment (28%).
Stress brought on by the pandemic has worsened employee burnout, with 52% of workers saying they feel burned out.
Many firms are looking for ways to attract talent and retain the talent they have. Providing flexible working arrangements, competitive salaries, and similar initiatives are effective ways to entice and retain staff. Data-driven audits are another way to make the profession more attractive to potential employees.
Many professionals may think of data-driven audits as adding value for clients — and they do. However, a data-driven audit also benefits auditors by reducing the more tedious parts of their jobs and making them more efficient while maintaining and improving audit quality.