The Mass Resignation is no secret; a staggering 4M people quit their jobs in July of 2021. As professionals across every industry call it quits, we’ve seen some accounting firms half in size. Departing accountants cite inequitable treatment, low salaries and burnout as reasons they’re throwing in the towel. Here’s how to combat these to attract and retain top talent.
1. Prioritize your team’s quality of life. The seasonal nature of accounting work volume is inevitable but, until now, there’s been little effort to minimize the effects of tax season strain on firm members; it’s been the expectation that accountants will just tough it out. But mass resignation proves accountants that will fly the coop for better work/life balance, compensation, and treatment.
Firstly, try offering unlimited PTO, mental health benefits, and other perks; these may seem superfluous but accountants are well-aware that they can receive these perks if they bring their skillsets to the corporate accounting sphere.
Second, equip your team with better tech to help create an improved work/life balance. Our platform’s tools minimize the time firm members spend on compliance work, freeing them up to expend time on advisory work – which will have them clocking out at more reasonable hours all year round. With follow-ups, document collection, and data entry taken off their plate, accountants will be able to do more of the work they became a CPA to do – the work that clients see the most value in. (Expending more time on the work clients see value in also nicely lines up with accountants feeling more fulfilled by their daily work and a a higher incidence of client referrals.)
This reallocation of their time will excite existing team members and help attract new team members too, especially younger staff. Since grunt work often falls on the most junior firm members, being able to reassure candidates that compliance work is significantly less laborious and time-intensive will help attract those hoping to get client-facing experience as soon as possible.
3. Try to offer more competitive compensation. This is much easier said than done, of course, and may not feel feasible in the wake of 2020. But as long as accountants must endure 10 weeks of strain during tax season and the ROI of this strain remains low, they’ll be tempted to jump ship – or never board in the first place.
4. Re-evaluate company culture and DEI efforts. Assess your company values. Are they being lived out by leadership? By your entire team? Would a CPA from any background or of any identity feel comfortable and empowered by your team’s culture? If not, you can bet you’re missing out on top talent for that reason alone.