5 Factors Influencing Talent Shortage In The Accounting Industry

Posted on September 18, 2019
Written By QX Global Group

5 Factors Influencing Talent Shortage In The Accounting Industry

There is a severe shortage of skilled accountants in the industry — the 2017 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey reported ‘staffing’ as a chief concern for CPAs. Naturally, finding the right talent is an uphill battle for the majority of CPA firm owners.

As per the 2018 US Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year witnessed a 4% decline in the number of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks. That situation is not ideal given how there is always too much overflow tax work with more hands required to do the job.

Today, one accountant leaving the team puts pressure on others due to the immense workload. That, in turn, hampers the overall productivity of the accountancy practice. So, why aren’t CPA firm owners able to attract qualified staff? Here are five reasons why:

 1. Gig Economy 

Freelancing, consulting and part-time working options have all grown significantly in the last decade or so, hence giving rise to the term’ gig economy’. The US alone plays hosts to around 53 million freelancers, which accounts for 34% of the national workforce.

Freelancing offers a way for professionals to make a living on their terms without the restrictions of a salaried job. An increased number of businesses are now using outsourced accounting solutions, particularly for managing low-margin tasks such as bookkeeping and payroll.

With that arrangement, they can enjoy more flexibility in controlling costs, resources, and working hours of their practice while still working with specialized talent. That brings down the need for an in-house accountant.

2. Remote Workers

Perhaps the most dramatic change in the employment arena in the last five years has been the growth of remote working. Both large and small businesses are incorporating remote working into their business models.

An Upwork report estimates that around 73% of all teams will have remote employees by 2028. Come to think of it, that is less than a decade away! Employers are becoming increasingly aware that remote working options will help them attract and retain the best talent. Hence, using outsourced accounting solutions has become popular.

Moreover, remote working allows employers to spend less on office infrastructure and thus, save more. In 2018 alone, US companies with a remote workforce saved $5 billion alone. Getting talented accountants to stick to the traditional 9-to-5 on-site model will, therefore, become progressively tighter.

3. Millenial Workforce

Millennials will make up three-fourths of the global workforce by 2025. The said generation has vastly different expectations from their employers as compared to previous generations, and remote working is a high priority for them.

68% of millennials, in fact, have said that a remote working option will significantly increase the likelihood of their joining a particular company. To hire talented millennial accountants, therefore, CPA firm owners will need to shift away from the traditional 9-to-5 model and offer more flexibility.

4. Technology

While technological developments have sped up work processes considerably and enabled the workforce to connect better, they have also restricted the scope for hiring talent on a 9-to-5 basis.

Virtual workspace applications allow people to connect and collaborate regardless of their physical location, while a Wi-Fi connection allows anyone to work from anywhere, even from a beach shack.

That reduces the need for employees to be in the office and also enables them to connect with their peers from across the globe. Despite the flexibility, it is now even harder to find talented professionals willing to stick to the conventional five-day workweek.

5. Flexible Working Araangements

It is not just millennials who seek flexible work anymore. Many parents, particularly mothers of young children, appreciate flexible hours that allow them to fulfill family commitments and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

73% of employees said that flexible work options boosted their satisfaction at work, while 67% of small businesses already offer some form of work-from-home arrangement to their teams.

The trend is only going to accelerate over the next few years. So, CPA firms that are seeking to retain the best talent should incorporate more flexibility into their work schedule rather than insisting on the traditional setup.


Shortage of skilled CPAs is a real concern in the accounting world. Fortunately, there are many creative strategies that CPA firm owners can apply to hire talented accountants for their practice. Out of which, one is a cost-effective solution called outsourcing.

CPA firm owners don’t need to break a sweat to supplement their staff with more hands or worry about tech support. They get all the help they need with outsourced accounting solutions. Luckily, many accounting outsourcing companies in India proactively address talent and retention issues. And QXAS is one of them.

So, beat talent staff with QXAS as your extended staff. Find out what it likes to work with us and how efficient our services are by calling us on 1-800-310-9312. Alternatively, you can write to us at [email protected].

Originally published Sep 18, 2019 12:09:24, updated Mar 21 2023


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