The cost of keeping staff happy

New accounting professionals have definite preferences about their work environments and firm cultures. Learn more about how you can differentiate your firm to win the accounting talent battle. In the ongoing battle for accounting talent, new hire expectations directly impact things like salary, working arrangements, staff development, and many other factors. Firms that want to set themselves apart as potential employers work hard to create an environment where young professionals feel valued and supported. Check out our new infographic to learn more about what your firm can do to attract new talent and keep current staff happy.

  • The cost of keeping staff happy

    Does your accounting firm know what new professionals are looking for in an employer?

    Thomson Reuters set out to shed some light on new hire expectations by surveying more than 100 CPAs currently employed as accountants. Here’s what we discovered and how accounting firms can heed the call.

        1. Pay them what they’re worth 

    We all know money talks — and the accounting profession is no exception. 

    Thomson Reuters research found that 94% of new accounting practitioners choose financial stability as their primary career goal. In addition, 93% stated that a competitive salary matters most in an employer.

    Importance of employer attributes

    Offers competitive salary

    So, how much are accountants looking for in terms of salary? We’ve broken it down by years of experience in metro, micro, and rural areas. 

    While you may think your firm can’t afford to pay higher salaries, the truth is you can’t afford not to. The cost of turnover can be enormous, given the training and development costs most firms put into their new hires and the need for continuing professional education. 

    So, if you currently employ talented, high-performing accountants or are looking to hire some, pay them what they’re worth — or risk losing them to a firm that will. 

    2. Support their work-life balance

    It’s no surprise that work-life balance ranks high on the list of attributes that new accountants are looking for in an employer. According to the survey, 85% of respondents prioritize employers that support them in balancing work and life. 

    Importance of employer attributes

    Prioritizes work-life balance

    Our research found that new practitioners currently work an average of 46.1 hours per week. This number is highest among business leaders (48.6%) and accountants at non-accounting firms (48.1%). Respondents said they would prefer to average 40.6 hours per week, a reduction of about 12%. Practitioners at accounting firms with less than 30 accountants were likelier to say they wanted to work less than 40 hours per week (62%).

    But how do you offer work-life balance in a profession that demands doing more with less? The answer lies in using technology to your advantage. Forward-looking accounting firms are leveraging solutions like APIs that drive automation, enhance efficiencies, and improve collaboration among both staff and clients. Not only do these advanced technologies enable your firm to work smarter and faster, but they also provide your staff with the ability to achieve the work-life balance they desire.

    3. Offer long-term stability

    The research also reveals that accounting professionals are prioritizing job stability. In fact, 75% of new practitioners said long-term job stability is a top career goal.

    Previous ACCA research further underscores this data, finding that the top two reasons young professionals — across all sectors — remained with an employer were career progression opportunities (59%) and opportunities to learn and develop skills (58%).

    Long story short, today’s accountants are looking for employers who invest in their professional development and help them advance their careers. How can your firm foster a culture of learning and career progression? For many firms, this vision translates into offering profitable advisory services alongside traditional tax compliance work. By building deeper and more meaningful relationships with clients, you can boost staff engagement and offer them the long-term job stability they want. 

    4. Give them flexibility

    According to our survey, 75% of respondents noted flexible hours at the top of their list of importance. This statistic comes as little surprise given the desire for a greater work-life balance and the rise of more remote or hybrid work environments.

    With the latest advances in tax technology, accounting firms can offer staff the flexibility to work where and when it works best for them — this, in turn, boosts loyalty, trust, commitment, and overall productivity. That’s why implementing technology plays a major role in many forward-looking accounting firms’ recruitment and retention strategies. 

    By incorporating APIs, even young accountants can jump right into value-added work, like looking for trends and outliers, collaborating with clients, and working with management to resolve issues. Technology boosts your staff’s involvement in meaningful work and gets them thinking at a higher level faster. That’s valuable for personal career advancement and the firm overall.

    The bottom line

    Amidst the demands of a challenging labor market, a shift in mindset and the adoption of technology can help you become an employer of choice who appeals to new professionals and retains top talent. 

    Want more insights on how to recruit and retain accounting talent? Download the white paper.

Checkpoint Edge: AI you can trust

Find the deep tax and accounting insight you need faster with natural language search and intelligent filtering embedded within your research platform