Like other professions, the accounting industry is currently facing a shortage of qualified personnel, leaving many firms understaffed.
With many older certified public accountants (CPAs) retiring, there are not enough younger workers coming into the industry to fill the void. Coupled with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the so-called Great Resignation, and other factors, firms big and small are feeling the effects.
So what does this mean for clients?
As fewer employees are left to do the work, clients may see an increase in price rates from their tax preparers and auditors.
Firms may broaden their talent search to include non-accounting professionals to bring new insights and skillsets not typically seen in the industry.
Greater emphasis will be placed on an increasingly flexible workplace, with work-from-home options and hybrid work becoming more common. Employees will not necessarily need to live in the same geographic area or time zone as the firm’s headquarters. This could create added convenience for some clients.
Some firms may also opt to curate their client lists to reshape the firm’s book of business, using the opportunity to systematically reduce the clientele that fall outside their ideal profile. Clients should likewise reevaluate their needs to ensure their firm is providing the service they desire.
Don’t be surprised by CPA firms opting for mergers and acquisitions to help resolve leadership succession issues and obtain more resources, especially small and midsized firms.
Overall, there will likely be an increase in the use of outsourcing. While many businesses have traditionally relied on internal staff accountants to help manage their books, they have increasingly found outsourcing their accounting needs to private accounting firms to be more cost-effective.
E. Cohen is working diligently to keep its array of tax preparation, outsourced accounting, and assurance services at the highest quality for clients, regardless of the challenges facing the industry.
If you have any questions about the above information or how your experience may be impacted in the upcoming year, please contact your E. Cohen advisor.