High Demand For Accountants

Now It Is Even More Important To Keep Your Top Talent

Most of you managing an accounting firm are fully aware of the important responsibility of hiring and keeping good people. I like to use a 3-word description: HIRING, DEVELOPING and KEEPING Good People.

If you don’t already have career enrichment activities, career development programs, flexible work arrangements, leading-edge technology, well-trained, responsive managers plus a blended, yet balanced, life-work culture as one of your 2 or 3 strategic initiatives for 2013, I hope you will gather your partners in January (before the REAL crunch begins) and at least talk about it. Why? So partners and managers can set the tone and set the example during February, March and April for a firm that is extremely professional, dedicated to client service, and one that appreciates and recognizes its people.

Prepare now to keep your top accountants because according to a recent article on WSJ.com, accountants are in a wonderful position in the job market per Robert Half.
  • The average starting salary for finance chiefs at big companies will rise 3.6%.
  • Accounting and finance positions, in general, will rise 3.3%.
  • Joblessness isn’t a problem in accounting and finance.
  • Some companies have been leaving finance positions vacant for three to five months because they can’t find the talent they need to fill the role. (Where will they go to find people for these jobs? You guessed it, they will go directly to your accounting firm.)
  • CPA candidates are the hottest candidates today.
  • A CPA with 3 to 6 years experience who enters the job market will have multiple job offers within two to four weeks.
  • CFOs at companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue can expect a salary between $280,500 and $430,250 (per Robert Half).
  • The Controller role is a stepping-stone to CFO with controllers making $140,500 to $192,500.
I believe there is an up side for you in all this. How do you keep your best performers? You involve them earlier in client relationships. You educate your managers (and partners) on how to be skilled managers, not just great technicians who have a secondary responsibility of keeping other people busy.

If accountants have strong, caring relationships with clients and their supervisor they feel a stronger responsibility for staying in public accounting.


"Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life."
Napoleon Hill








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Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She is a former shareholder and administrative partner in a successful, regional CPA firm and has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations. She works with firms across the country focusing on people, partners and internal management issues.

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