With low unemployment and a shortage of qualified workers, one of the new, hot trends is to provide consulting services in human resources, either by advising clients on hiring practices or even in the recruiting function. A new story from the Journal of Accountancy confirms that small- to medium-size firms will find a great deal of work in this area that has traditionally been reserved for the large firms.
Because CPAs already consult in many areas of small business, experts say this is a natural extension of the CPA's core competencies and skill set.
An example of a firm that is making this work is Saltz, Shamis & Goldfarb, Inc., a regional accounting and consulting firm in Ohio. SS&G looked outside its CPA group to bring in Polly Knox, a former HR director, to manage the HR practice.
Since she came on board, Knox has not only developed procedures and reinvented the hiring practices of SS&G, but also began recruiting staff for clients by relying on the firm's expansive database of referrals.
'One of our goals is to be able to offer HR outsourcing so that we can become the HR resource for businesses that don’t feel they need a full-blown HR department,' says Knox. 'It’s a matter of letting companies know of the services you offer and that you are qualified to offer them.'