<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/615750b99f3554001334ec79" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">

How Professional Services Firms Can Find Talent Even as The Pool Shrinks

May 29, 2024 6:59:35 AM | 5 min read


The accounting landscape is beset by many challenges, but few are as persistent or frustrating for firms as the shortage of new talent. Though the population is growing, fewer students are, for many reasons, choosing to pursue accounting as a course of study. The results are a shrinking talent pool, an aging accounting workforce, and firms struggling to cope amid more demand for their services than ever before.

There are no quick fixes or one-stop solutions to this problem, but there are measures and investments that accounting organizations across the world can take to address it. Here’s what we’ve found and what we recommend:

1. Greater Investment in Employee Compensation

One reason fewer students are enrolling in accounting programs or choosing accounting firms as a workplace is that the technology and private equity sectors tend to offer significantly higher salaries, even for newly minted professionals. Thus, one way in which accounting firms can become similarly considerable is by investing in higher salaries and more attractive employee benefits.

This tip is far easier said than done and will, unfortunately, leave many firms with the conundrum of whom to pass those costs to, but if the result is becoming a more appealing brand for young accounting and other finance professionals to consider, the long-term benefit will be considerable. You’ll have more talent with which to execute additional audits and other functions for client organizations, which will empower you to hire additional new talent. Therefore, invest in greater compensation wherever possible.

2. Greater Investment in Employee Experience

Compensation and benefits are certainly important to employees, but current and upcoming generations of accounting students are looking for more than money. Indeed, these generations are looking for workplaces where they can create a genuine human connection and provide a holistic workplace culture.

Accounting firms can benefit handsomely from investing in that type of environment. Whether it’s a themed check-in every week or opportunities for culture creation, research shows that professionals of every demographic, not just students or new graduates, respond well to these more abstract changes and investments. Forging that human connection also gives employees an incentive to stay that goes beyond salary, as they become personally invested in the firm’s success, not just financially.

3. Using Technology to Close The Gap

We understand that many firms, perhaps your own, don’t have the luxury of investing in greater salaries and workplace perks at the current time. Alternatively, you might be in a position where the only way to make such investments possible is by passing those investment costs onto the customer. If these or other factors are the case, there’s another way accounting companies can help close the talent pool gap: expedient and streamlined engagement technology.

Suralink, the world leader in PBC list and engagement management software, offers such a solution to professionals in Britain and worldwide. Our platform empowers professionals in accounting and beyond to do away with the Excel spreadsheets, email chains, and individual downloads of yesteryear in favor of a single platform that can house an unlimited number of documents, allow for real-time file validations, and enable every engagement stakeholder to modify those files. Our solution has cut client firms’ engagement time by as much as 50%, giving companies strapped for new talent a chance to deliver more success even in a market with fewer employees.

4. A Multifaceted Approach

Investing in a better employee experience wherever possible is critical now. So, too, is leveraging technology like Suralink’s. By harnessing accounting and other professional services, firms can ensure they remain attractive to new talent while giving existing stakeholders a chance to do more for their clients in the most holistic and defragmented way possible.

Talk to an Expert to learn more about how our platform meaningfully improves experiences for your accounting professionals and your clients!