3 Reasons Why Accountants Aren’t Joining Your Practice

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn

Why Accountants aren’t joining your practice

Recruiting Accountants can sometimes be challenging, and there could be various reasons why they might not be joining your practice. Over the past few years, the cost of living crisis, the implications of Brexit and Covid-19 and the shortage of talent and jobs, have significantly influenced the job market. 

A recent survey indicates that businesses are still struggling to fill talent gaps, with 80% of UK businesses reporting persistent difficulty filling jobs, a rate more than double since 2019.

According to a survey by FloQast’s Controller’s Guidebook, 63% of Accountants considering a change may leave accounting entirely as teams work to recalibrate work-life balance. 

With many people in the industry not confident in their futures, it’s important that your practice offers the best benefits, competitive salary and opportunities for their employees.

Here are the three potential reasons why Accountants aren’t joining your practice and how to make changes to prevent it:

  • Lack of flexibility 
  • A low or uncompetitive salary
  • Lack of career progression

Lack of flexibility

According to new research from Totaljobs, 44% of workers want flexible working hours. The results demonstrate that employees experienced less job stress and reduced burnout in the accounting profession as a result of flexible hours. Flexibility has a significant and positive association with psychological wellbeing.

The benefits workers value the most across all industries are flexible hours, which is an easy fix. If your accountancy practice introduces flexibility, it could improve job performance and job satisfaction among accounting professionals. It’s important to be accommodating to your employees as much as possible, and that means being open to negotiate opportunities to work from home and offer flexible working hours.

In the aftermath of Covid 19, most people have become accustomed to more flexible hours and hybrid or remote roles. Covid-19 normalised working from home and remote working to great success and convenience of workers. As a result, most businesses have permanently adopted the remote working strategy to reduce costs and to be more sustainable. 

Unlike other professions and industries, Accountants have the advantage of having a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing where they want to be based because an Accountant's services can be accessed from virtually anywhere.

Is hybrid working here to stay?

According to research from Totaljobs, three-quarters of home and hybrid workers reported that remote working improved their work life balance.

Why not consider incorporating remote or hybrid opportunities into your recruitment and retention strategy? This could open up more opportunities to hire people from a wider demographic and increase your chances of finding the perfect candidate for the role. 

It would provide opportunities for more candidates to apply to the role if they know the accountancy practice offers flexible working arrangements. This could promote a healthy work-life balance, which can be beneficial to employees' mental and emotional needs.

A low or uncompetitive salary

Although the labour market has begun to normalise after Covid-19, according to new research from Totaljobs, in the current economic climate 37% of workers want financial bonuses. 

In light of the cost of living crisis, people want a secure job they can rely on to reduce stress and financial worries. Salary is at the forefront of people's minds and employers are recognising this as they strive to stand out from their competitors. 

With high inflation rates, 57% of jobseekers are looking for a higher salary and those open to changing jobs expect an average pay rise of 14.8%. You don't want to lose or let go of a great candidate if you aren’t willing to negotiate salary or be open about discussing a pay rise further down the line. 

At the very least, people want to maintain their existing lifestyle. Ensure the salary you are offering is genuinely competitive. You don’t want to risk insulting or deterring potential candidates with a salary that isn’t comparable to others on the job market. Research the salaries offered at other companies and benchmark your salaries to stay competitive in the market. Assess the market rate of the role you are trying to fulfil and any regional differences in salaries for similar roles before you make a solid decision.

It would be wise to align the suggested salary with competitors, responsibility and expertise to see how you compare in the job market. If you want to attract top talent, the salary must reflect the level of responsibility and expertise required for the role. Therefore, the salary should communicate what is expected and demonstrate the value your accountancy practice places on the potential employee.

Review and improve benefits to differentiate your offer and best support staff. Conduct regular reviews with salary re-evaluation. Implement bonuses and performance reviews that could result in a pay rise or additional perks. Alternatively, offer one-off payments, overtime or subsidies where pay rises aren’t viable.

Additional ways to improve benefits in your accountancy practice

Offer additional benefits that might entice potential employees on top of the competitive salary. Great incentives include: 

  • Comprehensive health and dental plans
  • Wellness perks (e.g. gym memberships, fitness apps, cycle to work schemes)
  • Financial benefits (e.g. commission or annual bonus)
  • General perks (e.g. free parking, food and drinks, on-site childcare)
  • Generous pension

Lack of career progression

Most finance and accounting professionals have greater opportunities to progress and develop their skills and qualifications at a faster pace in comparison to other industries. Your employees don’t want to be stuck in a rut so it’s important to provide opportunities for individuals to thrive and progress as Accountants.

If it’s career progression that people are looking for when they apply, they need to be able to see a clear path. Many people have a structured career plan, and want an accountancy practice to be able to support them with their career development. 

If there is no clear path, it can be difficult for people to commit to a role or your accountancy practice. People want to be fulfilled, not frustrated or feel as though they are stuck or stunted in their careers.

It would be wise to find out what it is people want from their career  - particularly during the interview process. Today’s generation of new starters don’t want the safe traditional accounting career for life or a rigid structure. They want something with meaning, purpose, and the opportunity for personal development.

You need to make it clear when you are recruiting that there will be room for career growth, so as not to run the risk of ‘quiet quitting.’ Quiet quitting is when employers put in the minimum amount of effort to keep their jobs and this can have a significant detrimental effect on your practice. Include information on job descriptions and throughout your website about how you support and nurture personal development to attract ambitious and talented individuals. 

Start making changes to move your accountancy practice forward; maybe undergo performance reviews to assess people's futures and opportunities to grow, or allow feedback and ideas from employees to explore their career goals for the future. Or provide training and development opportunities for employees to ensure they choose an accountancy practice that's right for them.

Recruit accountancy talent

As leaders within accountancy recruitment, we understand the challenges which every accountancy practice faces in this day in age. Recruiting Accountants and encouraging people to join your practice can be difficult, but that is where we come in! With years of experience recruiting in the accountancy sector, we have exclusive access to some of the most qualified and experienced Accountants, Bookkeepers, Audit Managers, Audit Seniors (and more) out there!

Why not reach out to our Managing Consultant, Matt Byrne-Fraser on 01772 954200 to have a totally confidential chat about the options and recruitment services available to you. 

Meet Matt Byrne-Fraser

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Since 2017, we've reshaped the recruitment landscape. From the very heart of our organisation to the way we conduct business, creating a positive change has driven every facet of our operations. 

Our dedication extends beyond the mechanics of recruitment. It encompasses the cultivation of an environment where every member of our team flourishes, where innovation thrives, and where a shared purpose propels us forward.

Recruitment, for us, isn’t just about matching candidates and clients; we’re passionate about finding candidates the perfect job which has the ability to boost their salary and standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health. 

Similarly, we understand the impact an experienced and skilled employee can make on a business and we love seeing clients thrive through the hard work of candidates which we have placed with them. 

Searching for your next role? Head over to our job search page or upload your CV now!

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