Top 3 Issues Keeping Accounting Leaders Up at Night

Accounting is a complex career but it is interesting and rewarding at the same time. But, being responsible for the financial ins and out of a business causes much pressure, regardless if a firm is small or big. With so much going in the accounting industry, accountants are facing pressing challenges.

Here are the top three accounting concerns that keep business leaders up at night:

Recruiting and Retaining Talent

One of the most highlighted topic in the recent CPA Firm Management Association 2016 National Practice Management Conference revolved around recruiting and retaining staff. For the past years, this topic has been part of an ongoing process and is seen to be a continuing issue for many firms.

Leaders in the accounting field are seriously concerned about the severe shortage of qualified staff at many levels, from young accountants taking CPA exam, to CPAs with three to five years of working experience, to the next generation of accounting leaders.

Michael Colgan, CEO at Pennsylvania Institue of CPAs said, “It is critical to keep the pipeline of the best and brightest candidates full by encouraging students to consider careers in accounting, finish their journey to the CPA credential, and become those trusted advisors.

Keeping Pace with Evolving Technology

It is very evident that technology is changing everything in the accounting industry, from the services they offer, to how they offer the services, to who they offer them to, and much more. Right now, leaders are struggling on how to keep pace with the evolving technology.

It is true that technology is affecting the profession in so many ways. According to Amy Vetter, Global Vice President at Xero,”The most important issue facing the accounting profession right now is that clients are ahead of their accountant with their move to technology, mobile and the cloud for their business operations.

Andrew Dickeson FCPA, says the key is to change the mindset of accountants from being bookkeepers to being value-added business advisors. Dickeson admits that digital disruption can be viewed as a threat but can also be turned into an opportunity.

The real threat to business and clients, according to Devini Goonetilleke FCPA, is ignoring the risk of not using digital tools and data.

Beating Compliance Challenges

Accounting is not an easy path. With the globalisation of accounting industry, it’s almost impossible to get someone with experienced in the industry. The long hours of work doing compliance made it even difficult to recruit experienced accountants or woo young professionals.

Some firms facing the same issues are offering flexible work conditions, work-life balance environment, ongoing education, and bigger opportunities like preparing accountants for client-facing roles.

With the rise in competition, many accounting firms are considering alternative options with the goal of offering value-added services to clients.

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