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Accountant Shortage: U.S Firms Scramble to Hire Accountants during Tax Season

According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, since 2019, more than 312,000 accountants and auditors have quit and 2/3rd of them had the experience of over 10 years. This shortage of accountants partially attributed to Big Quit is prompting small and midsize accounting and CPA firms to hire overseas for the first time as they seek workers to do Bookkeeping and prepare US  tax returns. 

Due to the shortage and lack of experienced accountants, the demand for not only skilled but also semi-skilled accountants has risen, and with that expected compensation too has increased which puts additional woes of increased cost.

Accountant Shortage Hits CPAs

Rebecca Santiago, the co-founder of an accounting firm in South Florida, was in the toughest situation due to accountant shortages and was unable to find anybody to support clients with services such as annual business audits and preparing tax returns.

“I think the biggest challenge that we faced recently is much the same as a lot of businesses have been which is finding talent that is willing to show up to work, show up after you hire them, or are willing to accept a compensation that is realistic for their skill set and what we’re trying to offer for our clients” she said.

She is not alone, according to AICPA’s 2022 PCPS CPA firm top issues survey, “Finding qualified staff (at all levels)” remains the top 5 concerts for all CPA firms irrespective of the size of the firm.

Watch what the leading bookkeeping firm of South Florida has to say about Finsmart.

Maintain Your Lead with Accounting Outsourcing

She said while they knew Big 4 firms offshore their work to India post-BigQuit, they weren’t sure & ready but they were desperate hence they took the decision to use the offshore services of AccountingSeat by Finsmart Accounting. 

“We really weren’t sure what to expect, there were apprehensions & doubts but everything has been smooth and was the best decision we made” she said.

AccountingSeat by Finsmart Accounting, which does international staffing for CPAs & U.S. accounting firms, hires people who already have Bookkeeping and US tax-work experience along with accounting software expertise. 

Mariko Hayashi-Hall, CEO of an accounting firm and a QuickBooks ProAdvisor in Chicago has similar woes with staffing and scaling their business in these times.

“You know one good thing about it is they are experienced and there is no learning curve. So, we don’t have to train anybody. They’re already trained. So, it’s just like having an expert sitting next to you. You can just hand them the work and they can perfectly finish it and then they will report back to me.”  she said. As per Mariko, this was a strategic decision to scale and meet her clients’ demands.

Recommended reading: 6 strategies that are helping accounting firm scale up during tax season

Why Outsourced Accounting and Taxation Services

Here are the reasons why thousands of small and midsize accounting and CPA firms in the USA are outsourcing to India after the recent wave of Great Resignation and accountant shortages during tax season:

  • Huge base of accounting talent 
  • English speaking talent poll 
  • High technology penetration resulting in tech-savvy resources

Countries like India also have a warmth in their culture making it a friendly country to do business.

Finsmart Accounting with its 15 years of outsourced accounting space uses its own proprietary framework called DPPT – Definition, Process, Precision & TAT that has been the success mantra for supporting the firms in the US so that they don’t have to scramble to hire accountants.

“Before we started with them, my partner was already telling me we can’t bring on any more new clients because we didn’t have the capacity and I am not concerned about that anymore at all.” said Rebecca Santiago.

Become prepared for accountant shortages triggered by Great Resignation in bookkeeping by onboarding an offshore accounting outsourcing partner

Share your thoughts

Would you like to know more about the DPPT framework or have you or your company worked with offshore accountants during the accounting talent crunch? What was the experience like? Join the conversation below or check out our recent blogs on business growth and offshore hiring:

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Maanoj Shah

Maanoj Shah

Director Growth Strategy & Alliance at Finsmart Accounting

1. Thriving in the Future of Accounting: Strategies for CPA Firms to Stay Ahead 2. The Art of Managing Client Expectations in CPA & Accounting Industry 3. Adapting Emerging Technologies in Your CPA Firm: 2023 Guide 4. Navigating Accounting Regulatory Landscape: A Challenge for CPA firms

Maanoj Shah is a finance and outsourcing expert with strong Business Strategy and Scaling-up experience. Over the last 20 years, he has incubated multiple businesses and helped build global enterprises in verticals as diversified as hospitality, technology, and healthcare.

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