1 in 5 Junior Staffers Planning to Quit

Expect a new hiring crisis.

One in five junior staffers plan to leave their accounting firm by the end of the year, according to a startling new survey.

And, of those, about 75% plan to quit public accounting completely, significantly worse than last year's 65% loss rate.

The data comes from the latest issue of IOMA's Partner's Report (subscribe here) which reports the results of a survey of more than 2,000 employees of CPA firms, conducted as part of Consulting magazine’s 2010 Best Firms to Work For survey.

In addition, the average anticipated tenure for a junior employee is slipping -- to just 3.9 years, a decline from the year-ago 4.1.

IOMA Jr staff turnover

Furthermore, mid-level employees (those between partners and junior staff) say they too would quit public accounting if they could -- by more than a 2-1 margin, (61 percent vs. 29 percent).

"This means that the spike in turnover isn’t likely to lead to a redistribution of talent among accounting firms," according to Editor Jess Scheer, writing in the monthly newsletter. "Instead, we’re seeing signs of a one-way stream away from the profession."

"To stem the tide," he advises, "accounting firms must first convince their staff of the merits of remaining within the profession, as well as staying at their current firm... Moreover, as the War For Talent rekindles in the coming year, this trend will likely lower the supply of talent, thus exacerbating the hiring challenges. "