Growth Slowdown: Tax & Accounting Hiring Rates Hit Headwinds

Women leaving payroll agencies in huge numbers.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

Growth in the tax & accounting sector continues, but at a snail’s pace, with figures like 0.3 percent dotting the plus side.

MORE ON JOBS: Steady Gains in Hiring at Accounting Firms | Accounting Wages Set New RecordAll Staffed Up? New Tax Prep Hiring Stalls on Eve of Busy Season | The Myth of the Staff Shortage | Wages Up, Headcounts Down at Tax & Accounting Firms
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In this report, CPA Trendlines highlights:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the industry.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments
  • Typical hours worked per week
  • Trends concerning women in the accounting workforce

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Why Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Covenants Matter

Businessman sitting in office and reading documentsBONUS: A sample agreement.

By Marc Rosenberg

“Non-compete” and “non-solicitation” are two terms often used interchangeably. Though they are similar, there are important differences.

MORE: Why You Might Want an Executive Committee | How to Specify Managing Partner Duties | When Votes Must Be Taken, What Are the Options? | Ownership Percentage and Capital Accounts | 5 Key Reasons to Have a Partner Agreement
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For the sake of brevity, we use the term “non-competes” to refer to both covenants.
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SURVEY: Offshoring On the Rise

Illustration of two businesspeople against world mapReal-time accounting is in client demand.

By Chris Frederiksen
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

It’s been was another good year for accountants, with demand for services continuing to outrun supply, thus allowing for price increases.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages | Firms Must Build Their Benches | Mergers Spur Growth | Talent Wars, M&A Frenzy Continue | Do You Have a Firm or a Co-op? | Accountability, Equity, Compensation Are Concerns
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Firms continue to struggle with the issue of finding enough “good” people to get the work done, so we observed two simultaneous trends.
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The 12 Reasons Your Staff Hates Your Firm

BONUS WORKSHEET: Calculating the high cost of turnover.

By Marc Rosenberg
On Staffing

Let’s examine the state of CPA firm professional staff turnover.

Chart on staff retention
Staff Turnover Rates, Annualized, by Firm Size. Source: Rosenberg Map Survey at Store.CPATrendlines.com

MORE ON STAFFING: 8 Keys to Keeping Staff Engaged | How to Create a Talent Management Strategy | What Happened to the Relevancy of the CPA Profession? | Staffing: What CPA Firms Are Learning the Hard Way
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The high cost of turnover

Much has been written about the high cost of turnover. Almost all estimates range from 1 to 1.5 times an employee’s annual compensation.
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Accounting Firms Expand at 5% Rate

cpatrendlines jobs report tiltBut why is hiring up and wages down?

By CPA Trendlines

Accounting employment in most sectors once again hit new highs, according to new CPA Trendlines research.

Gains over 5 percent were seen year over year in overall staff employment; CPA staff employment; women overall, at CPA firms and in payroll; payroll overall and staff numbers; and payroll staff hours. Unfortunately, that last group saw their earnings swing down even more.

The CPA Trendlines Monthly Jobs Report has been following a decline in wages and a simultaneous increase in headcounts, which may signal a new dynamic at play in the industry. Robert Fligel, president and CEO of RF Resources, the leading New York CPA firm M&A broker and executive recruiter, suggests several factors may be the cause. “I think firm are hiring more lower level people, like more new college grads; more home-grown talent; and the effect of outsourcing.”

In this report, CPA Trendlines highlights:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the industry.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments
  • Typical hours worked per week
  • Trends concerning women in the accounting workforce

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When Silence Is Golden … and Not

Businesswoman with hand to foreheadA cautionary tale about commitment for partners-to-be.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Ask yourself and answer these questions when considering the current and future “commitment” behaviors that you’ll employ.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: What Commitment Means Now | 13 Steps to True Commitment | When to Ignore a White Lie: A Cautionary Tale | Communicate Your Worth and Value | Best Practices for One-on-One Communication | Learn to Read Your Firm’s Culture | Experts Advise What Partnership Takes
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1 – What is my first reaction to being asked to work outside of my normal hours?

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What Commitment Means Now

Smiling woman with colleagues in backgroundDo you and your firm have the same perception?

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

The Passport to Partnership study collated a number of responses in a conversational style. The need for commitment is showcased below and was repeated many times in various different ways.

So many use us as a stepping stone and we’re now trying to determine who those are at the interview stage.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: 13 Steps to True Commitment | How Good Is Your Network? | RFPs: 7 Things NOT to Do | 5 Ways to Evaluate Your Communication | 7 Levels of Communication Management | 5 Ways to Get Buy-In for Firm Culture | Partnership: Competence Is Just the Foot in the Door
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Proof – if any were needed – that long-term commitment is not a given in the next generation of accounting professionals.
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13 Steps to True Commitment

Martin Bissett: "Make continual deposits in the goodwill account."What it means for partners.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Rising from senior manager to partner often means being promoted ahead of our peers and contemporaries. It creates a gap in earnings, stature and influence compared to those who just yesterday were our colleagues on a level playing field.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: How Good Is Your Network? | Shift Thinking from ‘We’ to ‘You’ | 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Going After New Work | Why Communication Matters So Much | 3 Questions to Evaluate Your Firm Culture | Competence: More Than Technical Skills | Are You Partner Material? Maybe Not
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It can also mean that if we are coming into a firm from the outside, we are being promoted over people who have served at that firm for many years and understand the culture of the firm a lot better than we do right now. We may have to lead these people as the head of a department and if so, they’d better be on our side.
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How Good Is Your Network?

4 happy co-workers looking at man's tabletBONUS CHECKLIST: 5 questions to evaluate your network and skills.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Ask yourself and answer these questions when considering the current and future “conversion” tactics that you’ll employ.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: Shift Thinking from ‘We’ to ‘You’ | When to Ignore a White Lie: A Cautionary Tale | Communicate Your Worth and Value | Best Practices for One-on-One Communication | Learn to Read Your Firm’s Culture
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  1. If I were to start today, could I name four businesses that I’d like to reach out to?
  2. What is our firm’s net fee growth goal this year and what can I do to contribute to it?
  3. What do I need to do to be able to handle the tough stuff like negotiation, pricing and handling objections? What start to learning these skills can I make today?

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