Fighting the Great Resignation with Technology

“Technology. This simple word is the key to opening the floodgates of a once boring and outdated profession to an attractive, efficient and opportunistic job.” So says John McGowan in a June 14, 2022 post on CPA Practice Advisor.

As is well known, the current job market has made it extremely difficult to attract and retain talent, and the tax and accounting profession is being hit harder than most. Yes, McGowan agrees, “turnover at accounting firms has been an ongoing issue over the last decade, but the Great Resignation has really thrown a wrench in the hiring process, which calls for nontraditional solutions and creative measures – both of which the profession historically lacks. Compensation has become so competitive everywhere that it is difficult for it to be a differentiator for firms. Candidates expect more.”

According to McGowan, “they expect strong core values, flexible schedules, and most importantly, easing the strenuous-nature of the profession. The first two desires can be easily implemented and catered to from a culture standpoint, but the final one has only one solution: technology. Attracting Gen Z and Millennial talent out of college has been a great challenge. Why? Because these prospective employees have grown up on their phones and laptops. Their everyday lives are dictated and navigated by technology. Yet, tax and accounting firms expect them to come in and stick to outdated methods of dealing with workpapers and client returns. Methods that still include paper, snail mail and manual input of data!”

Instead, he believes, “the profession must move towards a norm that includes SAAS platforms that unify and automate the entire tax preparation process. Platforms that serve as integration powerhouses to instantly and securely access and manage work across engagements from anywhere, promoting visibility, simplifying collaboration, reducing risk and delivering a vastly improved digital experience for clients. More efficient and seamless processes will make the lives easier for the employees, which in turn, makes lives easier for clients. On top of that, automation saves time and money, which ultimately leads to more revenue for the firm.”

And what about the clients? McGowan points to a 2019 survey by Blackline that states that nearly 70% of global business leaders and finance professionals claim their organization has made a significant business decision based on inaccurate financial data. This is because over half (55%) of respondents are not completely confident they can identify financial errors before reporting results.

“It’s time we start looking at the Great Resignation as an opportunistic moment for the profession,” McGown says, “an agent of change. It's time we trust technology.”

For the whole story, see Fighting the Great Resignation with Technology | CPA Practice Advisor.