Accountancy talent: lack of skilled workers constricts growth

row of missing men.jpg s1024x1024wisk20cAcNovtds ONrT7Xle MZhq37VFaBi8ywZ1jrCNMttJA | Accountancy talent: lack of skilled workers constricts growth
By Beverley Flanagan | 16th February 2023 | 2 min read

Let’s cut to the chase, a lack of talent has been plaguing the accountancy industry for some time, and more must be done to attract and retain staff.

In fact, in 2022, Accountancy Age reported a skills gap of 22%, and the ICAEW cited a 36% drop in the number of applicants year-on-year.

Unfortunately, the story continues; we spoke with 35 of the UK’s top firms and found that 42% are worried about retaining talent, and 32% cited their current skillset as a barrier to growth.

Where are all the people?

More one-man bands started. Inaccurate industry views. Lack of enticement for the younger generation.

The pandemic acted as a catalyst, resulting in many re-evaluating their careers, early retirements and an increase in those starting their own businesses, alongside many young people delaying their studies.

Subsequently, this had a major knock-on effect which has proved disastrous for the industry that was already struggling with the perception, as Martin Bisset eloquently explained during our podcast, of being “male, pale and stale”.

Short and long-term solutions

Do all these factors mean that people no longer want to join accountancy? Well, yes and no.

There is still a heap of people entering the workforce, but their expectations have changed, meaning traditional firms need to adapt to secure talent.

Adapt how? Tech and processes. With technology consuming our personal lives, that same desire has bled into our workplace expectations.

For example, between December 2022 and January 2023, the number of workers searching for flexible jobs almost tripled – a desire which can only be met through cloud-based technology.

Frankly, top talent want top employers, which means having modern and attractive processes, which you can learn more about in our recent blog.

In the short term, utilising an outsourcing service can benefit your firm and employees greatly.

By outsourcing the more admin-intensive and less desirable tasks, you free up staff to focus on more value-added work, improving employee morale and enabling you to grow during unprecedented times.

Additionally, by having less admin and more value-driven work, you indirectly make yourself a more attractive employer.

The only guide you need in 2023!

Issues with securing talent aren’t the only concerns for accountants in 2023; our research found that the current economic crisis and resistance to technology are also creating major challenges.

While there are numerous difficulties, you can rest assured that there are also numerous ways through the current situation.

If firms make good decisions now, both profitability and production levels can increase (something we cover in our new guide).

What are you waiting for? Download the new guide and unlock the power to adapt.