Big Companies: We Need More Accountants!

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 26, 2017

A survey of more than 1,400 financial professionals in the U.S. and Canada has revealed that 62 percent of large companies report that they are understaffed on accounting and finance personnel. The report, authored by consulting firm Robert Half, said this can be attributed to the dual pressures of a tighter talent market on one end and a wave of retirements among senior workers on the other.

Companies are consistently having trouble finding people who have both the requisite skills and the desire to stick around for the long term. This, in turn, could be reflective of the changing nature of accounting and finance work, according to the report. While previously much of accounting and finance departments' time was taken up by data entry, today companies are more likely to either automate or outsource such routine tasks, which has changed the skill sets companies are seeking: now people need to know how to extract and analyze data, which is a very different sort of mindset. Companies have adjusted, according to the report, by putting more focus on retaining the staff they already have, encouraging employees to plan their careers at the company and understand where they see themselves in the future there. 

"Recruiting skilled professionals remains challenging in an environment of low unemployment for accounting and finance professionals. Companies must be prepared to invest in at least some additional training for most new hires — including, potentially, fundamental areas of accounting and finance," said the report. 

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