Here are the top seven reasons accounting staff are discontent (from The Staffing Crisis, by Bruce Marcus):
Accounting staff turnover is at an all-time high. Some estimates show it is averaging 30 percent!
One look at the top reasons for staff discontent in the most recent surveys of accounting staff and you will see why this issue is not getting solved: It is a lack of leadership — or, more specifically, alignment (of partners). Just look at the list: Six out of the seven have nothing to do with compensation! Actually, they all deal with the three major areas that many firms consistently underinvest in, or even ignore — people, leadership and culture.
Is your firm really operating as “one firm” (as coined by CPA management guru David Maister)? Or, is it really multiple firms within one firm, each with the distinct style of each partner in charge of specific practice areas? What is your culture? Is it culture based on purpose or culture by default? Or, worse yet, multiple cultures?
Our experience is that too many firms have partners myopically focused on their own individual book of business (versus the firm’s client portfolio) and the partners are pushing the work through senior managers and managers who are caught at the front lines of the talent war.
They are dealing with demanding partners and inexperienced staff who refuse to devote their lives to organizations the way we all used to (also known as the “generational issue”). The result is that this generation of future partners is more at risk than ever and many are voting with their feet.
We recently sat down with our Years 5 and 6 Leadership Academy participants and learned that these professionals really know a lot more than we think they do (and we really aren’t fooling them). Here is what they had to say to the question, “If you were managing partner, what would you do?”
The top eight tips to solve the staffing crisis:
For more: CPA consulting gurus Rick Telberg and Bruce Marcus offer some great insight into solving the staffing crisis in a recent article. Read the full whitepaper here.
How are you dealing with the talent war?