Accounting plays a critical role in the success of any business, and a shortage of accounting talent significantly impacts accountability and integrity. In the United States, the talent crunch is a major challenge, with 300,000 accountants and auditors quitting their jobs in the last two years. There is also a substantial shortfall in accounting graduates. Less than 1% of CPA firms can hire the necessary accounting professionals domestically. However, large corporations have been able to address this problem by employing remote talent solutions for years. It’s time for small businesses to understand the advantages that remote talent solutions offer and leverage them.
Let’s explore the causes of this talent crunch and see if remote talent solutions can provide a resolution.
Why are Businesses Experiencing a Shortage of Accounting Professionals?
Businesses nationwide have been facing a shortage of accounting professionals for years now. One contributing factor is that many senior accountants are approaching retirement age. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), around 75% of CPAs reached retirement age in 2020.
The AICPA has estimated that 90,000 accounting graduates are required every year to fill the current skills gap. Unfortunately, only about 70,000 are graduating with accounting degrees annually, and that number is declining. Accountant and auditor salaries are often lower than other financial careers, discouraging recent graduates from pursuing accounting positions.
Some businesses have attempted to address this gap through better wages, hiring non-accounting majors, and providing on-the-job training. However, these efforts may not be enough to alleviate the current talent crunch in the US.
Are Remote Talent Solutions Feasible for Small Businesses?
With the demand for accounting services rapidly increasing, businesses face challenges hiring and retaining talent to stay competitive. Leveraging innovative solutions is crucial to overcome this talent crunch, especially for small businesses.
One effective method that has emerged is remote talent solutions. By outsourcing their accounting needs to highly skilled professionals from around the world, businesses can work with experts in their field at scale at a fraction of the cost. These professionals can offer their services on a short-term or long-term basis, providing much-needed support as required.
Adopting remote talent solutions contributes to flexibility and productivity and addresses day-to-day accounting needs like bookkeeping, payroll processing, budgeting, and preparing financial statements. Equipped with high-speed internet, cutting-edge technologies, and robust communication tools, remote professionals seamlessly collaborate with businesses and deliver accounting solutions.
Benefits of Remote Accounting Solutions for Small Businesses
Small businesses often face budget constraints that challenge hiring full-time, in-house accountants. Remote accounting talent offers a cost-effective alternative. By hiring remote professionals, businesses can save on office space, equipment, and benefits expenses. Additionally, remote accountants can work on a contractual basis, allowing businesses to pay only for the services they require, whether it’s on an hourly or project basis.
- Access to Expertise
The best remote talent solutions provide small businesses access to a wider pool of accounting experts. These professionals often have diverse experience working with different industries and businesses, which can be invaluable when tackling unique financial challenges. Whether it’s tax compliance, financial reporting, or strategic financial planning, remote accountants bring specialized knowledge to the table.
- Flexibility and Scalability
Small businesses experience fluctuations in their accounting needs. During busy seasons, they may require more accounting support, while they may need less in slower periods. Remote accounting talent offers the flexibility to scale services up or down as needed. This adaptability ensures that businesses receive the right level of support without the commitment of hiring full-time staff.
- Enhanced Data Security
Many businesses worry about the security of their financial data when working with remote professionals. However, the best remote accountants use secure, cloud-based accounting software and follow robust security protocols. These measures can sometimes even surpass the security practices of small businesses. Moreover, businesses can establish data-sharing and non-disclosure agreements to protect sensitive information further.
- Time-Zone Advantage
Hiring remote talent in countries like India allows businesses to have two workdays in one effectively. Taking advantage of the time difference between the two countries enables faster and more efficient project completion than relying solely on local staff.
Small businesses can benefit significantly from remote talent solutions to address the scarcity of accountants. Adapting remote talent solutions for client accounting services allows firms to leverage shared resources, reduce workload, cut costs, and maintain a competitive edge for business growth. As the popularity of remote talent continues to rise, embracing this trend will undoubtedly equip small businesses to thrive in an ever-changing marketplace.
At alliantTALENT, we provide invaluable remote talent solutions for small businesses, offering quality audit and assurance services, tax advice and guidance, and valuable client accounting practices. We understand the significance of tailored exceptional service to meet your specific needs, and we are here to offer our expertise and support. Whether you’re embarking on a new business venture or facing a new challenge, connect with us today!
About the Expert
Dean Zerbe is alliantgroup’s National Managing Director based in the firm’s Washington D.C. office. Prior to joining alliantgroup, Mr. Zerbe was Senior Counsel and Tax Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. He worked closely with then-Chairman and current Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), on tax legislation. During his tenure on the Finance Committee, Mr. Zerbe was intimately involved with nearly every major piece of tax legislation that was signed into law – including the 2001 and 2003 tax reconciliation bills, the JOBS bill in 2004 (corporate tax reform), and the Pension Protection Act. Mr. Zerbe is a frequent speaker and author on the outlook for short-term and long-term changes in tax policy, as well as ways accounting firms can help their clients lower their tax bill.