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How Professional Services Firms Can Find Talent Even as The Pool Shrinks

15th Mar 2024
Brought to you by
Suralink logo

Suralink provides professional services firms with a single, secure platform to collaborate with clients, exchange documents at scale, and track the progress of engagements. 

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Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

The accounting landscape in the United Kingdom and beyond is beset by many challenges, but few are as persistent or as frustrating for firms as the shortage of new talent.

Though Britain’s population is growing, fewer students are, for a myriad of reasons, choosing not to pursue accounting as a course of study. The results here are a shrinking talent pool, an ageing accounting workforce, and firms struggling what to do amid more demand for their services than ever before.

There are no quick fixes or one-stop solutions to this problem, but there are measures and investments that accounting practises in the UK and across the world can take to address it. Here’s what we’ve found and what we recommend:

 

  1. Greater Investment in Employee Compensation

One reason fewer students are enrolling in accounting programmes or choosing accounting practises as a workplace is because the technology and private equity sectors tend to offer significantly higher salaries, even for newly minted professionals. Thus, one of the means by which accounting firms must become similarly considerable is by investing in higher salaries and more attractive employee benefits.

This tip is far easier said than done, and will unfortunately leave many practises with the conundrum of whom to pass those costs to, but if the result is becoming a more appealing brand for young accounting and other finance professionals to consider, the long-term benefit will be considerable. You’ll have more talent with which to execute additional audits and other functions for client organisations, which will empower you to hire additional new talent. Therefore, invest in greater compensation wherever possible.

 

  1. Greater Investment in Employee Experience

Compensation and benefits are certainly important to employees, but current and upcoming generations of accounting students are looking for more than money. Indeed, these generations are looking for workplaces to which they can create a genuine human connection and that provide a holistic workplace culture.

Accounting practises can benefit handsomely from investing in that type of environment. Whether it’s a themed check-in every week or opportunities for culture creation, research shows that professionals of every demographic, not ‘just’ students or new graduates, respond well to these less concrete changes and investments. Forging that human connection also gives an employee incentive to stay that goes beyond salary, as they become personally invested in the practise’s success, not just financially.

 

  1. Using Technology to Close The Gap

We understand that many practises, perhaps your own, don’t have the luxury of investing in greater salaries and workplace perks at the current time. Alternatively, you might be in a position where the only way to make such investments possible is by passing those investment costs onto the customer. If these or other factors are the case, there’s another means by which firms and practises can help close the talent pool gap: expedient and streamlined engagement technology.

Suralink, the world leader in PBC list and engagement management software, offers such a solution to professionals in Britain and worldwide. Our platform empowers practises to do away with the excel spreadsheets, email chains, and individual downloads of yesteryear in favor of a single platform that can house an unlimited number of documents, allow for real-time file validations, and enable every engagement stakeholder to modify those files in real-time. Our solution has cut client firms’ engagement time by as much as 50%, giving companies strapped for new talent a chance to deliver more success even in a market with fewer employees.

 

A Multifaceted Approach

Investing in a better employee experience wherever possible is critical at the current moment. So too is leveraging technology like Suralink’s. By harnessing both, accounting practises can ensure they remain attractive to new talent while also giving existing professionals a chance to do more for their clients in the most holistic and defragmented way possible.

Click here to get in touch with one of Suralink’s experts to learn more about how our platform meaningfully improves experiences for your accounting professionals and your clients!