Top 5 Issues faces by CPA and Accounting Firms and Their Solutions
With the fast-changing scenario in the accounting industry, firms now encounter issues every single day. In 2017 a PCPS survey conducted by AICPA over CPAs and Accounting firms, indicated that staffing is a major challenge; so much so that the issues arising out out staffing is a speedbreaker to every other progress coming your way. Below are 5 issues that were identified common to everyone.
- Finding and retaining qualified staff
- Greater Client Expectations
- Attracting and retaining clients
- Advancement of Technology
- Workflow and efficiency
Let’s go through each and also have an idea how they can be overcome.
1. Finding and retaining qualified staff
Talent acquisition and retention are becoming the single biggest challenge to many accounting firms. Unfortunately, accounting firms find it hard to find the right staff who is qualified as well as experienced. Most of the leaders are approaching retirement and the need for new talent is in high demand. Growing hiring cost, salaries, compliances and benefits cost like insurance, payroll tax, professional training, etc. only make things more difficult.
Solution To get rid of this headache Remote Staffing is the best solution. In Remote Staff, Hiring process remains exactly the same as Hiring In-Office Staff. When you hire a remote staff, you don’t need to pay any employment benefits, insurance policy, pay for a bigger office space, tax and more.
2. Greater Client Anticipations
Years ago accounting firms and CPAs were only seen as services providers for tax and accounting. But now, clients recognize them as consultants, advisors, and partners. Their clients’ expectations are not limited to just tax compliance or accounting needs; now they expect you to play the role of a consultant or a CFO or an advisor where you will work alongside their business and play a pivotal role in helping them make better decisions for business future.
Solution This is not a challenge, instead it is an opportunity, provided following things are taken care of:
- Hiring quality talent
- Establishing internal processes which help deliver high-quality work
- Continuously analyzing and reviewing the needs of clients
- Also, keeping up with changes and complexity of tax laws is necessary.
3. Attracting and retaining clients
Marketing and communication today play a very critical role in the operations of an accounting firm. As said earlier, the client expectations are changing, hence the communication and marketing strategy also needs to be changed accordingly. Gone are the days when accounting firms acquired new clients only through referrals and there was limited marketing. So how will you overcome this limited marketing strategy to getting more clients?
Solution As we grew gradually over 25-30 years, today social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, emails, content marketing, websites are various avenues which allow you to communicate and reach to attract your potential clients, provided they are appropriately used as tools of marketing and communication. Apart from that, there are other conventional avenues that still work, for example, referrals, participation in networking events or community meetings and similar programs. Asking for referrals from current clients is also still one to do it of course. It is great to be progressive and focus on your company’s core capabilities but being able to offer advanced value services to your business clients brings better results too.
4. Advancement of Technology Technological advances could be a challenge to them who are neutral or moving away from it. On the other hand, it is fruitful to them who live playing with it. The evolution from traditional to modern procedures are a concern for most accounting firms as they struggle to cope up with changing technology and automation to meet clients’ expectations. Nearly more than 50% of the surveyed CPAs accepted adopting new technology issues as a personal and among top challenges for their firms.
Solution Finding the right accounting software for your firm, more usage of secure cloud-based services and efficient workflow management systems are the keys to achieving better business goals. In the era of new technology, simply using the right software at the right time can cut the workload by 50%. The human resource can have their workload distributed. The latest technology allows firms to persist in a tech world.
5. Workflow and efficiency A carefully organized workflow is the most common element to begin managing firm-wide proficiency. Efficiency refers to how well we use technology and resources; it is measurable. Progresses to efficiency cannot be accepted without meaningful measurement. Solution The best way to expand efficiency is to identify the metrics used in the training today to measure activity you wish to improve before you change how you do something. With efficiency measurements, the number of resources necessary to accomplish work that can be measured and later compared to results. To keep up with the accelerating bound of conversion and complexity, CPAs must become more ample, tech-savvy, and proactive to preserve their competitive edge.
How Entigrity can help? Entigrity Remote Staffing has worked with over 500 accounting firms across United States and Canada. Our unique remote staffing model has helped them hire experienced and qualified staff at 75% less salaries and contributed to overall firms’ profit. Besides the technology friendly systems have eased down the communication and overall operation.