It’s no secret: there’s a talent accounting shortage in the United States.
Between automation, changing regulations, evolving attitudes around job satisfaction and the looming mass retirement of baby boomers, it can seem as if every day brings a new warning about the dwindling pool of CPAs. And it is newsworthy. Because while the supply-side landscape of quality talent has changed rapidly, the demand for that talent hasn’t transformed much at all.
Businesses need people to handle financial services. Sure, automation has taken a bite out of the workload, but it can’t meet every need a company has when it comes to the daily bookkeeping, accounting, auditing and compliance processes. Technology is flashy: it dominates public discourse and we’ve become used to the steady stream of apps and innovations that solve problems we didn’t even know we had.
Based on that perspective alone, it sure seems like every need can be met with a suite of software, so why not accounting, too? But if you’re attempting to source entry-level accounting talent in 2019, you already know what automated accounting processes look like up close: a bandaid for a broken limb.
That the financial services talent shortage is newsworthy is significant -- one recent study showed that the current lack of qualified people in the accounting pipeline could affect entire economies by 2030.
The key word there is people. And it’s people that provide the solution, according to David Lesniak. In a guest post at Due.com, Lesniak discusses how turning to overseas talent pools for qualified and experienced CPAs can help businesses manage the talent shortage, find significant savings and manage the necessary but value-neutral tasks of financial reporting and bookkeeping.
“Low-end accounting tasks can be mundane and transactional, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, invoicing, or payroll,” Lesniak explained. “These everyday tasks don’t have a huge role in a company’s bottom line, but they certainly take time and resources to complete. These activities must function well for a business to operate, but they are not competitive differentiators.”
These kinds of tasks can be successfully outsourced to overseas accountants with the education, certifications and experience equivalent and sometimes even identical to stateside talent. Businesses experiencing high turnover or candidate scarcity in entry-level accountant roles can benefit from working with a BPO partner to source, position and onboard CPAs in major overseas metropolitans like Manila.
Lesniak goes on to identify key considerations on the path to outsourcing, including how to take stock of existing processes and determine what can be outsourced effectively, and urges businesses to take a close look at their technology and data security needs.
“The provider should employ a multilayered approach to cybersecurity, with protection spread across computers, networks, and data. Enquire about scheduled regular backups to prevent data loss from accidental deletion, system failures, data corruption, or theft,” Lesniak advises. “Above all, make sure your outsourcing partner has ISO 27001 certification.”
Read Lesniak’s entire guest post for the full rundown on what benefits outsourcing can yield for companies hoping to grow while managing financial services in a scarce labor market, how to determine if you’re ready to look overseas for CPA talent and how to leverage a partnership with a BPO provider.
Read more about Personiv’s approach to Finance and Accounting Solutions in today’s tight labor market here on our website and download our free whitepaper: The Winning Blueprint For An Efficient And Effective Finance And Accounting Team.