A path to improving firms' employee retention.

Date01 September 2023
AuthorGallegos, Mark

Public accounting has long been perceived as a demanding and high-stress profession, leading to challenges in attracting and retaining top talent. However, the future holds immense potential for transforming this perception and making public accounting a great place to work. By implementing effective processes and procedures, fostering a positive and uplifting outlook, and prioritizing employee well-being, tax practices and other public accounting firms can redefine their workplace culture and improve employee retention. This column explores various strategies to change the perception of public accounting and create a brighter future for the profession.

The current perception and the need for change

Before embarking on the journey of change, it is crucial to grasp the current perception of public accounting. The profession is often associated with long hours, intense workloads, and limited work/life balance. Employees may feel undervalued, experience burnout, and perceive a lack of growth opportunities. By acknowledging these challenges, firms can proactively address them and pave the way for a positive transformation.

Creating a positive outlook: A shift in mindset

Perceptions shape reality, and public accounting is no exception. By working to change the perception of the profession, accounting firms can attract and retain top talent. Public accounting firms need to showcase the profession's exciting and rewarding aspects, emphasizing the impact professionals can make, the opportunities for growth and advancement, and the variety of career paths available within the field.

However, it is important to note that perceptions can vary among individuals and organizations. Some may still hold on to the traditional perception of public accounting as a demanding profession, while others may have experienced positive changes in their work environment. Efforts to address employee retention and reshape the perception of public accounting are ongoing and require continuous commitment from firms to create an environment that fosters employee satisfaction, growth, and inclusion.

To change the perception of public accounting, a fundamental shift in mindset is required. Firms must cultivate a positive and uplifting outlook that promotes employee well-being, career growth, and work/life integration. Embracing a positive workplace culture starts from the top, with leaders setting the tone and demonstrating their commitment to a healthy and supportive environment.

Key changes needed: Implementing processes and procedures to improve retention

The path to change is not always smooth, but the result is certainly worth the effort. Firms should consider using these processes and procedures to enhance and increase employee retention.

Workload management: Public accounting firms should adopt effective workload management processes to prevent burnout and ensure a healthy work/life balance. This includes optimizing resource allocation, setting realistic deadlines, and encouraging collaboration among teams. Leveraging technology to automate repetitive tasks can also alleviate workload pressures.

Career development and growth:

Establishing structured career development programs is essential to retaining talent. Firms should provide comprehensive training, mentorship initiatives, and clear pathways for advancement. Offering opportunities for skill diversification and specialization can further enhance employee engagement and satisfaction.

Public accounting firms should prioritize providing opportunities for employees to enhance their skills and competencies. These can include technical training programs, workshops, seminars, and certifications that keep...

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