Implication of the Shortage of Tax Professionals and What It Means for Companies

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The future of accounting is looking bright with enrollments in accountancy programs at an all-time high. But talk to anyone actively trying to hire tax professionals and you’ll hear a very different story.

Finding qualified tax professionals is the number-one challenge for most firms. And it’s changing how companies view tax professionals. Adapting to the changing hiring markets, which contains an already small pool of tax talent, can put you ahead of the competition.

Accounting Degree but No CPA Exam

One of the more deceptive aspects of the enrollment numbers is reflected in the number of students currently enrolled in accountancy degree programs, but who have no plans or desire to write the CPA exam.

With 150 hours college credit required by candidates who want to sit for the CPA exam combined with increasing tuition costs, many undergrads are opting out. Instead, potential CPAs are taking accounting programs with less workload and lower hour requirements that provide the option to become an accountant without writing the CPA exam or getting a CPA license.

What Candidates Want

The gap between what potential candidates want versus what you can offer is frequently a determining issue. With the growth of virtual firms, many recent grads are finding it challenging to conform to the conventional workplace setups. Flex hours and newer technology entice top talent. And those who do gravitate to brick and mortar businesses can often be found working to their favorite tunes with ear buds never out of reach.

Outdated Hiring Model

Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to finding and retaining top tax professionals lies with an outdated recruitment model. You may traditionally have only looked for candidates with the mandatory 3-5 years experience, passing on first-year graduates, interns or non-accounting majors. However, the reality is someone brought in from your ‘overlooked’ group can often be converted into a long-term employee by offering training, or paying for or offsetting tuition for certification. Rethinking and reshaping your hiring model will not only help you find talented tax professionals, it will also increase your overall retention by investing in their futures.


With an estimated 46 percent of all workers in the United States falling within the millennial grouping, understanding the needs of this cluster will help you tap into a larger market when looking for talented tax professionals.

Millennials want:

  • autonomy;
  • an opportunity to improve and get better at what they do; and
  • a purpose to their work; connecting them to something larger.

According to Deloitte, 70 percent of millennials indicated a company’s community involvement and commitment would “play a role” in their decision-making process about whether to accept a job offer.

Finding top talent during a tax professional shortage doesn’t have to be difficult. By updating a few business practices and approaches, you’ll be putting yourself ahead of the competition and attracting top tax talent in no time. Talk to the professionals at Kortivity today to find out how we can help you find your next tax professional.

Categories: Featured Candidates

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