Public Accounting Firms can sometimes view “challenges” with negative connotations, but “Challenges” doesn’t have to remind you of a four-letter-word.

Imagine yourself as a kid in the 90’s, hunched over a video game controller and confidently glaring at the tv screen as Sonic the Hedgehog – ready to run straight forward, face first, into those challenges at break-neck speed. Because, if you fail to be fast enough, or see far enough ahead, you’re dead.

Public Accounting firms need to understand something – you aren’t worried about the challenges; you’re worried about dying.

Challenges are just that, challenges. Obsticals. Impediments that are meant to be overcome.

The 6 Challenges that Public Accounting Firms will inevitably run into can be solved – but it’s who, what, how, and when you hire the solution that matters:

Automation and AI taking over the human element in traditional accounting duties.

Having employees that can understand automation – estimates show that having employees that understand automation in a small team can save up to 10,000 hours of avoidable rework. Removing tedious work can ensure on-time project completion and delivery to clients (although the human element will still be needed to double-check automation work).

Diversity of Clients = Diversity of Skills.

Employees are needed to wear multiple hats to understand how the financial world is drawn. Understanding business requirements, processes, and market/client behavior to ensure that the human element has a wider range of skillsets to provide different solutions.

Diversity of Skills = Diversity of Knowledge & Systems.

While developing new skills that their clients currently/projected to need, employees inevitably must cultivate these skills within current and upcoming ways. New systems (I.T. Literacy), new training, and new knowledge bases not only help reduce costs, but help drive client confidence and ensure that their partners are keeping pace with their demands/requirements.

Client Relations to Battle Setbacks and Competition in the Current Climate.

Building confidence in your clients by providing accurate and informative financial insight: Financial Forecasting, Financial Analysis, and Cash Flow Projections are critical needs in skillsets and are continually growing more crucial, therefore increasingly more valuable.

Tax Rule Changes.

Employers and Employees must understand the crucial changes in tax regulations – all levels, from accountants to owners that keep up with requirements, especially in the digital age, always update their knowledge to provide clients with unique, strategy driven solutions around tax filing, return analysis, and compliance to stay ahead.

Resistance to Change.

Both internally and with their clients – this is a common denominator in regards to growth struggles. Not confronting the changes head on, or being complacent and taking the “wait-to-see” approach is a massive issue in the industry. Companies need to adjust, focus on a few changes and drive forward to maintain relevancy and competitive, progressive edge on competition.

Remember, Public Accounting Companies, it’s not the challenges that are causing your frustration and/or apprehension. Focus on HIRING the right solution. Because if you don’t keep your sight on the right who, what, how, and when you have them – it’s game over.

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Kevin Barkley
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Kevin Barkley

Executive Search Consultant | Retained Finance & Accounting Recruiting | LION 10k +

Are you Manager, Director, VP, Head of Accounting, CFO, CAO, COO, or CEO and your career is being weighed down by lack of top Accounting and Finance talent and you’re sick of run-of-the-mill, vanilla recruiters that aren’t specialized in YOUR industry, or don’t have a process that ensures you the best candidates while also saving you time?
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