Majority of Accountants Might Leave their Organization Soon: Survey

FloQast, a provider of accounting workflow automation software created by accountants for accountants, released the results of its latest survey, Controller’s Guidebook: The Great Recalibration – The Role of Technology in Retaining and Recruiting Accountants.

Highlighting the impact of the talent crisis, The Great Resignation, and “Quiet Quitting” on the accounting industry, FloQast’s survey “reveals more than half of accountants aren’t confident they’ll stay with their current company in the next year, and a majority of that group may not stay in the industry at all.” And this is not to mention the possibility of artificial intelligence taking over much of the heavy lifting for the needed industry.

The new survey is “the third chapter in FloQast’s Controller’s Guidebook survey series – Controller’s Guidebook: The Great Recalibration – The Role of Technology in Retaining and Recruiting Accountants takes a deeper look into what influences accountants to remain in their current accounting role and what prompts them to explore a new one, and analyzes the impact technology has on both decisions.”

Conducted in partnership with the University of Georgia Consumer Analytics Program, the survey “includes the perspectives of 203 accounting and finance professionals. FloQast looked for individuals and organizations that varied in title, tenure, company size, and IPO status, as well as their fulfillment in their jobs, and the tools and training they had received.”

The survey “revealed the accounting industry is in the midst of a ‘Great Recalibration’ — in which accountants (much like other employees) are rethinking how much of their time and energy their work should require of them.”

Survey findings revealed “an alarming talent crisis in the industry, with the effects of the Great Resignation and ‘Quiet Quitting’ taking a disproportionate toll on the field.”

Key insights include:

  • Retention is very much in question – About half of accountants (53%) are not entirely sure they will stay with their current company in the next year. Of those, some (63%) aren’t even sure they will stay in the industry at all.
  • Accountants aspire to uplevel their roles but don’t have the time – More than 60% of accountants report they struggle with imbalance between work and life, doubting they can complete the work they’ve been assigned and, yet, still aspire to take on a more strategic role in their organizations.
  • A sense of on-the-job fulfillment is critical to retention – When a sense of professional fulfillment is high, accountants are almost five times more likely to stay with their current employer than when fulfillment is average. They’re also more than 12 times more likely to stay compared to someone with low fulfillment.

The relationship “between technology and talent cannot be overstated – More than 60% of accountants say technology is more important in their job satisfaction today than it was two to three years ago, and 43% say they are extremely likely to ask about technology when interviewing for a new role.”

The ball is “in employers’ courts – When accountants have a strong belief that their company is capable of understanding and addressing these issues, they are three times more likely to stay with that company than when they aren’t sure.”

Additionally, 76% of accountants “who strongly believe in their company say they are likely to stay in their jobs.”

Mike Whitmire, CEO and co-founder of FloQast, CPA, said:

“At FloQast, we recognize that the industry is facing a massive talent crunch and are dedicated to creating powerful solutions that empower accountants and make their lives easier. Our research demonstrates that as more and more organizations leverage automation technology, the broader accounting industry becomes far better positioned to attract and retain accounting talent.”

Expanding on this, FloQast’s latest survey results detail clear actions for employers:

  • Take a proactive approach to assessing the technology accountants use in their work
  • Seek integrated technology solutions that are purpose-built by accountants, for accountants to protect the sense of fulfillment that accountants gain from their work
  • Ensure the organization is capable of identifying, procuring, and deploying those solutions in ways that reinforce the accountant’s belief in its abilities
  • Be prepared to address questions about technology solutions when recruiting new accountants
  • By leveraging these solutions, organizations are better positioned to remain competitive and continue attracting and retaining accounting talent.

This survey marks “the third chapter of FloQast’s Controller’s Guidebook series, following Controller’s Guidebook: Is Your Relationship with Technology a Solution to Burnout or a Source of Stress?, which examined the relationship between burnout and technology available — or unavailable — to employees.”

FloQast plans “to release more research in 2023, expanding on the findings from past Controller’s Guidebook surveys, developing deeper analysis into the future of the accounting and finance industry.”

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