Max Tokarsky — whose Twitter bio reads: “We can help your company grow by augmenting your U.S. team with Ivy League class, bilingual professionals based in Mexico” — has written a piece for Forbes about the current outsourcing trend from his perspective as a guy who is helping companies grow by augmenting their U.S. team with professionals based in Mexico. Let’s see what he’s got to say.
As CEO of a staffing firm that connects companies with professionals in Mexico, every day I speak with accounting firms, CFOs and other executives looking to hire accountants and other financial professionals in the U.S. The narrative is always similar: They have jobs to fill but they can’t attract the employees they need.
There aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill all open positions.
Just last month, I was contacted by a mid-size CPA firm that had won a slew of new business and was looking to hire 16 auditors and a high-level manager to run the audit team. And they needed this team fast. Despite their best efforts, they couldn’t recruit the talent they needed. They were exasperated by the lack of qualified candidates. What’s more, the applicants they did consider hiring, even entry-level candidates, had salary expectations that often exceeded those of highly experienced staff who have been with the firm for years.
I wish he’d thrown out a number here. From the firm side, entry-level candidates’ salary expectations are too high. From the staff side, highly experienced staff are getting ripped off.
And so, as you probably predicted when you started reading this, Max says firms are seeking out talent where the median salary for an entry level accountant is a smidge lower than what those entitled American Zoomers are asking.
Let’s throw Glassdoor in here too, this is for accountants of all experience levels.
MX$150,000 is $7,908 USD. That works out to about $95k a year. Here’s how it shakes out for entry level accountants south of the border:
Max, who has no dog in this fight obviously, says that many small and mid-size firms are beginning to look outside the U.S. to solve their staffing needs. We have known about a huge increase in accounting firm outsourcing in the last decade but rarely does Mexico come up in common conversation, mostly India and the Philippines.
The U.S. isn’t the only country in the world with talent. For example, our neighbor to the south is rife with bright, bilingual individuals often with the same (if not better) qualifications as their U.S. counterparts. As of the second quarter of 2022, there were more than 466,000 accountants and auditors in Mexico while the U.S., despite having more than double the population, has just over 665,000 actively licensed CPAs. With a shared border, strong cultural familiarity and other benefits, I’ve noticed many multinational accounting firms have begun to see Mexico as a goldmine for accounting and finance talent.
We want to dig into this and see if Mexico has experienced any of the same pipeline issues we are currently experiencing. We’ve got a call out to Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Públicos, will report back with what we find.
Can Outsourcing Help With The U.S. Accounting Talent Crunch? [Forbes]