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February 5, 2023

Being Home During Lockdown Shifted Accountants’ Priorities, Says Lady

a man buried in paper holding an I Quit sign

Kristy Illuzzi, CPA, CGMA of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) on why the Great Resignation is affecting the profession so acutely:

I think the Great Resignation is interesting in that it has impacted almost every sector of our economy and every profession in some way, and it’s no different in the accounting industry. I think a lot of people during 2020, 2021, when we were on lockdown, we started doing things very differently.

You were forced to work from home almost no matter what industry you are in, and I think it caused a lot of people also to just rethink their priorities. They were home, spending more time with family, perhaps caring for ill family members, small children that were home, and priorities shifted. And I think a lot of people got used to that, and in some cases they are now demanding the flexibility and the ability to continue to do their jobs that way.

So we are starting to see in a lot of parts of the world things opening back up. In some cases you have firms that are now requiring people to come back to the office, and in some cases they are having people revolt, if you will, and essentially saying, I got used to this work from home, this flexibility, this type of environment, and I’m not going to go back to the office, and in some cases they are going to places that will allow for that flexibility.

In some cases you also have people, I think that their priorities shifted. They might have gone into a different or have different passions and decided that accounting just was not the industry for them so there are some just leaving industry altogether.

How the Great Resignation has affected the accounting profession [Journal of Accountancy podcast]

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  1. As a result of this “great resignation”, there is a significant labor shortage now, which give employees even more power in the employee/employer dynamic. Companies like mine, which have tried to get employees to come back to the office, are met with significant resistance. Rather than losing employees, who are very hard to replace right now due to said labor shortage, companies are compromising with “hybrid” work schedules.

    Recession is coming though. It will be interesting to see if the dynamic changes as a result. Part of me feels that many employers are somewhat looking forward to a recession for just this reason.

    1. I’m starting to see articles insisting that’s exactly what’s happening, that a recession is coming and the workers’ market we’re in now is ending. Seems like they’re eagerly waiting for things to turn back in their favor like you said.

      Hope everyone is out there getting their good offers while they can. I don’t think a shift is happening any time soon like these articles I’m reading want to scare people into thinking but it’ll happen eventually for sure. “Hybrid” work will be the first thing to go when it does.

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