It’s not even worth coming up with a smarmy clickbait headline for this press release Avalara put out yesterday, it’s perfect just the way it is: Avalara Survey Finds Majority of CFOs Face Significant Talent Shortage and Burnout of Existing Staff in the United States and United Kingdom
Key findings from the survey of 307 full-time CFOs in the US and UK:
- CFOs both sides of the pond are facing a talent crisis
- 8 in 10 (81%) US and UK CFOs report a talent shortage in accounting roles.
- Two-thirds (63%) of US and UK CFOs attribute this to a lack of experienced talent. Employee burnout (47%) and accounting and finance talent changing careers (47%) were also notable factors for the diminishing talent pool.
- However, as recession concerns loom, CFOs can’t afford a talent crisis.
- To weather economic storms, half of CFOs (51%) are operating in “cutback mode” in preparation for an economic downturn.
- To help deal with the talent shortfall, CFOs are turning to AI
- Almost all (92%) US and UK CFOs agree that AI tools will help businesses, with 89% planning to invest in AI to streamline finance functions and alleviate the global talent shortage in accounting.
- These changes may be happening quicker than we think, with nearly half (44%) of CFOs set to adopt AI by the end of 2023.
The belief that AI can save us from the critical talent shortage was echoed in Thomson Reuters’ 2023 State of Corporate Tax Department report released last month. In that particular report, more corporate tax leaders prioritized improving processes (32%) and acquiring additional software (14%) than hiring and maintaining staff (12%).
Two more interesting bits from Avalara’s survey:
- Nearly half (49%) of CFOs report the need for Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) expertise within their organizations
- Two-thirds (63%) of CFOs believe there’s a lack of experienced talent, a view supported by over half (54%) of respondents that consider today’s shortage a result of fewer people majoring in finance functions.
Once again we must remind you to keep all this in mind when you’re negotiating your next gig.