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Stat of the Day: 42% of Firms Are Turning Down Work Because There’s No One to Do It

neon no vacancy sign

That’s according to preliminary results from the CPA Trendlines Outlook 2024 Emerging Issues, Opportunities and Trends survey which you can take here.

While this may seem like a scary statistic on its face, perhaps it’s a good thing. CPA Trendlines says it’s a “big ouch” for firms putting in work (and marketing costs) into bringing clients in only to have to turn them away. Yes, they wasted that effort but shouldn’t some consideration be given to scoring good clients and not just the most of them?

As a respondent to our own 2024 survey said the other day:

Why does this profession think that there ought to be no client left behind. This profession isn’t a public school. We should have waiting lists for new clients. We should dump about half our clients and charge 150% more than we are charging now. Then we could afford to pay staff more.

from ‘Why Does This Profession Think There Ought to Be No Client Left Behind?’ published Jan 5, 2024

Let’s get that number up.

SURVEY: 42% of Accountants Turn Away Work Over Staff Shortages [CPA Trendlines]

6 thoughts on “Stat of the Day: 42% of Firms Are Turning Down Work Because There’s No One to Do It

  1. cant believe how fake is this post …..hope these people turn on their phone or computer and see what is really happenning in accounting firms. too many accountants will be the theme fof next century

    1. Ok so, what is really happening? Why don’t you share your opinion on the future of the profession.

      Based on the people I know in PA, most firms are very short staffed and as a result, are unable to adequately serve clients.

      Your thoughts?

  2. I’m calling BS on this. Nobody turns away work. All the firm has to do is tell the staff to work more. They will do it and if they don’t, then the managers gets stuck doing it. Staff is on salary and bonuses are discretionary, so there is NO additional cost to the CPA firm to take on more work, even if it’s crap work. I still see big firms bidding on garbage clients and low balling the fee.

    1. There is a point where it’s economically not cost effective

      Every job has an opportunity cost, if you have garbage clients, you use up resources and time that cannot be devoted to good clients.

      Lets say you have 100 staff, and 20 managers, and 10 partners, each staff can be worked 70 hours max per week, Managers say they can be worked 60 hours, and Partners willing to work 50, that means you have a max of 8,700 hours of work a week, lets assume you are 40% tax, 40% audit, and 20% consulting, that means you have a max of 3,480 hours for tax and audit each, and 1,740 for consulting in a week

      You’ll want each of those hours to go to high value clients, clients that earn you the most profit

      You will turn down clients who are lower value if you fill up with higher value clients

      1. This is most of the problem for qualified professionals. Post covid, even prior, jobs requiring 37.5-40 hours a week were more available and there was no expectation of 50-70hr weeks.

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