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October 1, 2023

Who Wants to Work at a Small Accounting Firm?

They could use some help:

Finding qualified staff ranked as one of the two most pressing issues for all firms with more than one professional, topping the list for firms with two to 10 professionals and ranking second among firms with 11 or more professionals (see chart below). Firms in the two largest size categories (11–20 professionals and 21+ professionals) named staff retention as their No. 1 concern.

Unfortunately, small firms have a big problem:

As more and more firm partners prepare for and enter retirement, it creates the need to push more professionals upward into partner and manager roles, thinning the ranks at the lower staff levels. In addition, the Millennials who hold many of those positions are less inclined than their predecessors to accept the long hours associated with public accounting, especially during busy season.   

That last sentence is interesting. Not "interesting" in the way that Neil deGrasse Tyson is interesting, mind you; interesting more so in the sense that somehow the "long hours associated with public accounting, especially during busy season" is somehow the ONLY WAY ON EARTH to run a small public accounting firm.

Maybe, just maybe, Millennials have different ideas about how they think a firm should be run and long hours aren't the only aspect of a small firm that doesn't interest younger accountants.

Thoughts? Anyone interview with a small firm lately and run into this? Interested to hear what you guys think. 

[JofA

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