Global Payroll, Legal Industries, Real Estate, Uncategorized

The Search for CPAs: 7 Ways to Successfully Attract & Retain Top Talent for Your Public Accounting Firm

top talent

Attracting and retaining top Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) has been a significant challenge for public accounting firms. With the demand for skilled professionals on the rise, successful firms are proactively finding effective strategies to not only attract but also retain their best talent.  
In this article, we explore proven methods and insights to help your firm stand out for top accounting talent. 

Understanding the Market Landscape 
According to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the accounting profession is expected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, adding about 81,800 new jobs. However, the number of accounting graduates has been declining, with a 7% drop in CPA candidates since 2017. This imbalance between supply and demand underscores the need for firms to adopt innovative approaches to attract top talent. 

  1. Building a Strong Employer Brand
    A strong employer brand is crucial in attracting top talent. Your firm’s reputation in the industry, culture, and values play a significant role in how potential candidates perceive you. Here’s how you can enhance your employer brand:
  • Showcase Your Culture – Highlight your firm’s culture through social media, company events, and employee testimonials. Share stories that reflect your values and work environment. 
  • Promote Professional Development – Emphasize your commitment to continuous learning and career growth. Offer mentorship programs, training, and opportunities for advancement. 
  • Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – Clearly articulate what sets your firm apart. This includes benefits, work-life balance, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and any unique perks. 


  1. Competitive Compensation and Benefits
    Attractive compensation packages help significantly in the search for CPAs. According to the 2022 Salary Guide by Robert Half, the average starting salary for a CPA in public accounting ranges from $66,000 to $123,000, depending on experience and location. To stay competitive, you can:
  • Benchmark Salaries – Regularly review industry salary standards and adjust your compensation packages accordingly. 
  • Offer Performance Bonuses – Implement performance-based incentives to reward top performers and motivate your team. 
  • Comprehensive Benefits – Provide comprehensive health benefits, retirement plans, flexible working arrangements, and other perks that enhance quality of life. 


  1. Fostering a Positive Work Environment
    A positive work environment is essential for retaining talent. A survey by the AICPA found that 65% of CPAs consider work-life balance a critical factor in job satisfaction. Here are tips to create a supportive work environment:
  • Flexible Work Arrangements – Offer remote work options, flexible hours, and hybrid work models to accommodate diverse needs. 
  • Promote Work-Life Balance – Encourage employees to take time off and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Implement policies that prevent burnout. 
  • Recognize and Reward – Regularly acknowledge and reward employees’ hard work and contributions. This can be through formal recognition programs, awards, or simple gestures of appreciation. 


  1. Embracing Remote Work
    Leveraging remote employees has become a viable and attractive option for many public accounting firms. The benefits of remote work include:
  • Access to a Global Talent Pool – By removing geographical limitations, firms can tap into a broader and more diverse pool of qualified CPAs from different regions. 
  • Cost Savings Remote work can reduce overhead costs associated with office space, utilities, and other expenses. 
  • Increased Productivity – Studies have shown that remote employees often have higher productivity levels due to fewer distractions and a more comfortable work environment. 
  • Enhanced Work-Life Balance – Remote work offers greater flexibility, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and retention rates. 


  1. Investing in Technology and Innovation
    Modern technology and tools can significantly enhance productivity and job satisfaction. According to a survey by Deloitte, 64% of CPAs believe that technological advancements will have a significant impact on the profession. To stay ahead, your firm can implement:
  • Adopting Cutting-Edge Technology – Invest in the latest accounting software, automation tools, and cybersecurity measures to streamline workflows and reduce manual tasks. 
  • Offering Continuous Learning – Provide training on new technologies and encourage employees to stay updated with industry trends. 
  • Create a Culture of Innovation – Foster a culture of innovation where employees are encouraged to experiment with new ideas and approaches. 


  1. Implementing Effective Recruitment Strategies
    Finding the right talent requires a strategic approach to recruitment. Here are some effective strategies:
  • Leverage Professional Networks – Utilize professional networks, job boards, and industry associations like the AICPA to find qualified candidates. 
  • Campus Recruitment – Establish relationships with universities and participate in campus recruitment drives to attract young talent. 
  • Referral Programs – Encourage current employees to refer qualified candidates by offering referral bonuses and incentives. 


  1. Focusing on Retention
    Retaining top talent is just as important as attracting them in your search for CPAs. A report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicates that the average cost of replacing an employee is six to nine months of their salary. To improve retention, here a few tips:
  • Career Pathing – Provide clear career paths and opportunities for advancement within the firm. 
  • Regular Feedback – Conduct regular performance reviews and provide constructive feedback to help employees grow. 
  • Employee Engagement – Keep employees engaged through team-building activities, social events, and open communication channels. 


Attracting and retaining top talent requires a multifaceted approach that combines a strong brand reputation, effective recruitment strategies, and a focus on retention. And by implementing these strategies, your firm can stand out in the competitive market and build a team of top-notch professionals who contribute to your long-term success. 

Got any questions? Consult with our team today!

Got any questions?
Consult with our team today!

Got any questions? Consult with our team today!

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