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5 ways to address accounting team shortages

5 ways to address accounting team shortages

This article is a submission by D&V Philippines. D&V Philippines has years of experience in the accounting and finance industry. This third-party services company can generate the financial reports you need to make real-time financial decisions. 

Accounting and finance teams are vital in the success of many companies, regardless of their industry.

Companies made it to the top of their industries because of data-driven strategies. This approach gave them a competitive advantage that set them apart from their competitors.

However, many organizations see the importance of having a strong accounting and finance team. Some companies might encounter staffing shortages because of the stiff competition they face when hiring full-time talent.

Other factors also lead to accounting team shortages.

3 main causes of accounting team shortages

Staff shortages in the accounting department are usually caused by:

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Demanding job

Accountants’ work is demanding. They hammer away long hours reviewing, auditing, and updating accounting books to ensure the information in them is accurate.

They also need to have in-depth knowledge about various aspects of accounting and finance, tax laws, policies, and the latest technology in their industry.

It comes as no surprise that when accountants gain enough experience, they start looking for opportunities that offer a higher salary and more career development. Because of this reason, you might lose your own team.

Demanding job
3 main causes of accounting team shortages

Heavy workload

This point is related to the previous one, where accountants take on a heavy workload to meet the deadlines of their company and its clients.

They work long hours and might possibly need overtime to accomplish all their tasks. This disrupts their work-life balance and adds to their stress levels.

They might take more days off because of an illness, their production and efficiency might drop, and the risk of losing them to competitors is higher.

Burnout and fatigue also cause various health problems, such as an increased risk for compromised immunity to sicknesses, cardiovascular ailments, and depression.

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It’s important to strike a balance between the workload you give your accountants and the lives they have outside of your office.

Lack of talent

One reason for shortages is that there are not enough talented accounting professionals in the employment market. Many companies are vying for the same services because of the needs of their own departments.

Few individuals have the experience, skills, and certifications that meet companies’ standards, resulting in stiff competition among organizations.

To attract the right accountants to your team, you’ll have to provide a better compensation package. Identify your competitors’ compensation packages. Determine if you could at least match these or create a better one.

You can also offer flexible schedules or more paid time off to entice experienced accountants to join.

5 ways to address accounting team shortages

Even if you’re facing an accountant shortage, the following best practices can help you overcome this challenge:

1. Outsource some of the work

Outsourcing is a viable strategy that allows you to tap into a global talent pool based on your needs and standards.

Your in-house employees might need help, and one of the best ways to give them the support they need is to outsource. You can find qualified accountants and bookkeepers to provide you with back-office support.

Firms in the Philippines and other countries have the expertise, know-how, and experience to address your needs.

Depending on where you operate, the outsourced team you’re eyeing might already be familiar with the accounting and finance policies and best practices.

You might not have to train them extensively; they can get to work as soon as you hire them. They also might have the required certifications to handle certain tasks.

Outsourcing provides you with plenty of short- and long-term options.

2. Professional development

Encourage your accounting team to develop their skills and/or learn a new one and update their certifications.

This will instill a desire for learning that enables them to adapt to industry changes and stay competitive in a tough job market.

Send them to conferences and seminars to learn about the latest developments in the finance industry. They’ll learn about the latest best practices and policies, making them more valuable contributors to your organization.

3. Invest in technology

Technology and software simplify and enhance the work of your accounting team (and other employees as well).

They can automate some of their tasks or use artificial intelligence to eliminate redundancies in their workflows. These tools enable them to work more efficiently and focus on more important projects that boost your company’s bottom line.

Look to upgrade your tools and software so that your team maintains its competitive advantage. Consider adding features to your software so that your accountants can process transactions efficiently.

You don’t have to license or purchase the most expensive software; look for one that meets your needs and is within your budget.

Invest in technology
5 ways to address accounting team shortages

4. Delegation of tasks

Your accountants might be handling more tasks than they can handle. They’re spreading themselves thin, which has a negative effect on their overall performance. This is one cause of burnout.

Stressed-out employees might increase your company’s turnover rate.

Delegate tasks and spread work out to different members of your team. This approach allows your accountants to take on work they can manage without sacrificing the quality of their output.

5. Flexible work schedules

Consider offering a flexible work schedule for your accounting team. This allows them to rest after hectic tax, collection, and/or auditing seasons.

They can work at home or at any location they choose. Offer this privilege to your top performers so that it serves as an incentive for everyone. This strategy also enables you to attract top talent.

These are some of the ways you can address the accounting team shortages you might encounter. Listen to your employees. Doing so enables you to find win-win solutions.

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