Posted Monday, August 9, 2021
Updated Tuesday, August 24, 2021. Okay, everything below is now rubbish. We modified our onboarding process to split it into 4 components… and we have hired some amazing and super experienced people that will boost our bandwidth. Keep reading if you want to come full circle…
To maintain the highest level of client satisfaction and ensure a positive client experience, WCG continuously analyzes our workflow and our firm resources. As of this writing, August 9, 2021, WCG regrets that we are pausing certain new business advisory service engagements to maintain our service standards. We have some exceptions- see below (was below). We will re-assess WCG’s resources November 1, 2021.
This might sound like a jerk thing to say… but we would definitely be jerks if we said we could, but failed to deliver.
Our limiting factor is finding the right people. According to the new Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey, recruiting and retention have consistently been the top concern for the last two years; 33.6% of firms citing it this year, up from 28.8% of firms in 2019. To use professional sports as an example, you can grow your team through drafting and developing, or free agency.
Supply Side Economics
At this time, entry-level positions are relatively easy to fill with college graduates and interns (draft and develop). However, mid to senior level positions of course require free agency. The problem is that free agents are not looking for new opportunities, which is a supply and demand problem. What happened to the supply?
According to AccountingToday and other sources, colleges are graduating fewer and fewer accounting students. Additionally, fewer people are taking the CPA exam as well. Why? 30 years ago, accounting was a noble profession and didn’t have a lot of competition except medical, law or engineering. Today, there are a lot more careers in technology and other developing industries. Also! There are fewer accounting professors as well.
So, accounting is no longer sexy. 20-30 years ago, students chose accounting because they either a) love it or b) it was the best thing out there considering other careers. Today, it is only because people love it.
What about hiring other experienced tax and accounting professionals? That is not easily done either. At any one time, WCG has active engagements with 5-6 recruiters. However, they are only as good as the pool of applicants, and they too are limited by the supply issues explained above.
Right, wrong or indifferent, COVID is being blamed for a lot of things. Yet the reality is clear; there are parents who cannot find child care. There are parents who struggle with various school tactics such as remote learning. There are people who simply feel that returning to the workplace increases health risks. And, we would be remiss for not mentioning, there are plenty of people who have enjoyed 18 months of enhanced unemployment benefits and have vision problems; they can’t see themselves working anytime soon.
India and Phillipines
About 2-3 times per week, we are presented with emails, letters and flyers from companies who specialize in out-sourcing and off-shoring to India or Philippines. We have researched this option extensively, but we keep coming back to the same issue. These companies can only offer entry-level experience such as data entry and basic accounting or bookkeeping. Our limiting factor as outlined above is the mid to senior level position, and India and Philippines cannot offer people with the necessary experience. If they could, we would entertain it. They cannot, so we don’t. We continue to check with several out-sourcing and off-shoring firms each year just to be sure.
What is WCG Doing?
We refuse to let the tail wag the dog, so WCG is doing a ton to get ahead of the accounting industry-
- Mail letters to CPAs. Old school, but does work.
- Develop marketing materials and flyers highlighting the benefits of joining our team.
- Recording podcasts about our culture, who we are, where we want to go.
- Partnering with local colleges (UCCS, PPCC, CU-Denver, DU among others) to speak, host open houses, networking, etc.
- Good ol’ fashion position postings on Indeed and occasionally Monster.
- Continuing to work with recruiters.
- Review existing engagements to elegantly and gracefully terminate creating vacant space on the bookshelf for replacements (this one is tough!).
What?! Really… in a professional service? Unfortunately, Yes. WCG has created waitlists in the past and for the most part they worked out well. We maintain continuous communication so you can make decisions as time demands. Again, we know it is a buzzkill.
If you want one of our Business Advisory Service plans with Accounting Services, or what we call Full-Service, we will find the necessary resources. Frankly, this is a complete engagement and professionally very rewarding for us. No, we are not creating scarcity in the land of abundance. If there were abundance, you wouldn’t be reading this webpage.
Also, we are currently accepting tax return only engagements including Tax Patrol. Finally, all current clients who want to upgrade to Business Advisory Services or those who are referred to us by our clients or partners are also excepted.
Sorry in advance for the perceived runaround… we further apologize if we cannot offer immediate assistance or services to everyone. As entrepreneurs and small business owners ourselves, it kills us to turn away good business.
Thanks, JasonW, Tina, JasonS, Michelle, Sally and Amanda
WCG is a full service consultation and tax preparation firm, and we look forward to working with you!