More than 90% of accounting firms say hiring and retaining talent is their top challenge. In fact, some are even turning away business due to the staff shortage.
The data is from two reports by software provider Caseware International, which surveyed more than 6,000 accountants and auditors globally.
According to the surveys, firms are ramping up the adoption of advanced technologies such as cloud services, data analytics and business intelligence.
The reports ‐ 2023 State of Accounting Firms Trends Report and 2023 State of Internal Audit Trends Report ‐ offer a look at how accounting firms and internal auditors worldwide are adjusting to changing business environments. Responses were gathered from more than 4,100 accountants and 2,300 auditors.
Nearly 35% of accountants cite finding the right talent among their three biggest practice management issues over the past year, compared to just 14% of accountants who cited it last year ‐ making finding talent the fastest-rising industry challenge.
More than 90% of accountants and 95% of auditors surveyed find it either challenging or extremely challenging to hire skilled talent. When retaining talent, more than 85% of accountants and 90% of auditors said it is either somewhat or extremely difficult.
Other top practice management challenges cited by accountants relate to new ways of working, including communicating with clients in a virtual world (40%), using new technologies (38%) and adjusting to working remotely (35%). Auditors pointed to moving from manual to digital processes (38%) and adopting new audit technology (36%) as the main issue.
According to the reports, almost 70% of accounting firms expect their rate of technology adoption to increase over the next two years, while more than 80% of internal audit teams are already employing cloud technology.
While nearly 80% of accounting firms use client collaboration tools, almost 52% said their client engagement process is only somewhat efficient.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of accounting firms plan to adopt new cloud technologies over the next two years.
More than half of accountants (56%) have adopted business intelligence software to advise and guide clients on their finances and risk factors, while 30% say they are planning to invest in it.
More than 60% of auditors said the advisory services offered over the past year has grown.
Analytics are a critical operational tool for more than 55% of internal audit teams.
Nearly 42% of auditors said their most significant internal pressure is to prove their value to their organization.