Yesterday, I had a conversation with a National Tax Director out of New York about his increased heavy workload. He shared with me that their organization has struggled to find technically qualified tax professionals in the five to ten year range. While he was discussing their challenge to find tax talent, I shared with him it is not just his organization this is happening to these days. There are many firms who have been searching for this talent pool for the past three years. This lack of tax talent was predictable given the deep recession of 2007-2009 in the United States. It took a few years after that before the hiring started again. During this time the firms did not hire many entry level tax associates; the lower level compliance work was farmed offshore to India where we saw the Big Four firms grow to sizes that exceeded one to two thousand in each of these firms. The truth is we were no longer training our own! The tax compliance work was sent offshore to reduce costs and increase profits for the firms.
As the years progressed, technology advances and new tax software was rapidly changing the landscape. The number of software innovators available on my own list exceeds more than one thousand five hundred choices. The reason I have such a large list is that we are researching all of them to bring the best products and prices to the TaxConnections community. We are doing our due diligence and homework in order to save our tax and legal professionals members the time and confusion going through all their software choices. Our members have been delighted by the research we did to discover the low cost, easy to use Tax Provision Software by Tax Prodigy and the Tax Calendar by Akore. They are both easy to use, great quality and the lowest cost software on the market for their respective areas. There are great tools out there like these two and we are taking the time to slowly and methodically research software for you because we know time is a precious resource for you.
Another important aspect surrounding the lack of talent at this level is the number of three to five year tax professionals leaving the profession earlier. Clients have shared with me privately information they received on exit interviews from tax professionals with three to five years’ experience who leave the firms. What I am about to tell you may surprise you :)! When tax professionals experience the Baby Boomer generation working 50-60 hour work weeks they learn this lifestyle is not for them. This new generation wants fewer hours and more freedom and flexibility. They do not want to work 40, 50 or 60 hours a week and are running from it to do something different. They are leaving the profession early on, more than I have ever seen in previous years. Back in the day, when I would ask people why they joined the tax profession they would say “to follow in my parent’s footsteps in the business”. We rarely hear this from young tax professionals, if at all these days. They want flexibility to work fewer hours and from any location they want around the world. The issue I see with this is they are not trained enough in the business environment. They are too early on in their tax careers and they will learn more being in the daily trenches how the business works. They benefit more being on site but try telling that to a millennial today. This not what a millennial wants to hear. So what do you do to attract the trained tax talent you need to do the work in your organization?
The solution is right in front of you because we spent the last several years building it. We have been building a platform of highly trained tax professionals, who love tax work, show up on time, get the work done and are not jumping around from one job to the next to climb to the top. In fact, they will stay with you for a long period of time and not turn over at the current rate of 25%- 30% annual churn in most firms today. Baby Boomer tax professionals are highly trained and want to stay engaged with tax work. You do not need to babysit Baby Boomer tax professionals as they are very responsible get the work done. There is an entirely new remote work force emerging of intelligent, trained and responsible tax professionals who will stay loyal to you and your organization. This vibrant tax workforce is here now to get the job done for you on time. We encourage you to reach out to the members on TaxConnections who will provide the solution you need today.
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