Importance of employer brand to attract the right CPAs to your business

There are big recruiting challenges facing CPA firms and accounting leaders at the moment, and a lot of them are to do with employee retention. Due to a lot of people switching to remote and hybrid working, many employers are struggling to attract and retain top accounting talent. A lot of top accountants now want choices, flexibility and compensation for the work they are doing. They want to be supported in their professional development, and employers are having to change what they are offering CPAs. It’s important for accounting firms and leaders to develop a reputation as an employer brand that offers a lot to employees.

How to establish a powerful employer brand

  • Highlight what makes you different – One of the main things to do when you are trying to attract CPAs to your business, is to differentiate yourself from other companies. Think about your core values, missions and purpose, and highlight what you are doing differently. For example, if you are a less structured firm that encourages employee innovation, mention that. It’s important to ensure these the firm’s differences are obvious on social media, advertising, marketing and in branding.


  • Evaluate your culture regularly – When you are establishing a powerful employer brand, it’s important to regularly evaluate your culture and what you are offering as a workplace. Professionals are looking for choices, and you need to ensure that this is what you are offering. Think about what they are looking for, and how you can change your culture to meet these needs. Unless you regularly evaluate your offerings, you run the risk of missing out on recruitment and retention opportunities


  • Gain the trust of stakeholders – Gaining the trust of stakeholders is a key part of developing your employer brand. Top talent and potential employees want to work for organisations that they can trust, and this starts with following the stakeholders’ lead. Employees want to work for a company that cares for their staff, that does the right thing and is reliable. They want to know that their personal wellbeing is being considered, and they want to feel as though they are a valued and prioritised part of the team.


  • Have a one brand mentality – Embracing a ‘one brand mentality’ is a vital part of having an employer brand that attracts the right CPAs to your business. This means having a single, powerful and unique brand that makes up a ‘one brand mentality’ throughout the business. Communications, marketing, recruitment, leadership and accounting should all work with the same ‘one brand mentality’ in mind. You can convey this by emphasising your employer brand throughout the entire recruiting and onboarding process.

With continuing changes happening in the workplace, CPA firms and leaders need to provide a flexible and supportive workplace. To do this, regularly reviewing and evaluating your employer brand is key.


Why Certified Public Accountants Move to Consultancy and How

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) possess numerous qualities, skills, and characteristics that are easily transferable to consultancy roles. Considered a league above standard accountants, CPAs gain access to a higher standing in the wider business community among regulators, their clients, and peers.

Before qualifying for their roles, CPAs are required to undergo rigorous training; they must also pass a four-part exam which focuses primarily on ethics. But, where do ethics come into the question of CPAs entering Consultant roles?

In this paper, the question above is answered along with various others in relation to how CPAs become Consultants and often make excellent ones at that.

Read the full white paper here:  GCR Whitepaper November 2022 R2



The accountancy industry has often been overlooked in recent years. The assumption is that accountants simply “get on with it”. It’s easy for HR departments to think they don’t have to invest as much time into the wellbeing of accountants as they would professionals in other industries.

The stereotypical view of an accountant as a boring middle-aged white man is so far from what we see
that it is insulting to the profession and the individuals who work in it.



Why accountants aren’t happy (and what you can do about it)

The traditional accounting career path is becoming a dead end. Half of the accountants say they’re unhappy at work. What’s gone wrong… and what can be done about it?


According to a recent CV-Library survey:


  • 50% of accountancy professionals are unhappy in their current role
  • 42% of those say their unhappiness is because of a lack of development opportunities
  • 96% of unhappy accountants are looking for a new job

The industry has failed to achieve what today’s new starters want. The era of a job for life is over: young employees want purpose, meaning, flexibility, and personal development. They won’t find that in the traditional accounting career.


Practice vs industry


The roots of this dissatisfaction lie at the beginning of your career when you choose between going into practice or industry. This choice will shape your path and skillset from then on–yet there’s little informed debate or advice for young accountants on which choice will suit them best. In general, the most ambitious start at a Big Four firm because it seems to be the done thing, and many find it’s wrong for them and end up burning out.


Big firm = narrow exposure


Working in practice gives you a narrow view. You’ll likely be working for large corporations and specializing in a single narrow field like audit, tax, or M&A, rather than getting an overview of how the whole business works or a chance to work with startups or scale-ups. For intelligent young accountants, making rich companies richer leaves them feeling deprived of purpose.


What’s more, the old incentives have become negligible. Inflation has driven pay down in the last decade, and the traditional pay structure in large accounting firms means you don’t see the big money until you make partners–which most never do. Those who do make it to the partner stage take an average of fifteen years to get there–a long time to put up with excessively long hours and comparatively low pay, especially for a generation that prioritizes work-life balance.


And there’s a third factor: boredom. In practice, the work is repetitive and mundane: journal entries, reconciliation, month-end, close, repeat.  People want more variety. Here’s how two participants in a recent online survey described why they were unhappy:


“The reason so many people hate audit is that it is extremely boring after the first 3-4 months because you do the same exact procedures over and over for different clients… you do a boring job with a bad work-life balance for fairly mediocre compensation.”


“Part of it is how boring the work is. The other part is the crushing realization that 99% of the time your work kind of just…doesn’t matter.”


Is there a better option?


Becoming a consultant in the industry used to be the inferior option. The balance has now shifted.  Consulting roles today offer all the work-life balance and development opportunities that the traditional career path lacks.


Whether you’re just starting your career or you’re already in a career as a CPA and dissatisfied with it, consider dual certification. Institute of Management Accountants and/or Certified Management Accountant certification covers more of the issues facing accounting today and will make you more employable than a CPA alone.


At GC Partners, we’re experts at helping CPAs move into the industry, so get in touch today if you’d like to discover a better way.


The new consultancy model – reimagining work: WHITE PAPER

Consultancy firms have undergone a sweeping renovation in the past two years, adapting their
businesses to the reality of the post-COVID world at sink-or-swim speeds. Consultants who
specialize in certain vital areas have risen to the occasion of massive demand as the business
landscape as a whole shifted with equal rapidity. As the world begins to emerge from the worst of the
pandemic, the most important question may be: what have we learned?

This white paper analyses and discusses how part of the new normal must be to expect the unexpected.

To read or download the whitepaper, please click below:


LinkedIn vs resume: which matters more for job seekers?

When you’re looking for your next opportunity, which is more important: optimizing your resume or your LinkedIn profile? Ideally, you’ll do both, but if time is of the essence, here are some tips to help you choose:

Advantages Of LinkedIn


LinkedIn allows you to add attachments, video and hyperlinks, so you can let employers see samples of your work and media or speaking clips, and drive people to your website. And because it’s online, you don’t have to worry about fitting it on one or two pages, so feel free to add details of your volunteer activities, testimonials, and so on.



Unlike a resume, your LinkedIn profile is dynamic, meaning you can make posts, comment, contribute to group discussions, share insights on your area of expertise, and message other users to share information they might be interested in, making it an invaluable networking tool.


Shareable And Searchable

Putting your LinkedIn URL in your email signature will share your profile with everyone you email. As recruiters and employers often look for passive candidates on LinkedIn, this could bring you opportunities you would otherwise never have known about.


To reap the benefits of this, ask yourself the following questions:

Is your LinkedIn updated for your latest role and responsibilities?

Does your Summary highlight your expertise and tangible accomplishments, and include keywords that are relevant to your target market?

Are you taking advantage of special features like attachments, video, extra sections, social features like Groups and Following?

Do you curate your expertise through posts, comments, and group activity?

Is your contact information up-to-date? Do you get notified if recruiters are trying to reach you?


Advantages Of The resume


LinkedIn’s broad reach may be a little too broad: your resume doesn’t rely on your posting it in public, so you can be more specific about project sizes and other metrics you’ve achieved. Most recruiters and employers will want to see your resume even if they’ve already seen your LinkedIn.



You can and should rework your resume, not only for each different type of job you’re applying for but also for each different job. On LinkedIn, you only have one profile, so it has to be the same for everything.


It’s free to create and distribute your resume, while many features of LinkedIn are paid, such as researching profiles and contacting people. If you’re in between jobs and on a tight budget, it’s worth maximising what you can do for free.

As with LinkedIn, ask yourself these questions to check if your resume is up to scratch:

Is your resume updated for your latest role and responsibilities?

Does your Summary highlight your expertise and tangible accomplishments, and include keywords that are relevant to your target market?

Is it easy to read?

Is there enough detail?

Is your contact information up-to-date?

You’ll need your resume and your LinkedIn optimized, but at the start of your search it’s best to focus on the more detailed one, the resume. Much of that can then be carried over to LinkedIn.


Should auditing be separate from consulting?

When you’re being paid to audit a company, how do you give them bad news—especially news that could upset their investors and send their stocks plummeting?

And if you’re also doing consulting work for the company, which pays more than your auditing, you’re likely to be even more reluctant to displease them.

Fallen giant Arthur Andersen became a spectacular example of why not to do consulting work for your auditing clients when it became the center of the Enron, Waste Management and WorldCom accounting scandals some 20 years ago.

The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act seemed to provide a solution by banning firms from offering nonaudit consulting services to their auditing clients. But the real picture is decidedly more complex.

A study by UCLA Anderson’s Henry L. Friedman and Tilburg University’s Lucas Mahieux, in the Journal of Accounting Research, suggests that separating services not only brings complications for firms but also impacts the price and quality of services for clients.

The authors modelled three different regulatory scenarios to demonstrate possible outcomes, assuming that clients with a higher risk profile would be more willing to pay for high-quality audits, and that any client in need of auditing was also likely to want consulting.

1.No restriction

With no restriction on the consulting services auditors can offer, the auditing and consulting markets don’t interact in a way that disadvantages or benefits either type of provider. The main decision auditors face is whether to serve more clients cheaply or to offer high-cost, high-quality services to fewer clients. This decision will affect the average quality of auditing in the market, with higher quality obviously being better for social welfare.


2. Auditors banned from consulting for their audit clients

This approach cuts competition in the consulting market, allowing firms that are still able to compete to charge higher prices. High-quality auditors can maximize profits by selling high-quality auditing services to their high-risk clients, and consulting services (now also priced higher) to the rest. Lower-risk clients will turn to lower-quality firms for auditing, potentially impacting social welfare. This is the scenario we’ve been in for the past two decades.


3. Auditors banned from any consulting

With a blanket ban, the two markets are back to not interacting at all, and the situation for auditors is similar to the first scenario.


The consulting ban is not the only barrier

Other issues facing audit firms include an increasingly oligopolistic market, with the former “Big Eight” firms reduced to a “Big Four”; the growth in consulting services; the dominance of audit firms in the consulting market; the tendency for execs at audit firms to jump ship for roles at client companies; and the fact that auditors are expected to be tough on the companies that are paying them.

Does cross-selling services make for better audits?

While there are ways to work around the consulting ban, it can land auditors in hot water, as PwC found out when it was fined $7.9 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly selling consulting services mischaracterized as part of its audit package to 15 clients.

However, auditing professionals say that far from affecting their independence, offering consulting across other areas of a client firm gives them a better understanding of its operations and risk potential, enabling higher quality audits.


Why CPAs are the best business consultants?

Business consultants provide expert opinions, analysis and recommendations to help businesses solve problems and improve their performance. So why do Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) make the best business consultants? There are four reasons:

1. Vast technical knowledge

To become a CPA, candidates have to pass challenging exams and gain in-depth experience, and it’s this experience that really sets them apart. CPAs have a detailed understanding of financial reporting, compliance requirements, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, accounting software and business processes. Armed with this knowledge, they can use the latest innovations in accounting technology to prevent fraud, solve business and financial issues, provide quick and easy access to data, and boost efficiency.

2. An eye for detail

Accountants tend to be detail-oriented, with a gift for “finding the missing penny”. When preparing financial statements and tax returns, they’re responsible for ensuring perfect accuracy in a situation where a tiny mistake could cause a huge problem, so good CPAs triple check their work.

CPAs never take information at face value but always check the source to ensure it’s accurate.  information. They can analyze and explain the story behind numbers and understand the general ledger inside out. Their professional curiosity and skepticism help them uncover the truth, identify a business’s strengths and weaknesses, and devise strategies for growth.

3. Ethical standards

CPAs have to pass an ethical assessment and adhere to a professional code of practice that demands integrity, public interest, objectivity and independence, and due care. This enables them to build deep and often lifelong client relationships. Most people prefer to keep their finances private, so the integrity of the person you trust with them is vital.

4. Expertise in internal controls and business processes

When auditing a business, a CPA has to understand the business’s financial reporting controls, including the control environment, the risk assessment process, the information system, and how the client monitors those controls. This enables them to get a valuable sense of how data flows through the organization and to build their knowledge over time into expertise. After gaining similar experience with different clients, they’ll have built a foundation of best practices that allow them to make expert observations and recommendations to add value to a business.

Although each client may be different, the business acumen gained through years of experience as a CPA is invaluable and rarely found in a general consultant. You can’t go wrong if you choose a CPA as your business consultant.