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


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: