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Topics: accountants, accounting, Accounting Outsourcing, skills shortage

Battling the Skills Gap in the Accounting Industry in the New Financial Year

5 MIN READ | Posted on March 21, 2023
Written By Pooja Kshirsagar

Battling the Skills Gap in the Accounting Industry in the New Financial Year

As we inch towards the new financial year, the UK accounting industry faces a significant challenge: the skills gap. The skills gap refers to a talent crunch and a mismatch between the skills employers need and job seekers possess.

This gap has become increasingly pronounced in the accounting industry, with firms struggling to find candidates with the necessary skills and qualifications to meet their needs.

This blog aims to explore the skills gap in the accounting industry and the challenges it poses for UK accountants. We will delve into the reasons behind this gap, including the changing landscape of the industry and the impact of technological advancements. We will also examine the consequences of the skills gap, such as increased competition for talent and reduced productivity.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. We will also look at strategies for bridging the skills gap, including upskilling, technology, and accounting process outsourcing. By taking action to close the skills gap, accountants in the UK can position themselves for success in the years to come.

So, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a new entrant to the field, join us as we explore the challenges and opportunities of battling the skills gap in the accounting industry in the new financial year.

What caused the skills shortage?

According to recent studies, the number of applications in the accountancy sector has been continuously declining. Statistics suggest a 33% decline in accountancy candidates between May 2022 and June 2022, while the total fall stood at 36% from June 2021 to June 2022.

Where the volume of new applications has hit concerningly low levels, the number of accountants retiring each year is rising. Millennials and GenZ jobseekers are now drawn to seemingly attractive careers with quick growth opportunities. Moreover, factors such as the global pandemic, the Great Resignation, and the birth of new lucrative careers have together contributed to the widespread skills shortage in the UK accountancy world.

Per a recent Hays Accounting and Finance analysis, an alarming 73% of accounting firms have admitted to having experienced some form of skills gap in the past year. Further, 19% of accountants agree that their organisation lacks the talent required to meet their business objectives. Consequently, many accountancy firms now consider accounting outsourcing to India.

How are accountancy firms affected?

The current skills gap in the UK is significantly impacting accountancy firms, with many struggling to find candidates with the necessary skills and qualifications to meet their needs. This has led to increased competition for talent, reduced productivity, and a general sense of uncertainty and anxiety within the industry.

The industry’s changing landscape, including the impact of technological advancements, is exacerbating the problem, as is the lack of diversity and inclusion within the profession.

To tackle the challenge, accountancy firms are coming up with innovative solutions. While some opt for tech advancements, such as AI and automation, coupled with accounting outsourcing services, others rely on upskilling and reskilling, apprenticeships, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

However, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be enough to address the growing skills gap and ensure the long-term success of the industry. A consolidated approach can enable better employee retention within a firm for the best results.

Battling the skills gap: Tips for the new financial year

As the skills gap continues to widen, it is essential for accountants to take proactive steps to retain their top talent and innovate sustainable alternatives to hiring new resources. Here are some tips to help you battle the skills shortage in the new financial year.

Embrace technology

Leverage technology to increase efficiency and productivity. This can include using software for data analysis, automation of manual tasks, and cloud-based collaboration tools. Many firms and accounting outsourcing service providers also experiment with AI and machine learning to predict critical industry trends and stay ahead of the competition.

Upskill and reskill

Keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date by participating in training and development programs. Attend industry conferences, webinars, and workshops to learn about new technologies, regulations, and best practices. Create learning and growth opportunities within your firm so that your top talent is motivated to stay with your organisation.

Foster diversity and inclusion

Encourage a diverse and inclusive workplace culture by promoting diversity in hiring and offering support and resources for underrepresented groups. A diverse team brings a range of skills and perspectives that can help bridge the skills gap within a firm. It also facilitates a positive and friendly work culture, which is crucial for employee retention.

Outsource core tasks

Thriving in the accounting industry in the current competitive world means recognising your client’s needs and going a step ahead to fulfil them. It is no more about simply handling accounts and crunching numbers but about communicating with clients, building strong relationships, and exploring new service arenas.

Accounting process outsourcing facilitates capacity creation within your firm so that your internal teams can channel their energies on growth while qualified and experienced professionals manage the core tasks. Not only does it help save time but also enables substantial cost savings, which is crucial in the face of rising inflation.

By taking these steps, accountants can help bridge the skills gap and position themselves and their firms for success in the years to come.

Looking for professional accounting outsourcing support?

If you answered yes, look no further. Add highly qualified, trained, and experienced accountants to your team by outsourcing to QXAS.

We specialise in dedicated accounting outsourcing services tailored to our clients’ needs and follow a unique ‘People, Process, Platform’ approach. Our accounting professionals are extensively trained and well-versed in UK accounting legislation, facilitating swift growth.

Why choose us?

  • Dedicated team of 1500+ accountants and bookkeepers
  • Flexible engagement models
  • Onshore and offshore outsourcing support
  • Guaranteed efficiency and fast turnaround time
  • Complete data security – GDPR, ISO 27701, and ISO 27001
  • Up to 50% savings on in-house costs

To hire our qualified accountants for your team, book a free consultation with one of our outsourcing experts today at +44 208-146-0808 or email us at [email protected].


Book a Free Consultation

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you want our team to help you resolve talent gaps, reduce costs and transform your business operations, just book a call. 

Pooja Kshirsagar

With a rich experience of curating content for various industries, Pooja believes in the power of words in marketing and building brands. She enjoys experimenting with different forms of content and is currently on a mission to add value to the accounting industry through her detailed and researched write-ups.

Originally published Mar 21, 2023 12:03:38, updated Mar 21 2023

Topics: accountants, accounting, Accounting Outsourcing, skills shortage

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