Nearly three years post-pandemic, the Great Resignation that fueled a mass exodus of talent from US companies may feel like a distant memory. And continued talk of a recession might create the impression that hiring is set for a slowdown. But in reality, countless organizations across a wide range of industries are still struggling to hire qualified employees. The accounting field in particular is feeling the pinch.
If you’re grappling with a shortage of accounting talent, creating an offshore accounting team might be just the answer to the problem.
The Numbers Tell the Story
A combination of factors has created an incredibly tight labor market in the US, especially in the accounting field, and the situation isn’t expected to change any time soon. The search for qualified accounting professionals with the right skills, qualifications, and experience will remain a challenge for organizations in every industry for the foreseeable future.
Consider these sobering statistics:
• Analysis by Bloomberg reveals a 17% decline in the number of employed accountants and auditors between 2019 and 2021.
• Job openings for accountants remain high, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting there will be about 136,000 accounting job openings annually through 2031.
• Enrollment in accounting courses fell 4% percent between 2016 and 2019, while 7% fewer students took the CPA exam in 2018 vs 2017, per the Washington Post. Some industry experts believe that the additional credit hours required to sit for the CPA exam might be deterring students from pursuing an accounting career.
• Staffing firm Robert Half reported that 87% of finance and accounting managers are struggling to find talent, not only for general accounting tasks but for more complex work like financial reporting and analysis.
With fewer students entering the accounting field at the same time that more Baby Boomer-aged accountants are retiring, the gap between job openings and qualified candidates is only widening, leaving many accounting positions vacant. This just exacerbates the problem—since the more stretched your current accounting staff is, the more likely they’ll experience burnout and leave the company, driving up turnover rates.
Why an Offshore Accounting Team is the Solution
Most businesses don’t have the luxury of reducing their accounting workload to better match their staff capacity. In addition to daily and weekly tasks like accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger maintenance, there are periodic tax filings and financial reporting requirements to meet. Beyond those mandatory accounting tasks, successful organizations also conduct financial analyses, run financial models, and forecast how their financial picture will change over time based on various scenarios. And if you run a CPA firm, you must stay staffed to meet the needs of your current clients and reserve some capacity to continue growing the firm or you risk having to cull your client list, which may not be ideal.
At the same time that organizations are struggling to find accounting talent, the demands on accounting professionals have become more complex than ever, especially for businesses in highly regulated industries and those that operate across borders. Many organizations are finding they need specialized expertise and capabilities that are difficult to staff for internally.
Given these realities, partnering with a reputable offshore accounting provider is often the right solution to overcoming short-term or persistent staffing constraints.
How Offshore Accounting Addresses Labor Shortages
While the US is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of accounting talent, the situation is much different in other regions. For example, the accounting labor pool in the Philippines is actually growing and thriving. This reality is causing US-based organizations to look outside their own borders to obtain staff with the right skills, experience, and credentials.
The good news is, it’s easier than ever to tap into a large and growing pool of talented accounting professionals that align with your business’s specific needs. Rather than search for individual candidates one by one—which is time-consuming and often fruitless—many US companies are partnering with a company that has already built up a large, reliable team of skilled accounting professionals and can deliver a high-performing offshore accounting team.
As the name suggests, an offshore accounting team operates remotely and becomes an extension of your internal staff—either augmenting your in-house employees to handle certain accounting tasks or taking on your entire accounting function. Because these teams are set up in countries that boast a highly qualified, highly talented pool of accounting professionals, they provide ready access to the accounting talent that US businesses typically struggle to find domestically.
Since an outsourced accounting provider has access to a much broader group of candidates than you would in the US, the offshore approach makes it easier to hire accounting professionals who have experience in your industry and understand its specific requirements and nuances. For example, a nonprofit organization will want to tap accounting specialists who are accustomed to meeting grant reporting requirements, while a SaaS business needs professionals who know how to properly account for recurring revenue.
Building an offshore accounting team also gives you the flexibility to scale your staff up or down as your needs change—whether on a seasonal or cyclical basis, or as conditions evolve. In contrast, if you build up an internal team of FTEs (assuming you can find them), you will find it very difficult to flex that team to meet fluctuations in demand without laying off and rehiring, which is never preferred.
Why the Philippines-Based Scrubbed is Your Ideal Offshore Team
Over a decade ago, Scrubbed recognized that the US was beginning to struggle with staffing the accounting function. At the same time, the accounting labor market in the Philippines was beginning to boom. So we established an outsourced accounting company dedicated to helping US-based businesses overcome domestic labor shortages and meet their accounting staffing needs with ease.
Today, Scrubbed employs almost a thousand accounting professionals with credentials that rival their US counterparts, having received their degrees from universities with rigorous accounting programs. Many are CPAs and/or have Big 4 accounting firm experience. And all bring the benefit of working with an English-speaking workforce and professionals with an exceptionally strong work ethic that is rooted in the Filipino culture.
Scrubbed provides offshore accounting professionals for over 1,500+ clients across many industries, with in-depth experience working with biotechs, SaaS businesses, real estate companies, nonprofits, retailers, clean technology providers, and many other high-growth companies. Whether you need help with basic accounting tasks or more complex work like financial modeling and financial analysis, Scrubbed can provide a team of accounting professionals with the exact skills, capabilities, and experience you require. And whether you need to augment your internal team with one or two Scrubbees or you’re looking to outsource your entire accounting function, we have the resources to do it effectively.
Are you ready to explore how an offshore team can solve your accounting labor shortages? Schedule a call with Scrubbed to learn more about our proven outsourced approach!