New research reveals top features of accounting firms

A research report has revealed that accounting practices are increasing their focus on attracting and retaining the right staff to ensure they have a good team, which is seen as more important than technology or service offerings.

Ahead of the release of its Accountants Research Report 2017/18 in conjunction with BT Financial Group, Bstar has exclusively revealed to Accountants Daily some results related to attracting and retaining accounting staff.

The report reveals the top 14 features to an accounting practice as ranked by accountants, with having a great team coming out on top, above both technology and specific service offerings.

Respondents described their ideal practice as being made up of professional, efficient staff with business acumen, that are able to "look beyond the figures" to advise clients.

The report also revealed that respondents are finding building a great team is challenging, with 40 per cent of respondents reporting that their professional staff are failing to deliver acceptable, consistent quality advice to clients.

Staff productivity is also an issue that’s growing in concern, moving to the seventh position from twelfth last year.

Accounting practices are pursuing various measures to address the difficulty and cost of recruiting experienced staff, which is seen as a major barrier to growth according to the report.

Increasingly, practices are developing their own staff, and aiming to retain them with two-thirds of respondents reporting that they have structured personal development plans for their professional staff and have recruitment, training and development plans for their practice.

Some practices are also changing their recruitment plans to target staff with proven business advisory skills.

 

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