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Accounting job shifts could hit firms' sale prices


One business broker has found the shifting nature of accounting roles from full-time and structured to casual or contract-based is having an impact on the succession planning of Australian firms. 

By Lara Bullock 9 minute read

Several recruiters have told Accountants Daily that temporary contracts and working arrangements are on the rise in accounting, and likely to keep increasing. Connect Financial Service Brokers (Connect) CEO Paul Tynan sees this as one of the key challenges facing accounting firms who are looking to maximise their sale prices, and are initiating a succession plan.

"Wage earner incomes are flat and employment headline numbers are coming down – whilst casual employment has seen tremendous growth resulting in an increase in underemployment,” he said.

Further, Mr Tynan is continuing to find that the integration of technology into a firm looking to sell is a key driver of sale price, and increasingly, so is whether a firm is open to or set up for outsourcing, which can often be a cost-cutting and efficiency benefit for new owners.

“Outsourcing or contracting out business tasks, has the ability to provide efficiencies, best practice service and profitability as well as allowing organisations to keep pace with this new technological business environment and rapidly changing consumer expectations and demands,” he said.

My Tynan added that the scepticism that once existed within accounting firms in relation to outsourcing is not what it used to be, particularly with newer generations.

“In fact the opposite is true with outsourcing actually creating capacity within a business so that resources and employees can focus on value-adding/client-focused activities rather than non-income generating administrative tasks.”

Outsourcing is a topic of interest across the accounting profession at present, with the Tax Practitioners Board recently releasing a practice note to assist registered tax practitioners in understanding their obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct in relation to the use of outsourcing and offshoring.

The Outsourced Accountant CEO Nick Sinclair recently said he believes that the introduction of such a practice note indicates an increase in accountants engaging in offshoring and outsourcing processes.

“The fact there is a draft code from the tax practitioners shows it is becoming common in the industry. Data from webinars indicates that over 80 per cent of firms are outsourcing/offshoring or contemplating it,” Mr Sinclair said.

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Lara Bullock


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