Employee Retention Strategies for Accounting and Finance Talent

In a market like this, you need an employee retention strategy to keep your top

In a market like this, you need an employee retention strategy to keep your top talent.

These days, finding and keeping high-quality employees is more important than ever, as job vacancies are incredibly high. These issues have unquestionably hit many industries but have been particularly damaging for the accounting and finance industry.

In addition, the near-record high number of vacancies means that employees can leave a position and get a new job more easily than usual.

If your employees aren’t happy, they’re going to go somewhere else. Given the high levels of job vacancies within accounting and finance, that won’t be hard. It’s also an issue that is getting worse, with 75% of all CPAs expected to retire in the next fifteen years.

If you want to maintain finance talent and accounting talent and avoid a high turnover rate, you need an effective employee retention strategy. Your employee retention strategies should focus on these key areas:

  • Compensation
  • Benefits and flexibility
  • Professional advancement

Offer fair compensation within your location, field, and company

Poor compensation is one of the top reasons that someone leaves to work somewhere else, so your employee retention strategy must ensure that compensation is better than average.

This is particularly the case for the finance and accounting industry, where the accountants make a median $73,000 a year—well over the national median pay.

If you truly care about maintaining the top accounting talent and finance talent, ask yourself these questions about your compensation packages:

  • Is the compensation you’re offering fair within the accounting and finance industry?
  • Is it fair within your physical location? Compensation rates change based on location, so it’s not enough to only look at industry-wide standards.
  • Is it fair within the company? There will be different compensation rates within an organization, but the reasons for the different compensation rates should be easily understood and based on rational factors, including experience or education.


Average accountant salary by state, according to ZipRecruiter (Source)

How to get started: Check out Glassdoor or CFI to take stock of the compensation rates within your industry and location, and consider how you can adjust the compensation within your own business accordingly.

Create appropriate internal flexibility when it comes to hours and working from home

Your company must offer benefits (such as healthcare and vacation time) that are robust and competitive.

However, employees have come to value benefits that go beyond compensation. In addition, COVID-19 has upended the traditional workplace. As such, do you let your employees work from home? What flexibility do you give them regarding hours at work and the amount of time they need to be physically present in the office?

From an employee retention strategy perspective, work from home is rapidly becoming a requirement. Studies show that COVID-19 has switched employment expectations: Employees now want to work from home. You must ensure that employees have the flexibility they expect in the workplace. You should consider allowing employees to work from home and ensure that they have the technological and office equipment to do so.

How to get started: Work with human resources to determine the maximum flexibility that you can incorporate into your current business plan. This may include flexible hours, a work-from-home or hybrid work policy, and more. Fortunately, your accounting and finance firm is not the first to struggle with these issues, and there are many resources that can assist you in enacting these plans.

Create professional advancement and professional development opportunities

No employee likes feeling as if there is no upward path for them in their current position—it can lead to a workforce of disengaged employees. To help your current employees realize their full potential within your organization, you should offer professional advancement and training opportunities.

Keep in mind that “advancement” can mean promotions, but this may not be possible in smaller offices. An ideal situation would be to have tangible advancement goals and regular evaluations that would give employees the chance to advance.

However, professional development opportunities can help employees increase their skills and take on new responsibilities within their current position. Allowing your employees to have these opportunities ensures that they will feel valued by your organization, which will increase employee loyalty.

How to get started: Work with your employees to get a better idea of their professional advancement goals, then create a plan that gives them an idea of the steps they need to take for career growth. This will give them a tangible idea of improvements they can make. Furthermore, consider adding finance and accounting-specific career development opportunities, including training on technology, regulatory changes, management skills, and more. Check out our guide on how to start an employee training plan.

Build a better employee retention strategy

Are you interested in more information on building your employee retention strategy and maintaining your top talent in your accounting and finance division?

Check out the following resources:

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