As the tax season begins to ramp up, organizations feel the effects of a growing skills gap in their accounting departments. The need for more qualified employees is causing significant disruption and creating challenges for businesses that rely on timely, accurate filing of taxes. In fact, according to a recent Deloitte poll, 94% of CFOs believe their organizations are not fully prepared for the tax season due to skills shortages. This alarming statistic indicates the broader trend toward an ever-increasing skills gap within accounting departments.
Fortunately, there are proactive steps employers can take to ensure they remain competitive and address this growing skills gap. By understanding the key drivers behind the shift in talent demands and leveraging technological advancements, businesses can overcome the obstacles they’re currently facing and remain successful during tax season.
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Understanding the 4 Key Drivers of the Skills Gap
The accounting business, like many others, has yet to make a serious commitment to work-life balance. Furthermore, the epidemic worsened an already existing problem. A study from Harvard Business Review found that millennial workers prioritize flexibility in their jobs – something traditional accounting firms may not be able to provide or promote. This disconnection between employer requirements and team member preferences has led many to seek alternate sources of employment beyond the traditional tax season.
Generalization Over Specialization
Like many other fields, tax experts are frequently so specialized that they cannot engage in general company operations. These are the abilities many organizations desire in their finance leaders. While many tax professionals begin their careers as specialists, this can be professionally limiting, forcing them to seek opportunities that broaden their knowledge breadth rather than expanding their present specialty. Experts have watched this trend accelerate over the years and believe it is one of the fundamental causes of the high turnover in tax departments.
Experts Who Are Retiring
The Baby Boomer generation’s retirement is creating a significant strain on the workforce. Across all industries and functions, this generation is leaving its mark on the labor force as millions of highly skilled professionals are reaching retirement age. It presents an unprecedented challenge for employers. As demand for experienced staff continues to outpace supply, organizations must look at alternative solutions to fill the gaps created by these retiring workers. Employers need to develop strategies that will help them attract young talent while also retaining existing employees who have valuable knowledge and experience.
Growing Demand for Tech Professionals
As the demand for technology rises, so does the need for employees who can utilize and maintain these systems. Companies now require skilled professionals who can keep up with rapidly changing trends in software development, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and more. This shift is creating a widening gap between available jobs and qualified candidates, leading to a severe shortage of tech-savvy workers that businesses desperately need. Organizations must have enough staff members to keep their operations running smoothly. They may consider training existing staff in new technologies or looking outside their organization for potential hires.
How Pervasive is the Staff Shortage Problem?
The current staff shortage has become a significant issue in many industries, with reports of over 10 million unfilled positions worldwide. This lack of available workers has massive economic impacts, with lost productivity and revenue estimated at trillion dollars globally. In the United States alone, businesses are losing as much as $160 billion annually due to this problem. These losses are expected to increase in the coming years as companies need help finding qualified employees for their open positions. With such a large-scale problem on our hands, it’s clear that finding solutions must become a priority if we want to bolster economic growth and prosperity moving forward.
Cloud Technology: A Revolution in Business Resilience
The business world is changing, and the need to be agile and resilient comes with it. Cloud computing has emerged as a significant force in enabling enterprises to thrive in this challenging environment. Here is how cloud technology helps businesses overcome staffing problems:
Streamlines Onboarding & Employee Training
Cloud technology makes it easier for companies to quickly and efficiently onboard new employees and get them up-to-speed on company procedures and protocols. With the right learning management system (LMS), companies can tailor their training programs to meet their unique needs effectively. This advantage reduces the time it takes for new employees to hit the ground running, which helps reduce turnover due to frustration with long onboarding processes or inadequate training.
Reduces the Workload on IT Teams
IT teams oversee a wide range of duties with on-premise setups, from server setup and part replacement to resolving significant incidents and staying updated with security measures. With cloud computing, you can delegate many of these chores to your vendor, freeing up your IT team to concentrate on the tasks with the highest economic value for your company.
In an interview about their architecture, Airbnb’s VP of Engineering expressed a similar sentiment:
Our engineers must focus on the aspects of our business that are unique to us rather than running a large amount of infrastructure.
Relieves Non-Technical Teams, Too
It’s easy to believe that all those time savings solely benefit IT teams, but cloud solutions boost productivity across the board, from marketing to HR to sales and beyond. Automation is one of the primary reasons behind this. Automating procedures, paperwork, and fundamental activities decreases team members’ to-do lists, creates illusive, important mental space, reduces multitasking, and allows employees to focus on their talents.
It redirects attention to more critical job duties, directly influencing team member happiness, productivity, retention, and engagement. Because people who employ their abilities regularly are six times more likely to be fulfilled at work, according to Gallup. They are also 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit.
Collaboration is critical for the success of any organization, but it’s often complicated when teams are based in multiple locations or spread out around the globe. Fortunately, cloud-based solutions have transformed the way teams work together and collaborate. 87% of CEOs believe that the cloud has revolutionized collaboration, and every survey we have seen supports this claim.
On-premise configurations can make collaborating between teams difficult. It means team members don’t always get visibility into what other groups are working on. However, cloud-based solutions provide the necessary infrastructure to make collaboration more manageable and efficient, allowing team members to access information wherever they are and collaborate in real-time securely. All Ace Cloud services, including UltraTax Hosting, provide this cross-team transparency essential for unleashing team potential.
In aggregate, hosting applications on the cloud can solve many problems and address the tiding skills gap during tax season. Cloud-based solutions offer significant benefits over traditional methods, making them increasingly popular among organizations of all sizes. For those looking to move their applications to the cloud, partnering with a reliable cloud hosting provider is the best way to ensure success.
At Ace Cloud, we are committed to helping you make the most of your investments in cloud technology and ensure that your tax season runs as smoothly as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how our solutions can help you prepare for a successful filing period.