Is Your Audit Firm an Attractive Destination?

The secret sauce to a successful audit firm

It goes without saying, that the quality of a firm’s employees have the most direct impact on long term firm success.  Furthermore, employee expertise is an ever changing dynamic that changes with industry trends. Not to say that great clients aren’t important. They certainly are! However, effective and competent employees are an indispensable force for driving greater client satisfaction. Therefore, making your firm an attractive destination for these candidates is key.

Times….they are changing

Unlike the previous 5 years, the 2018 job market has changed significantly, and in many cases the leverage has shifted to favor those in the employee category. Today, young and talented tax and accounting professionals and graduates have multiple choices when it comes to selecting career destinations. To stay competitive, your firm must capture it’s fair share of this pool of talent. Question: Is your firm an attractive destination for these new employee candidates? Better yet, is your audit department an attractive destination for these high valued job candidates?

Futurist or Traditionalist

Many “hire-worthy” employee candidates are a different breed these days. And it’s no surprise that the Millennial generation is the most futuristic employee class on record.  Potential employers are graded on their tech savviness when new candidates consider their next job destination. Unfortunately, many audit departments are viewed as antiquated and out-dated by these new candidates, due to their resistance to deploy new and proven work flow technology. Rather than embrace the newest audit technology, too many firms choose to ignore it. However, most Millennial’s want no part of a work environment stuck in the past.

Technology that attracts

Fortunately, there are a growing percentage of firms that are moving forward with the newest audit technology to the benefit of their clients, and future employment prospects. Whether it be the latest engagement tools or data sifting analytic solutions, firms are leveraging technology on the front, middle and back end of their audits. As a result, audits are completed with greater speed, accuracy, and a deeper advisory focus; all to the delight of the client and employee. In turn, it’s no surprise that this same technology make these adopting firms so attractive for new client and employee prospects.

Standing still is falling behind

What about audit firms that choose to hold on to the manual way of doing things?  Are they truly losing ground to competing firms that choose to move ahead with the newest audit technology?  Well, the expectations of audit clients have grown, just as the expectations of workers for a satisfying job destination. As firms adopt newer technology at a faster pace, the pool of high valued customers, and quality employees become more contested.  So with this in mind, it’s not a stretch to visualize a day where tech averse firms get squeezed out of business altogether.

Tech as a satisfaction multiplier

One such firm that chose to move with the times was Peterson Sullivan LLP, of Seattle, Washington. Today, this 200+ employee firm ranks as one of the top 10 largest CPA firms in the Puget Sound area. Part of their success is due to their proactive approach to using technology to benefit clients and employees alike. While serving at Peterson Sullivan LLP in 2017, Cody Page, was instrumental in helping the firm make the transition. He explains, “It’s amazing how- from a firm that’s been using Wolters Kluwer products for a number of years- really focusing on the work flow transformed, from my perspective as a COO, operating efficiency, job efficiency, realization, client satisfaction, being able to turn work around faster, delighting our clients, having them refer business on to their peers that are in their industry group.”

The bright future for top talent

Page goes on to confirm that tech adoption doesn’t just improve the client experience. He continues, “Right now getting staff, college recruiting and lateral hires, is very difficult, especially in the Seattle market. We can’t offer Millennials second rate technology. They have the choice of going to whatever firm they want to work for whether it’s a regional firm like Peterson Sullivan LLP or Big 4. We have to say, not only do we have the technology, we have the efficient workflow behind it, and you’re going to work with the best tools and technology out there. That’s been a big, big draw for recruiting.”

The take-away

The accounting and audit field is already extremely competitive. In response, firms are implementing the latest technologies to gain an edge on their competition. With this edge they are moving to claim a larger share of the best clients and employee candidates. With this in mind, is your firm in contention for these high valued prospects?  If not, perhaps it’s time to ask “Why not?”

To learn more about solutions that can make your firm more attractive to client and job prospects alike, download our ebook 5 Reasons “Tech Savvy” Is a Must for Today’s Audit Workflow.




Brandon Sims

All stories by: Brandon Sims