As a global workforce solutions firm specializing in advisory, assurance and tax, there are several major trends that SAPRO anticipates in the U.S. accounting industry for 2024. From our position - working with leading accounting firms across the U.S. and around the world - we have our finger on the pulse of the biggest issues and market factors impacting the industry as we enter the new year.
SAPRO’s top 5 anticipated industry trends for 2024 include:
1. International partnerships: Accounting firms are increasingly hiring vendors with an international presence as they look for ways to optimize operations. Utilizing an international partner allows businesses to tap into a wider network of skilled individuals, develop global business acumen, and enhance diversity and inclusion, all of which strengthen firm output and growth while reducing costs. In 2024, more firms will seek a full-service, global partner to handle increased demand amidst an inconsistent domestic talent supply.
2. Increased “pre-training” of new hires: Firms will devote more time to “pre-training,” a method to familiarize employees with firm operations in the preliminary stages of employment before diving into client work. Pre-training helps to attract short and long-term talent and provides a more comprehensive onboarding process to strengthen a firm’s workforce and aid in retention. Pre-training will also become a priority amongst job seekers, as they search for ways to fully immerse themselves within a firm, develop their expertise, and remain essential through all business cycles.
3. Outsourcing as a top strategy for managing/retaining talent: To combat the cycle of overhiring and cutting jobs, firms will lean on full-service outsourcing solutions to minimize risk and balance firm operations. Broader conversations about capacity planning and outsourcing will help break the vicious cycle of overhiring that plagued firms in 2023.
4. Leadership shakeups: A record number of accounting leaders are on track to retire this year, while the number of accountants entering the workforce remains low. Expect major shakeups in leadership positions across the accounting industry in 2024, and increased opportunities for non-traditional career paths.
5. Offshore centering: In 2024, more firms will utilize offshoring to capitalize on a vast talent pool and reduced costs. Firms have started exploring offshore centers in locations such as South Africa and India, and have started to reap the long-term benefits. Increased utilization of this growth tactic is expected over the coming years.