Why Accountants are jumping ship

We have seen a huge increase in accountants getting out of public practice and stepping into company or management accounting..

The main reasons are culture, salary, lack of training or the archaic structure of how the public practice system operates which in-turn impacts the culture.

What is the answer?

Does the public practice accounting industry need a complete shake up??

Ive witnessed the roll out of the fixed pricing model in the legal industry and for the firms that have taken this approach, their ability to attract and retain staff has gone through the roof.

The best thing about fixed price billing is the fact that the client knows upfront what the services will cost. I hear you say, but this is crazy, we wont even know how much time this will take.

It doesn’t come down to time but the value that you are delivering.

The impact this has on your staff would be huge. The pressure comes off a little and they can ensure they are doing the best thing for their client. It gives your culture that little bit of flexibility too, instead of counting minutes your staff can still interact with each other whilst getting the job done.

Although accounting is about numbers, it is primarily a people business so leadership is critical and a firm will never outperform its leadership team.

What we hear from people is there is a lack of mentoring on offer to them, they are promised a lot and then receive minimal training and are thrown in the deep-end and within the blink of an eye, three years have passed, they get stale and then look at opportunities with more variety.

I think firms should take a much more pro-active approach to training and mentoring which will increase their retention rates. You shouldn’t underestimate the impact the leadership teams behaviour has on their people.

Nearly every firm we have spoken with over the past few years are all having huge problems recruiting and retaining Accountants.

The biggest issue however, is salary.. How are CPA qualified accountants with 2-3 years experience still only earning $60,000 per year??

Company Accountants are earning a minimum of $80,000 straight off the bat with bonuses and annual pay rises. This is what you are competing with.

Im not saying i have all or any of the answers to this, it is simply an observation over the past five years from speaking with many accountants who have left that side of the industry.

Let me know your thoughts.

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Paiton Morphett


Hey there, I’m Paiton — your go-to gal for efficiency and innovation. Currently slaying the scene as the Temporary Recruitment Consultant here at Huntsman, I thrive on matching top talent with killer opportunities, thanks to my eagle-eyed attention to detail.

I’m also a co-owner of a successful venture in residential building and construction. From kickstarting the business to handling all the nitty-gritty operations, I’ve got it covered.

When I’m not in recruitment mode or managing our construction venture, you’ll find me diving headfirst into the world of human resources and industrial relations, currently pursuing studies to deepen my understanding of this dynamic field.

On top of all that, I’m passionate about interior design, blending creativity with strategy to create inspiring spaces. With a diverse skill set spanning recruitment, entrepreneurship, human resources, and design, I’m geared up to make waves in various professional fields.

Connect with me for a dose of career excitement and design passion!

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I was described as this once, probably with the intention of causing offence – but in fact, it had the opposite effect… I’m definitely NOT A WALLFLOWER. I’m outrageous, fun loving, energetic and am usually juggling multiple categories of life, all at once!
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Part of my skill set learnt early on, working in the event industry, is to facilitate expectations – both from a client and vendor perspective. You’re the middle man. You’re there to bridge the gap between what the client wants and what the vendor can provide. Much like recruiting… We’re here to find you the perfect fit, and to be open and honest about what that looks like for both client and candidate.

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Over the years I fell in love with the industry and naturally progressed into the role of Recruitment Consultant and now Chief Operations Officer. I have a genuine interest in partnering with local companies and not-for-profit organisations to help get the best people into their teams. I get a kick out of not only matching people’s skillsets to the role but making sure the cultural fit is right and I believe this is the key to ensuring their success.

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First and foremost, I’m a devoted father and husband, fully embracing the responsibilities that come with those roles. My family’s well-being is my main concern; everything else is secondary. It’s an absolute madhouse at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A rehabilitated people-pleaser who no longer feels the need to masquerade as someone I’m not.

As I’ve grown older, wiser, and balder, I have found myself speaking less, listening more, and not worrying about what others think of me.

Life is short.

Business doesn’t have to be serious and full of pretenders, so I’ve taken off the mask and am simply being me: rough around the edges, quirky, and a bit of a strange cat.

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