2023 Accounting Hiring Market (Part 1): Buckle Up

2023 Accounting Hiring Market (Part 1): Buckle Up

Thinking about getting a new job in accounting? Or thinking about hiring additional accounting professionals to join your team? Buckle up! 2023 is shaping up to be a year of change in the hiring market.

Here at Accountingfly, we spend all day every day helping accounting teams hire remote (US-based) accounting professionals, so we see hiring trends developing in real-time. And over the last 3-4 months, our spidey-sense has definitely been tingling: a significant shift in the hiring/job-seeking market appears to be underway.

First, a quick refresher…

For the last two years, job-seekers have essentially had all the power in the accounting employment market. Accounting employers have been desperate to hire while qualified candidates have been hard to find. Any candidate with a reasonably clean work history and a pulse could line up multiple offers within days of going on the market.

But in Q4 2022, the tide started to turn.

Beth Dierker, Accountingfly’s Director of Fulfillment, says, “Around September (2022), I noticed that our clients–mostly public accounting firms looking to hire remote talent–started being more cautious.” In practical terms, employers “weren’t willing to short-cut their interview processes and usual due diligence just to rush into an offer.”

That’s a significant change from the 2020-2021 market, but not a surprise. Hiring and onboarding is a major expense in both time and money. So it’s no shock that public accounting partners and companies’ internal accounting leaders are pushing back against the candidate-controlled “rush to hire” market of the last few years. From an employer’s perspective, it’s been inefficient, time-consuming, and fraught with expensive mistakes.

On the other hand, the market fundamentals haven’t changed. There likely will continue to be a structural shortage of people entering the accounting profession. Given the limited supply of qualified talent, candidates will remain scarce and retain significant market power.

So what does this mean for the 2023 accounting hiring market?

We might find a clue by looking at another overheated market with structurally limited supply and buyer fatigue: residential real estate.

Our best guess is that buyers (employers) will continue to exercise caution and focus on candidate quality. However, sellers (candidates) will be “sticky” in their expectations. Many will continue to have multiple opportunities due to structurally limited supply.

That makes for a choppy market with mismatched expectations. Can the market find a balance? What are the best practices for accounting employers in this year’s hiring environment? And what does this mean for accountants who wish to make a career move?

We’ll address all of that in part 2 of this post, scheduled to drop later in March.

What can you do?

In the meantime, if you’re an accounting employer looking for help recruiting top-flight talent, feel free to ping us here. If you’re a potential job-seeker interested in fully remote career opportunities, sign up for job alerts and/or drop us your resume. We’d love to hear from you.