Accountingfly Hiring Update: April 2024

Sharing our perspective on the latest trends impacting talent acquisition in the accounting industry.

Market Trends: RTO Causing Tax Pros to Head for the Door; 2024 Busy Season Freelancer Trends

Tax Pros Fleeing RTO Firms

  • Tax hiring season usually ends on December 31. So, we were surprised to see qualified tax candidates applying to Accountingfly in January and February 2024. 
  • One explanation: Some candidates were leaving firms that required them to return to the office for the busy season. As one candidate said, “I’m not dealing with a 3-hour daily commute on top of busy season hours.” 

2024 Tax Busy Season Freelancers 

  • Market Trends
    • More firms are looking for lower level/tax data entry personnel to replace offshore resources; the cost is higher, but less hassle than managing offshore and dealing with additional compliance
    • Demand for reviewers is down this year; have firms staffed up at the Tax Manager level?
    • Many smaller firms are seeking freelancers who can help with accounting work before tax prep; candidates with QBO/accounting experience + tax were “hot”
    • Pay per return model is not popular with freelancers/contractors
  • Software Trends
    • Freelancers with Lacerte and Ultratax proficiency were the most requested; CCH Axcess candidates were difficult to find
    • Candidate insight: Software proficiency is key to landing contract opportunities; be prepared to discuss the level of knowledge on the platforms you have used.

Salary News: Tax Freelancer Hourly Rates

Speaking of tax freelancers, here’s a snapshot of hourly rate data for freelancers placed by Accountingfly in 2024:

  • Tax Review (and/or complex prep) with CPA: $75 – $90/hr
    • Most with 20+ years of experience
    • Review only or review + complex prep (flow-throughs, multiple S corps, HNWI, equity-based comp, etc.)
  • Tax Prep/Review with EA: $40 – $60/hr
    • 5 – 20 years experience
    • Some experience with complex returns
  • Tax Prep/Accounting (no EA/CPA): $25 – $40/hr 
    • Mostly individual returns
    • Typically 5-7 years of experience

Meta-trend to Watch: Is May hiring the new normal?

  • 3 years ago, most firms started their hiring processes in July – September.
  • In 2023, the market shifted: more firms started searches with Accountingfly in May than in any other month. The result was that more searches were successfully concluded by August, and there were fewer November/December “last minute” searches. 
    • Earlier hiring = better candidates, less deadline pressure, better onboarding so new hires are trained and contributing by the fall, but 2-3 months of extra salary expense.
    • Late hiring = 2-3 months of salary savings, but less time to hire and fewer candidates to choose from.
  • Which way will the market go in 2024?

Working with Accountingfly

If you’re interested in a regular flow of pre-screened candidates with no hassle and no upfront cost, you can get more information and register for Always-On Recruiting on our website. We also offer dedicated searches and freelance/contractor placements and are generally a lot of fun to work with. Click here to schedule a call or get more information.


Blog Overview

  • Date Posted

    April 4, 2024
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