Is driving an 18-wheeler more satisfying than being an accountant? A former CPA thinks so
Reading notes from CFO Daily readers with fascinating, funny, or thought-provoking business anecdotes is one of the daily highlights of my job.
My columns on the state of hiring in finance and accounting prompted a reader, who asked to be referred to as Steve L., to share his experience. Here’s an excerpt.
I recently saw an article you wrote on the subject of how difficult it is to find accounting and finance talent. I was an accountant passing the CPA exam in 1981. While things may have changed since then, my experience as a CPA was less than satisfactory. I had four jobs in public accounting and none of them worked.
I then pursued a lifelong dream—driving 18-wheelers. I made a lot more money, and not because of inflation. I had a lot more fun and made a lot more friends. Based on my experience, I can see why it is difficult to find accounting and finance talent. And no, I never once regretted handing in my CPA license.
Accounting and finance jobs haven’t historically had a reputation for being glamorous and perhaps the work is not as exciting as seeing the country as a trucker in an 18-wheeler. But, in a current tight market, companies seeking finance and accounting individuals are having to compete for their attention.
I recently highlighted a McKinsey report that found not only are people quitting their jobs, but they’re also switching industries. Just 35% of survey respondents who left their jobs in the past two years took a new position in the same industry. And, 65% of respondents working in finance or insurance who quit their jobs changed industries or did not return to the workforce.
“For those leaving the financial and insurance industries and not returning, a lack of career development and advancement potential, a lack of meaningful work, inadequate total compensation package, and uncaring and uninspiring leaders were the primary drivers,” Bonnie Dowling, an associate partner at McKinsey and a co-author of the report, told me.
Meanwhile, recent research from Deloitte found that hiring managers for accounting and finance positions at public and private companies are continually having a hard time finding and retaining talent. They expect they’ll have to work even harder in the next year.
“Anecdotally, what we hear when we have conversations with controllers and CFOs is finding talent with that right mix of a deep accounting and finance background coupled with the deep technological capabilities is creating a lot of challenges right now,” Matthew Hurley, a senior manager at Deloitte Advisory, told me.
So, although the accounting field has gotten a lot more advanced since Steve L. began his career, the challenge of keeping talent—especially candidates with tech skills—in the profession remains.
What are your thoughts on building the next generation of finance and accounting professionals? What would you tell a young professional to inspire them to become a CFO? I’m looking forward to reading your notes.
See you tomorrow.
Upcoming event: If you are a CFO in the Chicago area, join us at Sepia on September 22 for our CFO Collaborative in-depth dinner conversation. The topic of discussion: The Finance Talent Model of the Future. I will be joined by Fortune CEO Alan Murray, Fortune Finance Editor Lee Clifford, and Clem Johnson, President, Crist|Kolder Associates. Click here for more information and to apply. Please note that attendance is complimentary and subject to approval.
In July, capital raised by U.S. banks increased to $12.86 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. This is a 111.5% increase from June, and a 77.7% increase year over year, the report found. The increase was driven by senior debt, which rose to 332.7% from June to $11.35 billion. However, there were decreases in common equity and preferred equity offerings. Common equity dropped to $82 million from $818.9 million in June, and preferred equity fell to $30 million from $1.26 billion in June, according to the report.
Courtesy of S&P Global Market Intelligence
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