Although the peak impacts of the pandemic and global supply chain disruptions may be easing, employers still face persistent staffing shortages. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as many as 47 million workers quit their jobs in 2021. Whether employees are looking for better pay, more “work from anywhere” autonomy, or a mix of related supply and demand factors, jobs remain stubbornly hard to fill.
A closer look at 2023 U.S. Chamber data shows that the financial and professional service sectors are among the top five industries reporting worker shortages. The fields of accounting and enterprise management are not immune to these trends, but fortunately there are outsourcing and automation options that can ease the pain, especially for professional service firms such as architecture and engineering companies that are feeling the pinch.
Accounting Impacts and Implications
Staff shortages in the accounting department can quickly create headaches for any business owner. On top of tracking cash flow, accounts receivable, accounts payable or standard reporting activities that are crucial to any business, the demands of just one potential M&A transaction or an especially busy season can overwhelm the capacity of a short-handed accounting team.
Even if a temp agency were able to fill the gap, it is unlikely that anyone coming in cold at that level could grasp the intricacies of your business in time to make a real difference. That is why more firms are looking into outsourcing and automation as ways to augment core accounting functions. Applications like QuickBooks offer intuitive and expandable functionality for small to mid-sized businesses. Larger enterprises might consider platforms like NetSuite for more scalable and customizable accounting automation.
Here are five ways outsourced accounting and automation can help you succeed with a leaner team:
- Payroll processing
- Basic bookkeeping
- Accounts receivable
- Accounts payable
- Custom reporting
Enterprise Management Impacts and Implications
As with general accounting and financial reporting, enterprise management can also benefit from automation or outsourcing to technology partners. ERP solutions can be especially helpful in three broad areas where firms may be understaffed:
- Business process automation and reduction of repetitive manual tasks
- Resource allocation and optimization
- Data consolidation, especially across disparate point solutions
While outsourcing and automation can help soften the impact of short- or long-term staffing shortages, firms need to outline the processes and service scope that would be of most value.
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Clayton & McKervey’s Client Accounting Services group provides value-added outsourcing support for a full range of critical accounting functions including financial reporting, business process optimization and overall enterprise planning. Contact us today to learn more about our outsourced accounting services.