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3 Causes of Accounting Team Turnover

There is no greater asset to a growing business than a strong team of high performing and dedicated employees. When staff are fulfilled and well supported, they act not only as the bedrock of a company but also as the accelerators of its growth.

In today’s competitive market, it’s important to pay attention to your employee turnover rate, especially in your accounting and finance departments. With 34% of staff in the industry planning on looking for new jobs within the next year, now’s the time to act. Cashflow is the lifeblood of your business, so taking care of your accounting team is a top priority for tending to your bottom line.

Watch out for these three common causes of high employee turnover among accounting and finance staff, so you can start making the necessary shifts to avoid them.

accounting team

#1. Stagnant Salaries

The Problem

The 2016 Randstad Professionals Study shows that 44% of finance and accounting team members leave their positions because of stagnant salaries, with 60% of salaries in the industry remaining unchanged since the previous year. Even more concerning, 7% of salaries in the industry were reportedly lowered in this same period.

Many companies allow their compensation levels to go stagnant without thinking about the direct and indirect costs of a high employee turnover rate. From business lost due to the limited capacity of a company in the process of recruitment to the costs associated with recruitment itself, it’s often more profitable for a company to increase salaries than to hire new talent.

The Solution

There are several ways to address concerns over monetary compensation, so make sure to take into account the best solution for your team. If committing to employee raises gives you cold feet, you may choose annual bonuses over an increase in baseline salaries. This has the added benefit of incentivizing your employees to do their best, while also giving them the hope of an appropriate financial payout.

On the other hand, if you think your employees require a greater sense of fiscal security, you may choose to go in the opposite direction of bonuses and alter your pay systems to reduce excessive fluctuations in pay. Seeing employees leave for similar positions with competitors may be a sign that it’s time to raise your pay rates to match those of industry leaders.

It’s important to look to your company values to determine your priorities. A company that values co-operative principles may choose to adjust pay structures to remove inequities. If your company is focused on innovation, you may do the opposite, paying a new hire more than an existing employee in a similar role to ensure you get the most cutting-edge expertise.

Nowhere to Grow

The Problem

Opportunities for advancement are considered the most effective staff retention strategy by 41% of the finance and accounting decision-makers studied by Randstad Professionals. Employees who cannot see a natural path of progression within the company will become restless, planning an exit strategy long before reaching their full potential.

If employees aren’t given the room to grow, how can you expect to grow as a finance and accounting department? By stunting their professional growth, you limit your company’s development too.

The Solution

It’s essential to involve your finance and accounting employees in crafting a personal development plan unique to their strengths and challenges. Development plans can help staff feel seen, supported and valued, while giving you a clear picture of the kind of support they need to feel satisfied with their work life. Remember that a sense of momentum and growth is a basic human need. By fulfilling this need, you make it more likely that employees will do their growing with you. This will not only strengthen their individual performances, but also the performance of your accounting team as a whole.

An environment where growth is celebrated helps to work against toxic power dynamics or patterns of inertia. Encourage a culture where regular feedback can be offered by all within the department, no matter their role. Though not all feedback will be implemented, allowing employees the opportunity to be heard will foster a sense of trust, as well as a co-created vision. This gives your employee a sense of ownership and accountability to the company, allowing you to advance and evolve together.

Unrefined Recruitment Process

The Problem

In the same way that training opportunities bolster long-term team players, getting new accounting team members off on the right foot will guarantee a more successful and longer company life for them. An unrefined recruitment process is the reason why 22% of accounting and finance team members leave their jobs, according to Randstad.

This is a wasted opportunity when you’ve just hired a new key staff member who could have made a huge impact in your department if they’d only had the chance — or, at the very least, a clear idea of what was expected of them.

The Solution

During the recruitment process, make sure you have a full role description and a thorough training program prepared to help your new hire hit the ground running. Be forthcoming about HR policies and growth opportunities so that you can set your new hire up for success.

It’s also important to listen attentively to your new hire’s expectations for the position and be as clear as you can on what you can and cannot offer. If a candidate expresses interest in working remotely and the position you are hiring for is strictly in-house, observe that limitation. It’s essential to prioritize fit over speed during your hiring process. Although profits may be lost during the period that you are short-staffed, taking the time to make a meticulous hire will be worth the effort in the long run.

A Lower Turnover Rate for a Better Team

With 67% of HR professionals increasingly concerned with turnover rates, now is the best time to audit your own company for the professional satisfaction of your accounting team.  

There are plenty of ways to reduce your employee turnover rate, saving you thousands of dollars and helping you foster a happy and loyal working culture. These days, employees are not only looking to their employer for fair financial compensation, but also for a nurturing social environment, opportunities for personal and professional development, and other non-monetary benefits.

One of the simplest ways a company can invest in itself is by investing in its employees. And when you invest in the well-being and training of your accounting department, you invest in the financial health of your business. Start thinking about these three areas of concern to improve your team today.


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Jason has more than 16 years of accounting and finance experience in both public and private industry accounting. Since 2008, Jason has acted as the CFO for many of Signature Analytics’ clients, providing them with the financial analysis they need to grow their business and make more data driven decisions. He has direct experience with many complex accounting and financial issues within a variety of companies and industries, including software, technology, biotech, manufacturing, food/beverage, apparel, construction, and advertising. Prior to Signature Analytics, Jason spent ten years in public accounting, culminating as an Audit Senior Manager with Deloitte in San Diego. He received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting/Finance from the University of Arizona. http://www.signatureanalytics.com

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