You’re giving your all to your business – long hours, sleepless nights, piling your plate with more than you can handle – and one of the many components taking up your time is hiring. You’re caught in a cycle of staff turnover in your accounting firm. Interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and then starting all over again when things don’t go as planned. 

Not only is staff turnover expensive for your accounting firm (replacing an employee can cost anywhere from 90% to 200% of their annual salary) but it can plummet team morale.

If you’re experiencing high staff turnover rates, there are a few reasons this might be happening and steps you can take to solve it.  

You’re getting caught in the cycle of struggle 


You started your business with visions of a stellar team around you, a fair distribution of work and responsibility where everyone is committed to the business and reaping the rewards. But now, you can’t help but to look around and feel like you’re on your own. Your team is miles behind you. Instead of trying to drag them along, you’ve adopted a mindset of, “I’ll just do it myself.” 


At Armadillo Academy, we call this the cycle of struggle. It starts with a lack of unity, and gradually trickles down from there. You don’t trust your team to take tasks on. Handling things yourself seems quicker and easier than taking the time to train your staff, so that’s exactly what you do. Not only are you now overwhelmed, but your staff hasn’t been given the skills to do their jobs properly and – worse – they know you don’t believe in them. This causes lack of unity to increase, and the cycle begins again. 


So how can you break out of this rut? The first step is understanding that an investment in your team today will reap rewards in the future. Taking the time to provide your employees with the tools they need to do their job – plus training on how to use those tools – will bridge the gap between where you are and where the rest of your team is. You’ll get your freedom back. Your team will get their confidence back. And together, you can break out of the cycle of struggle. 


You haven’t built a culture that makes employees want to stay 


It’s easy to get caught up in trying to understand why employees leave a business, but it’s also important to understand what makes them stay. What makes an employee commit for the long-term? What makes them see their time with you as a career instead of just a job? 


A SHRM report found that work environment was one of the top three reasons an employee chose to stay in their position. Elements like flexible schedules, an open-door policy that encouraged communication with management, and even casual dress codes were all found to increase talent retention. 


If you’re having trouble attracting, or keeping, the employees you want in your firm, it’s time to take honest stock of the culture within your business. At Armadillo Academy, we live by the values of honesty, integrity, resilience, and family. We structure everything we do around these values, including our work culture, and it’s helped us build an effective and cohesive team. 


Taking the time to curate a positive and hardworking environment in your accountancy firm will not only lower turnover rates but improve overall company performance and morale. 


You need to revamp your hiring process 


There’s nothing more disheartening than going through a lengthy hiring process and finally finding what you think is the perfect new member for your team, only to discover down the line that it isn’t the right fit. You’ve wasted time, money, and you have to begin the whole process over again. 


The most efficient way to prevent staff turnover in your accounting firm (this is when a business lets an employee go) is to revamp your hiring process. If you take just a bit more time and energy to make sure you’re bringing on the right people for your team, you’ll do away with the costs and hassle of letting the wrong people go. Some of the steps you can take to improve your hiring process include:


  • Building a strong brand to attract the right candidates to your business 
  • Investing time into your job postings, including adding personal touches or pre-qualifiers to help you know which candidates are serious about the role 
  • Opening up the interview process to other members of your team – remember, it’s not just you who will be working with a new hire. It’s everyone!  


You’re not investing in your employees’ futures 


It can be daunting to invest money into an employee’s development. Especially for a smaller firms where staff turnover may be high, qualification programs like ACA or ACTA can be expensive. Often, we have owners come to us who are worried about their investments not paying off – what if you spend all this time and money training an employee only for them to leave after a couple of years? 


Investing into your employees’ futures is, in fact, one of the most effective means of retaining talent and preventing high turnover in your accounting firm. A WorldatWork Survey of HR professionals found that career development opportunities were more effective at preventing turnovers than above-market pay or spot bonuses. A study done by RSM Tenon on talent retention found that turnover rates dropped from 19% to 2% when employees were in training programs and achieving qualifications. 


What these numbers tell us is that when you invest into your employee’s future, they’ll want that future to be with you. 


If you treat someone like they’re just an employee, they’ll treat their role with you as just a job. They won’t go above or beyond, and they’ll be more easily swayed away towards other opportunities. If, instead, you make it easy and clear for them to see how they can progress with you, they’ll put in the work to make that happen. 

At Armadillo Academy we have four key training programs to help you build the best team possible. To learn more about how we defeat the cycle of struggle, developing people page.