It’s high time that the accounting students got their due. Right now it is estimated that students with financial skills in accounting may be in higher demand than their cousins in engineering.
Singapore admits it only takes 3 years to become a senior accountant. This speaks to the shortage of educated individuals entering accounting, and the dearth of accountants sticking with the field. One wonders how much longer this will continue. According to my CPA, this is typical in the US as well; he marvels that firms in the UK only need two months, on average, to locate accouting talent.
Meanwhile, regional universities are selling their accounting graduates out of state. Right now, there is a startup company designed to help firms hiring accountants in Long Island to connect with local talent. The business community admits that it has a hard time attracting individuals to the part of the state, and retaining the students they train.
So we begin to wonder, what happens when older workers retire, or move jobs — are they replaced by a worker of similar age and experience? Not always. Sometimes, multiple younger recruits are filling in for workers in their late forties and fifties. Already, senior professionals in accounting are questioning whether this is a function of the costs of hiring an older, more seasoned professional, or if this is an outcome of the relative ‘affordability’ of hiring a younger professional. Even, a recent graduate. To most of us, there is no substitute for experience. However, as I wrote in my most recent blog post, when business conditions change (such as the emergent need for Sarbanes-Oxley), new recruits can fill in where older workers once filled the bill. Examples in Tennessee seems to bear witness to this phenomenon.