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Accountants: link skills management and operational issues!
Change management
Resource management

Accountants: link skills management and operational issues!

Agathe Placet
Content manager
March 2, 2023
5 min

New trends in the audit and accounting market 

The audit and accounting market is a constantly evolving sector, it is a very competitive market and to remain competitive, these firms must constantly innovate and improve their services. Indeed, in the last few years, we have witnessed the appearance of neo-firms such as Pennylane and my accountant who are forcing traditional firms to modernize, to renew themselves.

And for good reason: the accounting and auditing professions are on the move, and must face up to new trends in the world of work, just like consulting firms and IT services companies.

Employee commitment as a priority

With an employee resignation rate of 20% between the first and fifth year of joining a firm, it is urgent to do what is necessary to provide a better working environment for your teams.

This begins with the implementation of a work organization that values people and gives meaning to their work.

Accounting and auditing firms must realize that employee engagement is essential to improve their performance, foster employee loyalty and improve the quality of life at work. Because it is in their interest! A study by the Quality of Life at Work Observatory reveals that in 2021, companies that invest in employee engagement have financial results that are 2 to 3 times higher than those of companies that do not attach importance to it. 

The importance of skills management and training

Service companies generate their sales by selling employees' skills to their customers. Do you see where we're going with this? To stay competitive, you need to invest in your teams' progress and the skills development ! That's the only way you'll stay perfectly in tune with your customers' current and future needs. What's more, accounting firms have a legal obligation to maintain a certain level of technical expertise

The projectification of the economy

By 2027, 88 million people will work in project management worldwide, and the value of project-based economic activity will reach $20 trillion. That's not from us, it's from the Harvard business Review.

What should we learn from this? Simply that more and more companies are going to operate in project mode, and consequently recruit their employees for their skills rather than for filling out a job description. The challenge will therefore be to attract employees with the skills most sought after by your customers. But to do this, they must be able to identify them!

Audit and accounting firms are already operating in project mode, and will increasingly have to support their own clients in the implementation of this new organization. According to a study by the Observatoire de la Transformation des Entreprises en 2020, 60% of French companies consider project management as an important issue for their competitiveness, and 25% of companies have implemented a specific strategy to develop their project management capacity.

The rise of the feedback culture 

Annual appraisals are a thing of the past: all employees will tell you so. And for good reason: a study by the OpinionWay institute in 2021 revealed that 92% of French employees consider that regular feedback improves their motivation and commitment at work.

This trend, commonly referred to as the feedback culture, is intrinsically linked to competency needs and projectification. Employees, like their employers, want to stay at the top of their game and continue to learn throughout their careers

By setting up regular feedbacks in your office, you offer the possibility to your teams to be in a continuous progression, to regularly review their progress and their wishes for professional evolution. It's a win-win situation: your teams feel they have evolved in your firm, are more motivated, and remain perfectly in tune with your clients' needs

However, the evidence is clear: firms are not equipped to respond to these new trends

Many companies in this sector have difficulty adapting to these new trends and thus making the link between skills management and operational issues. 

The result?

No global visibility on the skills of the teams at the company level

  • Misallocation of resources
  • Alow level of commitment from employees who do not feel sufficiently valued
  • The possibility of missing opportunities

The "blind" assignment of customer files to employees

  • Average or inefficient file processing if a collaborator receives a file that he or she is not able to process (if he or she does not have the skills).
  • A feeling of injustice on the part of some employees who feel that their experience and skills are not recognized.
  • Dissatisfied customers

Perfectible support for employees in their progress

  • Employees will be less engaged and motivated because their interests and aspirations are not sufficiently taken into account

Fortunately, solutions exist 

However, there is a simple solution to this problem: the software of assignment and competency management software.

This tool will allow you to link the development of skills to the operational issues of your firm very easily since you will be able to identify the skills, availability and aspirations of your teams and this will boost your performance at all levels:

You will have the tools to meet your legal obligations

Using this tool will allow you to : 

  • To meet the obligation of continuous professional training 
  • Accurately track certifications 
  • Fulfill the obligation of the control of the order of the chartered accountants, to be able to prove that he follows the competences / trainings / evolution / evaluation 
  • Identify in-house skills needed to answer the mission acceptance questionnaire.

A cartography makes it much easier for you to comply with Ordre des experts-comptables regulations. In the event of an audit by the Ordre, the skills map can be used to prove the investment you have made in maintaining the skill levels of your teams and the quality of service required.

You are in control of the planning of your customer files

The software of assignment is the guarantor of :  

  • Efficient scheduling based on availability and size of your portfolio. All practices fill out time sheets and close them with the billing. The software allows you to centralize all of this data and ensure your financial follow-up
  • Consistent assignment of your employees to the right projects 
  • Supervision of all work and client files. It helps you in your role as coordinator and evaluator

This meticulous planning allows for optimal time management and avoids having employees overwhelmed by urgent tasks or close deadlines and thus prioritizing tasks by complexity. 

It also allows for better communication with clients and informs them of deadlines and upcoming steps, and keeps them informed of the progress of their file. This strengthens the trust and the working relationship with the client.

You will be able to propose real personalized career plans to your employees

  • The accounting profession is a job in tension, you must retain employees, retain them and improve sourcing, the software of assignment facilitates this task with its features such as the like on project and the vision it offers on all current and future projects. 
  • You can conduct annual interviews with the tool and find out their motivations and their wishes for training
  • In short, the software helps you to make them progress and retain them 

Offering personalized career plans has a strong impact on the motivation, investment and loyalty of your employees, who feel recognized at their true value and thus increase their operational performance.

The benefits of a solution like Napta

So, once you have your assignment toolin hand, you can: 

✅ Accurately track certifications on the platform

✅ Assigning the right employees to the right projects

✅ Advancing employees and building loyalty

Implementing software dedicated to assignment and skills management guarantees a significant impact on your performance. You'll be able to link skills management with the operational challenges of your business, and thus meet the requirements imposed by all emerging trends.

You will see real improvements in terms of motivation and quality of services provided internally.

That's good timing! 

This is Napta's promise: to help organizations in project mode to maximize the commitment and performance of their employees, by facilitating informed, transparent and human project planning.

Would you like to find out more? We've got plenty of resources to help you go further.

To complement this topic, read our white paper "Which metrics should you follow to manage your assignment and improve your decision-making?

See also our guides, templates and checklists in the Resources tab.

See you soon at Napta!

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