Canadian MGI Worldwide member firm Fazzari + Partners LLP comments on global recruitment challenges in latest IAB publication.

26th April 2022

MGI World Canadian flag with text overlay

As our members continue to actively contribute and share their knowledge within the global accounting space, Frank Fazzari, partner at Fazzari + Partners LLP in Canada, has recently featured in an article in the International Accounting Bulletin (IAB) discussing the structural difficulties facing accountancy in relation to the recruitment of new talent. 

Accountancy classed as an essential service in Canada

Thanks to being classed as an essential service, Canada's accountancy firms found that 2021 was relatively undisrupted and essentially ‘business as usual.’ Modest growth was shown on average, with new areas of business emerging, meaning that some firms were in the enviable position of being able to streamline their clients and ask 'bad' ones to leave. Recruitment, however, is putting a squeeze on firms’ ability to expand and take on new clients – a trend that is seen worldwide – while the economy as a whole is facing rising inflation.

Accountancy salaries are causing a problem

One of the problems with recruitment could be due to the salaries typically offered in accountancy, as MGI Worldwide member Frank Fazzari, Managing Partner of Fazzari + Partners LLP, explains:

“The structural problem the accounting industry faces globally is affecting us in Canada – wages in the profession are much too low when compared to the industries where students and younger staff are going – IT developers, vendors and all those connected to that business and finance. They pay much more, so that is where the talent is going. This problem was created years ago and will not change for at least two years as we try to catch up with salaries. "

Recruitment is driving M&A activity in the US

Frank continued to discuss the state of recruitment in the US, explaining that M&A activity is continuous and more will happen due to the shrinking talent pool.

The lack of staff in all areas of Canadian business is becoming a vicious circle for accountancy firms, as their clients are increasingly looking to outsource business management functionality as a way of addressing their own skills shortage. Frank comments:

“Large firms are acquiring talent by acquiring smaller firms, while smaller firms are trying to do the same thing at their level. Many firms will just be concentrating on surviving 2022 with partners doing more work than ever. With a shortage of staff, partners and managers are forced to do work they have not done for years.”

MGI North America firms rank highly 

We’re delighted to report that our member firms in the US are ranking an impressive 16th for fee income and 15th for staff data. In Canada, our member firms are ranking similarly at 15th position for fee data and 16th for staff data.

MGI Worldwide with CPAAI would like to congratulate our member firms in the US and Canada who are responsible for helping achieve these fantastic results.

Visit the Fazzari + Partners LLP website here or their firm profile page here.  

MGI Worldwide with CPAAI is a top 20 ranked global accounting network and association with almost 9,000 professionals, accountants and tax experts in some 400 locations in over 100 countries around the world.

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