US companies struggling to find accountants

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Companies in the US are battling to find accountants to employ, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

Apparently there aren’t enough accountants to go around.

Johnson & Johnson took six months last year to fill an open position for a junior-level accountant in its financial-compliance department, according to the article.

Quoting a senior director at Johnson & Johnson, Stephen Rivera, the big accounting firms are taking all the accountants.

“Amid accounting changes to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles that govern U.S. financial reporting, companies are scrambling to find so-called technical accountants, regulatory experts who can understand the rules and ensure that management and staff comply.

“Large companies can outsource the work to big accounting firms but would prefer to have their own expertise to maintain internal standards as regulators pay more attention to corporate-accounting practices, said Mr. Rivera.”

According to the article, companies are increasingly competing for talent with major accounting and audit firms that had once served as a reliable pipeline for corporate finance back offices.

“Some of the firms have changed their work culture in a bid to keep workers happy and keep them longer.”

It says that according Robert Grecco, controller at luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren Corp., there is an absolute demand for technical expertise, which is only going to increase.

Read the full story here.