Keeping & Attracting Talented Construction Accountants

Keeping Accounting Professionals during the Labor Shortage

Whether you know for sure that your construction business’s accountant is leaving, if you’re just worried, or if you’re even hiring a new accounting team, you probably have questions. If they’re leaving, how can you make them stay? Why did they decide to leave in the first place? What can you do to make the transition smooth for your business? And if you’re hiring a new team or trying to refill a position: how do you keep them? Read on for all the answers to your questions and more. 

Starting in mid-2021, a new movement started in the workforce. The media has dubbed it “the Great Resignation”, and it’s caused a massive reshuffling of jobs, as well as an unprecedented shortage of labor. You may notice your employees getting restless, or even have experienced this turnover yourself. Or, you may realize that right now is the best time to snag some amazing talent. Previously we covered how to generally navigate the labor shortage. For this blog, we’re focusing especially on the unsung heroes of every construction business: the accountants. 

Want to make your accounting team really happy?

Not only can you help your company recover when one of your accounting experts leave, you can actually help decrease turnover when you provide the right tools. Keep your staff happy, and make their jobs easier with Flashtract’s construction billing software.

What makes construction accountants special?

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are some of the most valuable individuals for any business to operate properly within the laws. CPAs cover a wide range of job titles, from Payroll Coordinators to Estimators. Overall, their salaries sit at a comfortable median of $68,000 a year according to Indeed. This fairly high average reflects the critical nature of their work. A good CPA can avoid IRS issues, keep your employee’s salaries organized, or keep a project on budget. Others are good at analyzing past data and providing accurate projections of future expenditures. 

Accountants working in the construction industry must also be aware of a number of factors. Firstly is the unique nature of commercial construction, wherein payments are not usual up front, but released slowly as work is completed. Next, they need to be aware of a number of legal requirements such as signatures and notarizations. Lastly, accountants for large construction companies will need to be organized with often multiple payments for multiple projects from multiple contractors rolling in periodically. 

All in all, while this may seem like a comfy office job with a good salary at first glance, accountants have a lot of pressure to work quickly while also maintaining flawless attention to detail.

What to do if your construction accountant is leaving.

Whether you knew all along, or you’re suddenly understanding how much your accountants have to handle, unexpectedly finding your finance department short these critical employees can bring operations to a standstill. So what can you do? 
  • Don’t panic! This may seem like it’s easier said than done, but panicking will make planning and recovery just that much harder.
  • If they gave notice, start the transition period. Don’t try to focus on them doing as much work as possible. The work will always be there. Have them look out for the next person who will fill their role.
  • Have them compile instead a list of tasks and procedures. This will make it easier to temporarily redistribute their tasks, as well as create a new job listing. 
  • Conduct an exit interview. Employees who are leaving will frequently give vital feedback they may have been hesitant to share before. While it’s easy to have a knee-jerk denial of their problems, you can also use it to strengthen your business.
How to Welcome and Keep New Accounting Hires

How to Prep for a new Construction Accounting Hire

If you were able to follow the steps above, you’re in good shape! The next steps will be to fill the old role with a new hire. However, this seems easier said than done these days. The job market is moving very fast, and you may be worried about the quality of your potential new employee. Additionally, you may be worried about losing the rest of your team. There are several things you can do to ensure that the new position is filled with a skilled hire who will stay.
  • Create a reasonable, transparent job description. If you had a previous accountant who left you tasks and responsibilities, you’re in good shape. You can take those tasks and have a good idea of what you’ll need. Otherwise, you can use guides like this one to get started. Be sure to include any certifications or software you use. It can be a good idea to include salary range and any benefits. 
  • Ensure that you have all the tools your accountants will need. While you are interviewing your potential new hire, they will want to know how they will be doing their job. If you are still using outdated methods of handling documents and payments, you may have a hard time finding new talent. Programs like Flashtract will help you attract experienced CPAs who don’t want to fuss with excel or paper documents.
  • Be ready to move quickly if you find someone with the skills and experience you need. There is an even greater shortage of accountants and CPAs than many other positions. If you find someone who knows their stuff and does well in the interview, be quick to make an offer. Various studies have shown why making offers quickly benefits a business long-term. Additionally, chances are they are interviewing and applying with other companies at the same time as yours.

What to take away?

All in all, while the labor shortage may seem like a huge problem for your business, it’s a blessing in disquise. Whether you are preparing for a new accountant to join you, or facing a departure, you can strengthen your financial team and your business. By investigating what problems your employees are facing, and ensuring they have tools like Flashtract to overcome them, you can improve retention and increase your chances of attracting talent to your company. 

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