Payroll & Taxes

5 Ways Companies are Surviving Busy Season with Fewer Accountants

As the shrinking accounting talent pool continues, let’s dive into how companies are tackling tax season with fewer accounting resources on board.

Blog Author - Wassia Kamon, CPA, CMA, MBA
Wassia Kamon, CPA, CMA, MBA
Mar 4, 20244 minutes
Blog Author - Wassia Kamon, CPA, CMA, MBA
Wassia Kamon, CPA, CMA, MBA

Wassia is Finance Executive, a Speaker, and a Thought leader, whose insights have been featured in publications such as, The Wall Street Journal, AccountingToday, and Strategic Finance Magazine. To learn more about her, visit

3 postsAuthor's posts
Year-end tips for accountants-Guest-Wassia Kamon

In a time when nearly 75% of AICPA members are on the brink of retirement and fewer young people are choosing accounting as a career, businesses are facing a critical challenge: how to manage the busy audit and tax season with shrinking teams. 

This growing gap between the number of accountants leaving and those entering the profession has set the stage for a talent shortage that is becoming the new normal. Let's dive into how companies are tackling this busy season with fewer accountants on board.


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1. Outsourcing

Facing an in-house shortage of accounting talent, companies are increasingly turning to outsourcing to bridge the gap. Outsourcing allows companies to:

  • Leverage external expertise for both routine and specialized tasks.

  • Expand the talent pool beyond geographical limits.

  • Manage operational costs by only paying for required services.

  • Scale up quickly based on workload, without needing to hire additional staff.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported in a recent article that more accounting firms were offshoring tax and audit work to India, Argentina, and Brazil. However, not all outsourcing happens overseas. An emerging trend is the rise of fractional resources, such as fractional CFOs and Controllers, as well as partnerships with local firms. 

With technology and cloud-based systems, companies can outsource almost all their accounting functions, including accounts payable (A/P), accounts receivable (A/R), financial statement preparation, corporate and individual tax preparation, and even Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A). While outsourcing presents valuable opportunities, companies should be mindful of potential risks, such as safeguarding data privacy and quality control with external partners.

2. Automating Workflows

Automation has become a game-changer for businesses striving to do more with fewer resources. By streamlining repetitive tasks, companies can free up their existing staff to focus on more complex activities, thereby enhancing their productivity during peak seasons.

Implementing better workflows helps companies to:

  • Reduce manual input and error rates.

  • Minimize the risk of burnout from performing routine and mundane tasks.

  • Ensure data is handled consistently for compliance purposes.

For example, automating the client onboarding process in tax services can significantly reduce the time and paperwork involved. A platform like Xero or QuickBooks can automatically gather and organize client financial information, making it readily available for analysis and processing. Similarly, utilizing payroll software like Justworks can streamline payroll management, allowing employees to focus on more strategic tasks rather than manual data entry. 

These technologies not only simplify processes during time-sensitive periods but also ensure accuracy and compliance, making the busy season more manageable for everyone, even with limited capacity.

3. Exploring AI Solutions

Companies are exploring AI solutions to tackle complex tasks such as predictive analysis, anomaly detection, and even decision-making support. McKinsey describes this evolution as a “shift focus from low-end to high-end automation.”

Enhanced Fraud Detection: With tools like MindBridge Ai Auditor and Featurespace's ARIC™ Fraud Hub, companies can harness the power of AI to sift through vast amounts of transaction data in real time, identifying unusual patterns that may signify fraudulent activities. This capability is invaluable during peak periods, enabling smaller teams to maintain stringent oversight without the manual workload.

Refining Audit Scope: Platforms such as KPMG Clara and Deloitte's CortexAI for Audit are revolutionizing the audit process. By leveraging AI to analyze financial statements and highlight areas of risk, these tools allow auditors to focus their efforts where they're most needed. This precision ensures that, even with fewer hands on deck, firms can conduct thorough and effective audits.

As more research is conducted and new tools are developed, the accessibility and application of AI in accounting will continue to expand, offering even more support for companies striving to maintain high standards with limited staffing.

4. Being More Selective

With stretched resources, businesses are becoming more selective, choosing clients and projects that match their expertise and values. This ensures efforts are concentrated where they can be most impactful, supported by:

Optimizing Client Portfolio: By focusing on clients whose needs closely match the firm’s areas of expertise, firms can conduct audits more efficiently and effectively. This not only ensures higher quality outcomes but also strengthens client relationships by delivering exceptional, specialized service.

Leveraging Technology: Companies are prioritizing digital tools that easily integrate with each other, making it easier to manage projects even with a leaner team. Key features to look for include:

  • Easy integration with existing systems, particularly cloud-based platforms, to ensure a smooth workflow.

  • Comprehensive support and resources to meet both current and anticipated needs, ensuring the firm can adapt to changes without disruption.

This strategic approach helps manage workloads and maintain quality, even with fewer resources.

5. Boosting Efforts to Keep Talent

To address the critical need for skilled accountants, especially during peak seasons, companies are stepping up their efforts to retain talent. They're enhancing their offerings and workplace culture to keep their teams motivated and engaged by:

  • Focusing on bringing people up to speed faster and making training easier for existing staff.

  • Providing clear career advancement opportunities to keep existing staff motivated.

  • Implementing policies for a better work-life balance to prevent burnout.

  • Choosing clear communication channels to cut down on confusion and duplicate work.

These strategies aim to retain talent through better engagement, career development opportunities, and work-life balance initiatives, thereby encouraging them to stay committed through the busiest times.

Thinking Outside the Box

Navigating the busy season with fewer accountants has pushed companies to think outside the box. They are getting creative to survive — outsourcing to fill gaps, automating to save time, using AI for smarter work, picking projects that fit best, and making sure they keep their best people happy. These practical steps not only help companies navigate the immediate needs but also prepare them to tackle future challenges with greater resilience as the accounting landscape continues to evolve.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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Written By
Blog Author - Wassia Kamon, CPA, CMA, MBA
Wassia Kamon, CPA, CMA, MBA
Mar 4, 20244 minutes

Wassia is Finance Executive, a Speaker, and a Thought leader, whose insights have been featured in publications such as, The Wall Street Journal, AccountingToday, and Strategic Finance Magazine. To learn more about her, visit

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