What Can You Do to Overcome the Skills Gap in Tax Employees?

According to the 2016 American Staffing Association’s Skills Gap Index, one of the hardest positions to fill is that of a tax preparer. With baby boomers retiring and millennials not stepping into tax preparation roles, it’s increasingly challenging finding workers to fill those positions. Fortunately, there are steps companies can take to find qualified candidates. Here are three ways you can overcome the skills gap in tax employees.

Change Position Duties

Because these workers have specialized skills, let them focus more on completing tasks only they can perform and assigning additional responsibilities to other accountants. When tax preparers have more time to focus on areas they excel in, they’re more likely to want to work for your company, stay engaged in their tasks, produce higher quality output and remain with your organization longer.

Train Candidates

Focus more on attitude and aptitude than on experience when searching for candidates. This is especially important when considering recent graduates with little job experience. They’ll be eager to add to their skill sets, quick to adapt and more likely to work for less pay in exchange for on-the-job training. You may also cross-train or promote employees within your organization who express an interest in becoming tax preparers. Because your staff members already know their co-workers and have inside knowledge of your company, more time would be focused on training than on acclimating to your workplace. Your employees would be more productive in a shorter amount of time and begin benefitting your organization sooner.

Provide Increased Income

Research what the current salary range is in your area, then offer a bit more than average. Consider what skills and experience each candidate has to offer, how many employees you have to pay and what laws affect their income before deciding on final numbers. In addition, think about future bonuses and raises you may have to offer to stay competitive. Furthermore, consider the cost of benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans with company match and PTO. Think about perks such as a flexible schedule, working remotely and participating in an employee wellness program. All of these factors will affect how competitive your compensation package is.

Work With a Top Accounting Recruiter in Chicago

For help with filling your accounting roles, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources and partner with a top accounting recruiter in Chicago.

The Most Important Part of Your Job Negotiation

Job negotiations take much time and effort. You have to be prepared to ask for what you want and know what you won’t settle for. Because the process can be daunting, it’s important you have a plan in place before your interview. Here are four parts of your job negotiation you’ll want to focus on.


Uncover all you can about the company and its typical salaries and benefits options for your department and role. Find facts and statistics you can use in your favor to build a case for getting what you want. Have set goals for receiving what you desire. Plan ways in which you may fill your needs and how you may respond to a counteroffer. Ensure you know which areas you’re set on and which are flexible. Showing you performed solid research increases your chances of receiving a more attractive offer.


Go online to research the current range for your position in both your industry and geographic area. Talk with local recruiters to see what numbers they give you. When you’re ready to negotiate, start with the top number in your salary range. The interviewer will probably negotiate you down, so leave plenty of room to find an agreeable number. Justify your request by pointing out specific ways you increased revenue or decreased expenses for previous employers and how you may do the same for your new employer. Ensure you know what salary is too low to fit your needs. If that amount becomes the final offer, be willing to walk away.


If you agree to a lower salary, try making up for the value with benefits and perks. For example, you may obtain health insurance, gain a matching contribution for your retirement plan or secure a signing bonus. You might be able to gain additional vacation days, have a flexible schedule, or work remotely. Perhaps you’ll obtain opportunities for growth and promotion, support for ongoing education or reimbursement for tuition.


Because you have more power when the interviewer sees where you’re coming from, ensure you do all you can to help them understand your position. For example, give concrete reasons why you’re worth the salary you’re requesting, including quantifiable ways you helped prior employers and can do the same for your new employer. Show you sincerely want to work for the organization and that it’s worth the extra effort negotiating with you. Point out the options you have as leverage and under which conditions you’d be willing to leave those options and accept an offer. Understand the interviewer’s concerns, such as a salary cap, so you can agree on an offer that suits everyone’s interests.

Partner With a Top Finance Recruiter in Chicago

For help securing your next accounting or finance position, contact Casey Accounting & Finance Resources to work with a top finance recruiter in Chicago!



Top Finance and Accounting Candidates – June 2017


Areas of expertise: Strong Manufacturing Industry background at the plant level
Noteworthy: CPA with a mix of public Accounting/Audit experience and MFG Controllership experienced.
Position Interest: Controller or Plant Accountant
Available for: Direct Hire
Location: Northwest Suburbs, IL

Credit Manager

Areas of expertise: Credit department leadership and development of staff and driving process improvement.
Noteworthy: MBA, strong leadership of credit/collections staff, Credit reviews and financial statement analysis, develops and implements credit policies and procedures.
Position Interest: Credit Manager or Senior Credit Manager
Available for: Direct Hire
Location: West Suburbs, Northwest Suburbs, or Chicago Loop, IL

Corporate Controller/Chief Financial Officer

Areas of expertise: Experience leading Accounting/Finance function for small to mid-size privately held MFG/Distribution companies in the $50-$300M range.
Noteworthy: CPA, Drives cost savings initiatives, implements internal controls and establishing procedures, improving cash-flow
Position Interest: Corporate Controller or Chief Financial Officer
Available for: Contract or Direct Hire
Location: North and NW suburbs, West Suburbs and city of Chicago

Senior Credit Analyst

Areas of expertise: Analysis of financial statements, completing web-based research, determining credit worthiness, assigning, maintaining and monitoring appropriate credit limits, and releasing orders.
Noteworthy: Prior to his current company, stayed at his company for 16 years. Has experience with SAP, Salesforce, and Oracle in recent Manufacturing.
Position Interest: Supervisor role within credit and finance
Available for: Direct Hire
Location: Northwest Suburbs, IL

Senior Accountant

Areas of expertise: Monthly financial analysis, month end close, budgeting, fixed assets, endowments, reconciling investments, journal entries.
Noteworthy: Moved up while she was working for a public accounting firm. At her current role, she purchased two new modules for their accounting software and assisted in its implementation.
Position Interest: Senior Accountant or Accounting Manager
Available for: Direct Hire
Location: Chicago (loop), IL

Senior Accountant

Areas of Expertise: GAAP compliance, month end close, journal entries, Tax Preparation, Auditing, Financial statements, A/P, Corporate tax, Account Reconciliations
Noteworthy: Has worked in both large and small offices. Has a little supervisory experience.
Position Interest: Senior Accountant or Accounting Manager
Available for: Direct Hire
Location: Northwest Suburbs, IL

Staff Accountant

Areas of expertise: Month End Close, Income Statements, Variance Analysis, Budgeting, Financial Statement Review and Preparation, GAAP, Lawson, Crystal Reports, Oracle, Advanced Excel.
Noteworthy: Complete responsibilities for month end close, rolling out all the financial statements for each department and as an organization as a whole. Presentations for upper management and President for explanation of variances and impacts on the bottom line.
Position Interest: Staff Accountant, Sr. Accountant, Financial Analyst, Sr. Financial Analyst
Available for: Direct Hire
Location: Northwest Suburbs, IL

Director of Payroll

Areas of expertise: Employee Relations, Payroll Processing for up to 25,000 employees, ADP newest SaaS product, Review, Audit and correct all tax related issues for 21 subsidiary companies. International Payroll, Multi State Payroll
Noteworthy: Oversees 26 bi-weekly payrolls. Processed payroll for up to 25,000 employees and up to 43 states. Handled 26 FEIN’s. Globally for UK, Asia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada. 7 direct reports. Involved in numerous system upgrades and conversions. Worked with WorkForce Now, ETime, Kronos and HTML
Position Interest: Payroll Manager, Director of Payroll, Payroll Director
Available for: Contract to Hire or Direct Hire
Location: Western Suburbs or Chicago (loop), IL


Areas of expertise: Advanced Excel (pivot tables, lookups, formulas), G/L Accounting, MFG Industry experience
Noteworthy: Excellent communication skills. Finishing up a Masters in Accounting with a goal to sit for the CPA exam in 2018.
Position Interest: Staff or Senior Accountant
Available for: Contract or Direct Hire
Location: Northwest and Western Suburbs, IL

Bookkeeper/Accounting Clerk

Areas of expertise: A/P, A/R, Bank Recs, Account Recs, Month-End Close, Billing, Payroll, ERP Systems
Noteworthy: Associates Degree in Accounting with a broad range of bookkeeping experience
Position Interest: Bookkeeper or Accounting Clerk
Available for: Temp to Hire
Location: Western Suburbs, IL