U.S. Accounting Firms Plan to Hire More IT Staff

U.S. Accounting Firms Plan to Hire More IT Staff

A recent survey conducted by the Information Technology Alliance (ITA), an independent membership association of leading mid-market technology professionals, consultants and product/service providers in North America, confirms that CPA Firm CIOs plan to hire more IT staff for the remainder of 2015. The survey included responses from chief information officers or their equivalents from the ITA’s CPA Firm membership. These 25 firms are all ranked in the top 50 of Accounting Today’s annual Top 100 Firms survey.

“The demand for qualified IT staff within accounting firms is at an all-time high across the accounting industry,” said John Bowles, chief information officer for Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina, and chairman of the ITA CIO Academy. “Higher salary demands for IT staff will make a significant impact in the overall budgets for these firms.”

Survey findings found the following IT staffing trends for 2015:

  • As a whole, the accounting industry demand for IT resources are higher in 2015, and the salary expectations of candidates are higher.
  • In 2014, the surveyed firms budgeted for an average of 61 IT staff; in 2015, that number is predicted to rise to 67 IT staff.
  • On average, there is one IT staff person per 38 people within an accounting firm. This number has remained consistent since 2013.
  • Finding qualified IT professionals with deep technical skills such as SharePoint and .Net developers is taking more time than it did in the past.
  • The increase in IT staffing is partially attributed to the need for additional IT security professionals.
  • IT headcount increases are occurring across the spectrum of firms surveyed, from the largest to the smallest.

“The ITA CIO survey does more than just give us a view of what is really going on in the IT departments of the largest accounting firms,” said Stan Mork, president of the ITA. “It is a strong indicator of future trends that helps us structure our CIO Academy and other educational forums so that our members can get the very best, and most up-to-date information possible.” Read more on CPA Practice Advisor.