Staffing woes: the 404 talent war.The word on the street is "Hold onto your staff any way you can. Employees are being lured away with promises of greener pastures, which translate into workplace flexibility and money. Sounds like an old story, but there's a new twist: Section 404, Sarbanes-Oxley's guidance for managing internal controls, is fueling the fire.
"The war for talent is heating up," says Leslie Murphy, managing partner--client services, Plante & Moran, a regional firm in Southfield, Michigan Southfield is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit and is part of the metro Detroit area. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 78,296. Southfield Township is adjacent to the city on the north side. . "Our professionals are being heavily recruited and receive numerous calls from headhunters seeking experienced CPAs. The ante on referral bonuses has increased as much as $7,000 at some firms." Murphy says that Sarbanes-Oxley, especially the extra requirements imposed by section 404, has put a tremendous talent pressure on CPA (Computer Press Association, Landing, NJ) An earlier membership organization founded in 1983 that promoted excellence in computer journalism. Its annual awards honored outstanding examples in print, broadcast and electronic media. The CPA disbanded in 2000. firms that audit public companies. In fact some of these firms are turning away business and letting go of smaller public clients, increasing opportunities for firms of all sizes. This new demand, however, is causing an immediate staffing shortage. "The phenomenon is a double-edged sword," she says. The opportunities for public accounting firms are endless as long as you hold onto your staff.
"Rule 404 is a huge human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. concern for public companies and their auditors," agrees Chuck Landes, AICPA AICPA
See American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). director of audit and attest services. "From the senior to the manager level, experienced CPAs are needed to document and test internal control systems as rule 404 becomes effective."
Companies need extra CPAs to implement and manage section 404's guidance over internal controls, and CPA firms need to adequately staff their client engagements. The result is a Rubik's Cube Rubik's Cube (commonly misspelled rubix, rubick's or rubicscube) is a mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 by the Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. effect on staffing, with companies hiring people away from CPA firms and firms hiring away from one another. Local, regional and national firms are actively recruiting to handle the extra compliance work and staff new business. William E. Balhoff, audit and consulting director at Postlethwaite & Netterville, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana For the Canadian restaurant, see .
Baton Rouge (from the French bâton rouge), pronounced /ˈbætn ˈɹuːʒ/ in English, and , notes that "Rule 404 has given more work to our profession with the same number of staff to go around."
Adding to the crisis, says Lauren Malensek, chief human resources officer of the regional firm Clifton Gunderson (CG) in Peoria, Illinois Peoria, Illinois (named after the Peoria tribe) is the largest city on the Illinois River and the county seat of Peoria County,GR6 Illinois, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 112,936. , is the fact that the baby boomer baby boomer also ba·by-boom·er
A member of a baby-boom generation.
Noun 1. baby boomer - a member of the baby boom generation in the 1950s; "they expanded the schools for a generation of baby boomers"
boomer generation is getting ready to retire. Experts such as Bruce Tulgan, author of Generational Shift: What We Saw at the Workplace Revolution, predict a shortage of workers. By 2006, Tulgan estimates, two experienced workers will leave the workforce for every new worker who enters it.
Attracting and retaining qualified staff is not a new concern for firms. In fact it has been their top management concern for several years, but keeping that talent trained, motivated and inspired is another matter altogether. Skimming the surface of employees' needs on an ad hoc For this purpose. Meaning "to this" in Latin, it refers to dealing with special situations as they occur rather than functions that are repeated on a regular basis. See ad hoc query and ad hoc mode. basis might not be the best approach. In a PCPS PCPS Primary Care and Population Sciences
PCPS Partners for Child Passenger Safety
PCPS Pleasant Corners Public School (Canada)
PCPS Plymouth Counselling and Psychotherapy Service (UK) survey of top talent conducted in 2000, 88% of respondents called respect for work/life issues the no. 1 reason they stayed with their firms. This statistic can be validated from the number of public accounting firm success stories (as well as those in the corporate arena) generated through flexible scheduling programs and creating opportunities for staff to participate in leadership development and mentoring programs.
Firms of all sizes are experiencing section 404 staffing woes: "We are always looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. good people. We are able to find new five-year graduates with strong GPAs from good schools--but finding people with three or four years of experience is very tough," says managing partner Robert Harris of Harris, Cotherman & Associates, a firm of 15 professionals in Veto Beach, Florida. "Everyone wants to do tax and litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. consulting. Finding people who want to be auditors is very difficult--even though rule 404 is not an issue for us." Harris says there is no silver bullet No Silver Bullet - essence and accidents of software engineering is a well-known paper on software engineering written by Fred Brooks in 1986. Brooks argues that there will be no more technologies or practices that will serve as "silver bullets" and create a twofold ; you simply need to keep looking.
Firms increasingly are implementing strategies to retain staff. At CG this begins during the recruiting process. "We are getting prepared for the crisis--gearing up for the shortage of talent," says Malensek. The firm has deployed human resources professionals to its 54 offices around the country to facilitate training and retention of professional staff. That training includes everything that falls under career development, such as "career pathing," career planning and mentoring. "Management uses the predictive index, a proprietary management tool developed for personality profiling, during the recruiting and hiring process." The index has helped CG identify what motivates people--"their work styles, self-confidence and how they relate to each other," says Malensek--and has been beneficial in team building, training assessment, retention, and promotion and leadership assessment. Krista M. Kaland, partner in charge of Priority One--a plan to improve recruitment, retention and advancement of women--says CG has cut employee turnover in half. Kaland expresses satisfaction with the firm's global use of the predictive index saying "management of CG is not alone in the positive response. Staff members are happy because they're able to apply and focus their passions in areas they enjoy."
Section 404's challenges already have strained resources and affect all firms to varying degrees, even those practices that do not serve public companies. As it presents opportunities for practice growth and expansion, it also puts demands on firms to attract and keep the best professionals.
BARBARA VIGILANTE vigilante n. someone who takes the law into his/her own hands by trying and/or punishing another person without any legal authority. In the 1800s groups of vigilantes dispensed "frontier justice" by holding trials of accused horse-thieves, rustlers and shooters, and is manager of work/life and women's initiatives at the AICPA. Her e-mail address is email@example.com. Ms. Vigilante is an employee of the AICPA and her views, as expressed above, do not reflect the views of the Institute. Official positions are determined through certain specific committee procedures, due process and deliberation.