Huge Jump in Pro Staff Turnover

pro staff turnover1

Professional staff turnover in 2012 jumped roughly 50% to 16-18% from 11-12% in 2011.

These results were across all firm size ranges. This data is hot off the presses of the just-released 2013 Rosenberg MAP Survey.

What happened?

A return to the “old normal.”

We need to view the turnover increases with the proper perspective. Yes, turnover increased 50%. But the 16-18% range is about where staff turnover was at before the recession and where it has historically settled at in the CPA profession. The 11-12% for 2011 and 2010 was much lower than historical turnover levels because people were hanging on to their jobs, waiting until the recession’s recovery created new jobs.

As businesses slowly emerged from the recession, they weren’t doing much hiring. That changed in 2012. So yes, staff turnover is up 50%, but it’s just getting back to historical levels.

Specific turnover causes sound familiar. The biggest causes of the spike in turnover were

  • Staff left to go into industry, many at higher paying salaries
  • Staff counseled out of the firm
  • Staff went to another CPA firm and
  • Staff left due to spouse relocations and/or family reasons.

Great quotes from MPs, which are typical of what firms across the country are experiencing:

“One of our major niche industries has been hiring like crazy and they don’t care about economics; they will pay whatever it takes.”

“90% of our staff departures went into industry – salary offers were very high.”

“Most of our staff that left went to work for clients. All of these were good employees, but left for more money with less stress.”

“Many staff “hung in” with us when salary increases and bonuses were disappointing. Then, when the market improved, the staff jumped. There is a ‘war for talent’ going on.”

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