Why Good Accountants Quit


Why do good accountants exit stage left? While there are a number of reasons, the most important appears to be poor management.

And with top talent generating a disproportionate amount of your bottom line, you can’t afford to lose your strong performers. If your all-stars are punching their ticket to a different company, it’s likely poor management is the problem.

Lack of Leadership
When the team is struggling, a strong manager steps into the void, provides guidance and rights the ship. Otherwise the top performers, who are carrying the team, begin to feel resentful and look for other options where the work is more equally divided, or where they feel there is an opportunity to achieve group outcomes. Poor leadership typically equals poor teamwork and this is a recipe for retention disaster.

No Connection to the Big Picture
A great manager can connect each individual’s role to the big picture. Why is this important? Because it leads to employee engagement and buy-in. A Gallops Q12 employee engagement survey explored the connection between a company’s mission and employee retention. Their research revealed something interesting. If an employee felt that their role was integral to achieving a company’s mission – a mission that was viewed as important – the more likely they were to stay in the role. Want to retain your top performers? Connect their role to the big picture.

Not Listening and Following Up
This is not talk therapy. This is listening to the concerns of the team and then taking action if possible. Whether it’s bringing in a temporary contractor to offset an increase in team work load, or implementing a new ERP system, good managers walk the talk.

Obviously, good accountants can also leave for growth opportunities, or because the role was not what they expected, but the primary reason a company loses top talent is poor leadership. Good accountants thrive on strong teams founded on a clearly defined vision and their role within it. If you want to hold on to your top performers listen to them and follow through. After all, there’s a lot of truth to the saying that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.