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Finance and Accounting Trends to Watch in 2017

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Jan 16, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

When it comes to staffing in the finance and accounting world for 2017, there are a number of factors that may require human resources professionals and hiring managers to rethink personnel decisions, approaching them differently. 

Key Trends and Factors

Here are four key trends and factors for employers to watch. These will likely impact hiring and staffing decisions across industries and sectors, but may have a large impact on staffing for financial and accounting roles in the coming year:

Restructuring of Salaried and Hourly Positions

The biggest trend to watch has the potential to impact organizations across industry lines, with significant implications for finance and accounting functions. The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) changes to the overtime provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) would extend overtime compensation protection to 4.2 million workers in the U.S. who are not currently entitled to overtime pay. Essentially, the rule changes say that workers earning less than $913/week ($47,476) would earn overtime wages regardless of job classification. The rule changes, which were scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016, were put on hold on November 22, 2016 while a federal judge reviews the case and its implications for employers and employees alike. 

Because of the uncertainty about what's going to ultimately happen with those overtime provisions, some companies are considering making structural changes with staff. Depending on the outcome, it may make sense to change salaried employees to hourly employees. Another possible solution to help keep expenses under control would be to hire part-time workers rather than having full-time staff accrue overtime pay. If the overtime rules are ultimately implemented as currently structured, employers can expect the DOL to closely watch implementation and ramp up enforcement for non-compliant organizations, so the onus is on employers to make sure they are staying on top of this issue. 

If these rule changes do go into place, Infinity Consulting Solutions, Inc. (ICS) can quickly help with filling the staffing gaps. By providing qualified, screened personnel for part-time or full-time contract roles, permanent placement and temporary-to-permanent placement positions, ICS can help ease some of the organizational impact of the DOL's rule changes.

Technological Efficiencies

Regulations and process requirements in the finance and accounting space are continuing to grow in both scope and complexity. To help address these changes, more and more companies are leveraging technology to automate a variety of financial and accounting tasks. Doing so allows organizations to effectively do more with fewer employees, giving personnel time to stay on top of regulations and rule changes to ensure the company remains in compliance.  

The growing use of collaboration tools and cloud storage are also impacting the finance and accounting worlds, as they allow for more remote work arrangements for personnel. Because these tools effectively mean staff can be plugged in from anywhere, geographical limitations on hiring accountants, auditors and other personnel will play less of a role in 2017 than in years past. 

Resource-sharing Initiatives

In increasing numbers, organizations are exploring and adopting initiatives that allow them to reduce expenses by sharing overhead and personnel expenses, when it makes sense to do so from a business standpoint. In some companies, this may include having administrative or other support staff who can effectively serve multiple units or departments within a company, providing efficiencies across the organization. 

Economic Uncertainty

There is a lot of speculation about what 2017 will bring in terms of economic and market activity, however one thing is certain: the need for qualified candidates to handle finance and accounting roles won't be going away.  

ICS Can Help

As we march into 2017, organizations can remain competitive by staying ahead of the curve with staffing for finance and accounting positions. 

If you are experiencing difficulty finding qualified candidates for full-time openings, ICS can help. With offices in eight major metropolitan areas across the United States, we've got you covered, wherever you need employees.