Elevating Employee Benefits: A Strategic Priority for Accounting Firms

Mar 21, 2024 | Employee Benefits

Accounting firms, whether big or small, must focus on precision and strategy.

It’s crucial not to overlook the human factor, particularly when it comes to employee benefits. Recent research conducted by Forbes magazine sheds light on the shifting landscape of employee preferences, underscoring the importance of aligning benefits with the needs of today’s workforce. Understanding and addressing these preferences is paramount for accounting firms seeking to enhance employee satisfaction, retention, and overall success.

What are the benefits accountants want the most?

1. Health Insurance

    At the forefront of employee priorities is employer covered healthcare. No surprise considering this is the original employee benefit first offered in the 1940’s. Studies reveal that 67% of employees and 68% of employers rank this as the most important benefit. Given the demanding nature of the accounting profession, comprehensive healthcare coverage is not just a perk, it’s a necessity. Accounting firms must ensure their employees have access to quality healthcare, safeguarding their happiness and productivity. If you don’t have your health, it’s nearly impossible to focus on work.

    2. Life Insurance

      Life insurance emerges as another critical consideration, with 45% of employees and 43% of employers recognizing its significance. This is somewhat surprising. Unfortunately, most smaller accounting firms DO NOT offer this benefit. Only 1 out of 4 small businesses offer this employee benefit. And it is very inexpensive. The inherently risk aware nature of accounting underscores the importance of providing life insurance to employees, offering them financial security and peace of mind.

      3. Retirement Plan

        Retirement plans also feature prominently, acknowledged by 34% of both employees and employers. In an industry where financial planning is paramount, robust retirement benefits are essential for attracting and retaining top talent, as well as ensuring long term employee satisfaction and loyalty. Albeit this is the most complicated benefit to offer. There are several turnkey solutions for small businesses to offer their employees a thorough retirement benefits plan. Clearly, accountants understand the importance of compound interest!

        4. Paid Time Off (PTO)

          PTO is increasingly valued by employees, especially millennial and Gen Z employees. Research indicates that 31% of employees consider PTO a mandatory benefit. Accounting firms must recognize the importance of work life balance in maintaining employee health and preventing burnout, offering sufficient PTO to support their team’s overall health and productivity.

          5. Mental Health Assistance

            Mental health assistance is gaining recognition as a vital benefit, with 33% of employers prioritizing it. Although slightly fewer employees (23%) list it as a top benefit, the demanding nature of accounting work underscores the importance of addressing mental health challenges in the workplace. Providing resources and support for mental health not only fosters a more resilient workforce but also enhances overall employee satisfaction and retention. The best part of all, there are ways to add this to your plan for free.

            What should accounting firms do to address this?

            1. Review and enhance existing benefits packages

              Evaluate the current benefits offered by the firm and consider incorporating or expanding coverage for healthcare, life insurance, retirement plans, mandatory paid time off, and mental health assistance.

              2. Conduct surveys and gather feedback

                Engage with employees to understand their priorities and preferences regarding benefits. Regular surveys or feedback sessions can provide valuable insights into areas where adjustments may be needed.

                3. Customize benefits offerings

                  Recognize that one size does not fit all when it comes to employee benefits. Consider offering flexible options or customizable packages that cater to diverse employee needs and preferences.

                  For accounting firms, investing in these key employee benefits is not just an act of generosity, it’s a strategic imperative. A satisfied and engaged workforce translates into higher productivity, better client service, and improved profitability. Moreover, in a competitive talent market, offering attractive benefits sets firms apart as employers of choice, attracting top talent and fostering a culture of excellence.

                  Smaller and upstart accounting firms must prioritize employee benefits that align with the evolving needs and preferences of their workforce. To compete with larger firms, providing comprehensive healthcare coverage, life insurance, retirement plans, mandatory PTO, and mental health assistance, firms can cultivate a supportive and resilient work environment, driving long term success and minimizing costly turnover. There are ways to create a thorough employee benefits plan equal to or better than larger firms without incurring significant costs.

                  Contact a Wise Dollar Insurance representative to learn how we can help your firm build a better benefits plan.

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