June 6, 2014

Hiring Practices in Accounting Explored, Paper to be Published in Strategic Finance

VALDOSTA – When it comes to recruiting the top accounting professionals, offering the best salary may not be enough. With this in mind, members of Valdosta State University’s Department of Accounting and Finance examined how professionals in the field rate various job characteristics. The paper, “Hiring the Best: What Really Matters?” written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, professor of accounting; Dr. Tanya Lee, assistant professor of accounting; and Kella Kicklighter, recent Master of Accountancy graduate, will appear in the next edition of the award-winning monthly magazine, Strategic Finance.

“We are very pleased with the paper’s acceptance, as this is a very well-known publication in this area,” said Gupta.

Strategic Finance, is a practice-oriented journal for accounting and finance professionals working in industry.

The study provides insight on how to attract the best possible professionals in accounting. The project included public and private professionals in the southeastern region of the country.

“We were interested in how attitudes toward jobs vary across accounting professionals and how this might affect how employers seek new hires,” said Gupta. “The data was gathered through a survey, which was conducted both online and in-person. In general, the most important factors we found were work environment, nature of the work, and potential for long-term growth. Salary was not in the top three.”

Gupta added that the top factors were all related to how much a person actually enjoys their work.

“In particular, we found that those who like to try out new ideas, adapt to change quickly and look for opportunities to be ‘in-charge’ care a great deal about the nature of the work and long-term growth opportunities,” Gupta explained.

The study also examined differences in opinion based on seniority and gender.

“The men surveyed showed no real differences across experience levels but women did,” said Gupta. “Women in the two most experienced levels valued job security more highly than those in lower experience levels. This may be related to the fact that the accounting profession has become less concerned with whether someone is male or female across time. From the 1960s to 1990s, the profession was primarily male. This may have made it more difficult to find a job and thus more important to have job security.”

Published by the Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business (IMA), Strategic Finance has a blind review process, where reviewers examine and critique articles. Articles included in this publication focus on how professionals can perform their jobs more effectively, advance their careers and make organizations more profitable. For more information, visit http://www.imanet.org/resources_and_publications/strategic_finance_magazine.aspx .