I reckon we are now experiencing our greatest challenge in our 20 years history in finding more quality Sage and Xero staff as we expand. This is especially the case in London although Bristol is almost as bad. Recently we received 33 serious applications for a book-keeper position. We narrowed that down to four good enough for interview, then speaking on the phone reduced this to two. The best candidate took a position before our planned interview, leaving one who just wasn't good enough. So we start again!
We've even had the same experience in recruiting a seventh qualified accountant for thoroughly checking of the work of the book-keepers at each month end - a unique feature of BookCheck. At least our clients are shielded from this task which is part of our attraction so this encourages us to succeed.
I have a feeling that this will be an ongoing challenge, probably becoming more difficult so we'll have to find other methods. We're so used to our standards, they're imbedded in all we do. It's clearly pointless compromising on quality as we'll suffer down the road. It's not even a pay issue, although wage rates are climbing steadily, that's hardly surprising. It's really a shortage of quality. We'll just have to try harder.
Speaking to other professionals it seems this is a common problem. How is it for you?
Anthony Pilkington FCA Managing Director, BookCheck Ltd