PracticeAccounting FirmsLand voices fears over talent dearth

Land voices fears over talent dearth

A shortage of high-quality accountants risks stunting growth in the big firms, according to Ernst & Young chairman Nick Land.

Link: To read more from Nick Land and E&Y results, click here

or E&Y global results

Speaking ahead of today’s announcement of a 2% rise in the UK firm’s revenues, Land admitted that all firms had to confront a problem that would cost them money unless it was addressed. ‘The biggest problem we and our competitors have is a shortage of people,’ he said.

‘It has the potential to hold back our growth. I don’t think it has yet, but there will come a time when we’ll just not be able to take on any of certain types of assurance assignments.’

He said that firms only had to look at the US to see how significant a problem it could become. ‘In the US, it’s a major, major issue,’ he said. ‘There’s a skills shortage in this country. There’s a massive skills shortage in America.’

Land said E&Y was looking at a number of options to solve the problem. ‘Obviously, in the long-term you up your graduate recruitment, but that doesn’t solve your problem tomorrow,’ he said. ‘We’re obviously recruiting in the UK, although the market is very, very tight.’

E&Y is moving people around the world more on a short-term and longer-term basis as well as recruiting from South Africa, India and Pakistan.

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