Wilson made her comments at this month’s AICPA Engage conference in a session entitled “Solving Staffing Admin to the Rescue”.
“We have a shrinking pipeline entering schools for the accounting programs,” Wilson said. That should cause firm leaders to turn to admins to perform jobs that do not require a partner or manager.
That’s good business, she noted.
“The Fastest way to create leverage by moving work away from partners and managers to the right level,” Wilson said.
Firms need to elevate the status and responsibilities of administrative staff. There has been a tendency to devalue those jobs and Wilson pointed to one culprit in describing those positions. If someone says, “she’s just an admin, it’s a disqualifier; it’s a diminisher.” But, she warned, “These people are going to be part of the revenue workstream.”
Wilson described jobs titles that can be applied to admins with higher-level skills: audit support representative; Tax client service coordinator; CAS client relationship specialist and consulting support representative.
The admin staff should be brought into firms’ decision-making. “Invite them to departmental meetings and empower them to ask questions,” Wilson said.
“Expose them to what you’re doing.”