Accounting firm chief information officers plan to hire more IT staff for the remainder of 2015, according to a recent survey conducted by the Information Technology Alliance, an independent membership association of mid-market technology professionals, consultants and product and service providers.

The survey included responses from CIOs or their equivalents from 25 CPA firms that are ITA members.

“The demand for qualified IT staff within accounting firms is at an all-time high across the accounting industry,” said John Bowles, chief information officer for Dixon Hughes Goodman in Charlotte, N.C., and chairman of the ITA CIO Academy. “Higher salary demands for IT staff will make a significant impact in the overall budgets for these firms.”

The survey found that both accounting industry demand for IT resources and salary expectations for candidates are higher in 2015.

Other survey findings about IT staffing trends for 2015:

  • While in 2014 the surveyed firms budgeted for an average of 61 IT staff, in 2015 that number is predicted to rise to 67.
  • On average, there is one IT staff person for every 38 people in an accounting firm, a number that has remained consistent since 2013.
  • Finding qualified IT professionals with deep technical skills (such as SharePoint and .Net developers) is taking more time than it did in the past.
  • Partially, the reason for an increase in staffing is due to the need for additional IT security professionals.
  • These increases in IT staff were reported across surveyed firms of all sizes.

“The ITA CIO survey does more than just give us a view of what is really going on in the IT departments of the largest accounting firms,” stated ITA president Stan Mork. “It is a strong indicator of future trends that helps us structure our CIO Academy and other educational forums so that our members can get the very best, and most up-to-date information possible.”

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