There might be a new, ready supply of seasoned CPAs for the busiest time of year. Staffing is still a problem for many firms, and it is particularly felt during the tax prep season when many accountants have to work extra hours because firms often aren’t able or can’t afford to hire additional full-time staff. The results of a recent Charles Schwab and Age Wave study, entitled ”Rethinking Retirement,” point to a possible solution. Surprisingly, 71 percent of the pre-retirees surveyed want to work in retirement. Even more fascinating is that 40 percent want to cycle back and forth between periods of work and leisure. In the write-up to the study, there is the observation that this is “a new style of work with which most employer policies are unaligned.” These numbers indicates there will be a ready supply of seasoned retired CPAs, which can supplement a firm during its busiest times, say February to April 15th, and maybe a month before tax return extensions are due. Firms benefit, as they only have to pay for these individuals when they are needed, they are employing experts at tax preparation, and those individuals are used to working during the pressured tax season. The retirees are happy because they are working on a limited basis, and, rather than working part-time, they have the desirable cycle of back and forth between periods of work and leisure. And with remote access, firms can tap into retired CPAs all across the country. Initially, firms will be using retirees from their firms, but I would expect that would extend quickly to other retired CPAs, and the AICPA and state CPA societies will help by publicizing best practices with regard to cycling back and forth. And like bike riding, which might have been difficult to learn but natural when mastered, this type of cycling will become another readily available staffing solution for firms.
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