Jessica Sayles, Principal at HRC, participates in roundtable discussion of the Accounting profession


With looming regulatory changes and increasingly complex tax laws, accountants must keep pace in order to remain as trusted advisors for business owners. Recently, Nevada accounting executives met at the Las Vegas offices of Gordon Silver to discuss the challenges in their industry.

Nevada Business Industry Focus:  Accountants
Nevada Business Industry Focus: Accountants

Connie Brennan, publisher of Nevada Business Magazine, served as moderator for the event. These monthly meetings are designed to bring leaders together to discuss issues relevant to their industries. Following is a condensed version of the roundtable discussion.

Is it challenging finding and growing quality professionals in this field?

Jessica Sayles: I taught at UNLV for a senior level course in the accounting program and they’re all terrified of being burnt out. They want to make it through their two years, get their CPA and get out to have a normal life. We’re so deeply rooted in our mandatory Saturdays and 90-hour work weeks. Why would they possibly want to stay in that? They don’t want work-life balance, they want work and life.

What type of in-house training do you do?

Sayles: We assign mentors to our new staff to make sure they’re acclimating well and can ask all their questions. We also do an external leadership program that’s specifically for CPAs.

How big of an issue is pricing pressure in the industry?

Sayles: It’s more from other competitors with one or two people in an audit practice trying to grow their business. They’re the ones getting these false prices out there, so clients are putting pressure on us only because they’re getting solicitations from people who just aren’t giving them a price that any reasonable firm could compete with.

How competitive is this industry?

Sayles: In the reputable firms, there’s more camaraderie than competition. As much as clients are interviewing you, you’re interviewing them as well. There are going to be clients who would be profitable but it’s just not going to work, the communication isn’t there or the desired output from them is not what you’re willing to do or can do.

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