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Introduction to Business

Critical Thinking Case

Introduction to BusinessCritical Thinking Case

Accountingfly Changes How CPAs Get Hired

Filling accounting positions, especially at the CPA level, can be a challenge. Until a few years ago, businesses other than the Big 4 firms basically had two options: post openings on general job platforms such as Monster and Indeed, or go through a staffing agency that charged a hefty fee for finding just the right accounting professional.

Jeff Phillips, a professional recruiter who previously worked for, saw the opportunity to create a job site that caters strictly to accounting and bookkeeping jobs and started with brothers John and James Hosman. After studying various industries, the founders decided to focus on accounting because of the “massive imbalance” when it came to recruiting for private and public accountants. In their research, the trio found that most of the talent was snapped up by Big 4 accounting firms, leaving other accounting businesses struggling to find the right experienced people to fill key positions.

Despite the record number of students currently majoring in accounting, Phillips discovered the number of graduates taking the CPA exam was declining rapidly, signaling to him that people were losing interest in public accounting jobs. He sees Accountingfly as a way to alert job seekers (and companies) about the good jobs available for new and experienced CPAs outside of the four major players in the accounting field.

As the accounting talent pool evolves, millennials are looking to make their mark in the industry and tend to look for new jobs with organizations that pay competitive salaries, encourage job flexibility, and offer multiple career opportunities for the long haul. Accountingfly attracts both experienced CPAs and college students to its website by providing job boards, webinars, and virtual career fairs. There are more than one million job seekers and 200,000 user profiles on the website. Recently Accountingfly acquired Going Concern, a leading accounting news website that features original content and an insider’s perspective on the people, firms, and culture that shape the accounting profession in this country. According to Phillips, Going Concern has a large, well-informed, highly engaged audience of early-career accountants who could benefit from connecting with accounting firms seeking exceptional talent.

Critical Thinking Questions
  1. How does the company’s focus on recruiting accountants and related services give Accountingfly a competitive advantage?
  2. Do you think Accountingfly’s approach can compete with the Big 4’s expensive and comprehensive recruiting efforts for new accountants? Explain your reasoning.
  3. How can Accountingfly use its recent acquisition of Going Concern as a recruiting tool for experienced CPAs who desire a different career track? Provide some examples to support your answer.

Sources: “Who We Are,”, accessed August 11, 2017; Ian Welham, “How Accountingfly Is Revolutionizing the Way CPAs Are Hired,”, August 5, 2017; “Millennial Businesses to Accounting Firms: Diversify Services, Go Digital and Embrace the Cloud,”, May 30, 2017; Carlos Gieseken, “Accountingfly Gains Influence in Industry,”, October 5, 2015; Sherman G. Mohr, Jr., “Meet Jeff Phillips, CEO of Accountingfly. Tech Is Thriving in the Florida Panhandle,” LinkedIn,, August 24, 2015; “Accountingfly Acquires Going Concern, a Leading Accounting News Publication,”, August 20, 2015.

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