The Importance of an Accounting Specialist in Human Resources

Published by Matt Brady | November 24, 2021

Smiling HR managers greeting female job applicant with handshake during recruiting or interview. Businesswoman making good first impression shaking hands of business partners. Partnership, cooperation

As a small business owner, you may not immediately link the acronyms CPA and HR together. People still tend to think of CPAs as mostly tax preparers and financial analysts, but in fact, they are also business consultants. And businesses of all sizes can benefit from the support a specialized CPA can lend their Human Resources department.
Consider the ever-changing labor laws impacting the definition of “employee,” the growing complexity of payroll accounting and reporting requirements, and a tight labor market forcing more detailed strategic planning, budgeting, and accounting to maintain competitive talent recruiting and hiring. Faced with complexities like this, the intersection of Human Resources and CPA-managed Human Resources accounting makes sense.


Turning Data into Successful HR Practices

CPAs like those at BradyRenner have expertise in turning raw data into data analytics and metrics that support decision-making concerning the workforce. The challenge that so many small-to-medium businesses face today includes recruiting and retaining skilled talent as they compete with larger businesses. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce poll found that less than half of small businesses are successful in finding job candidates with the experience and skills they are looking for. Yet just a glance at the government agencies offering support in the employment space makes it abundantly clear that many opportunities exist to find qualified talent, even in a tight labor market.

Enter the CPA who helps clear the path of barriers and creates opportunities. The following are just a few examples of how a business owner can call upon a CPA with HR expertise to turn data into successful HR practices:

  • To analyze labor market information to better target talent recruitment efforts
  • To investigate and analyze State of Maryland tax credits that minimize payroll expenses while improving recruiting and hiring results, like the Maryland Disability Employment Tax Credit, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Hire Our Veterans Tax Credit, On-the-Job Training Wage Reimbursements, etc.
  • To investigate State of Maryland grant opportunities for employee training, like Maryland Business Works, Partnership for Workforce Quality, etc.
  • To forecast human capital needs
  • To collect historical employment data to drive better hiring decisions

A CPA can also help small business owners take advantage of federal employment sources and tax credits. How many opportunities are missed simply because managers do not have the time to invest in finding, interpreting, and applying for employment assistance programs?


Count the Ways Small and Growing Businesses Can Benefit from Human Resources Accounting

Which processes and procedures are made easier for HR when it partners with a CPA firm like BradyRenner? Small businesses are often on the cusp of growing but need effective talent management systems, from recruiting and hiring to retention, in order to grow. The problem for many small businesses, and those ready to move into the medium-sized range, is getting access to the HR expertise needed to compete for the right talent. Hiring multiple HR professionals with specific skill sets is often not a workable solution for a small business because of the expense. A CPA firm can provide multiple services beyond payroll and benefits accounting because it has a range of accounting expertise, such as:

  • Ensuring government regulatory compliance
  • Completing contract analysis for full-time, part-time, and temporary employees
  • Analyzing employment status to ensure correct legal classification, such as contracted versus employee status
  • Assisting with benefit plan design
  • Optimizing budgeting of a recruiting program to ensure the business gains maximum labor market access for the desired talent
  • Maximizing federal, state, and local employment-related deductions
  • Managing compensation schedules with job grade classifications
  • Assisting in compliance with labor union collective bargaining agreement requirements as related to employee compensation, union dues tracking and reporting, etc.
  • Researching industry standards for wages and salaries, benefits, turnover rates, staffing rates, and the ratio of remote work to in-office work to establish benchmarks
  • Ensuring businesses that are contractors and subcontractors on state contracts meet the Living Wage and prevailing requirements for employees performing work

The intersection of the services of a CPA and the Human Resources function leads to a long list of ways the CPA can support HR and help your business succeed. You can outsource a large segment of HR to a CPA firm, freeing up management time to grow the business.


Adapting to a Transforming Business Environment

Today, even small businesses are expected to adhere to social responsibility standards. They include acting ethically by developing a diverse workforce reflecting the communities where the business is in operation. The CPA can play an instrumental role in this area as well by:

    • Determining what the diversity employee numbers should look like based on community and industry research
    • Tracking diversity numbers by function, department, and position
    • Assisting with determining costs for reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities and for employee religious beliefs
    • Completing and filing the EEO-1 Report containing data on race, ethnicity, and gender for businesses with 100 or more employees


Assistance with Human Resources Accounting Is a CPA Away

The role of the CPA has expanded in response to the increasing and often cumbersome requirements associated with Human Resources. At the same time, small and growing businesses are struggling to compete in the talent market. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number of job openings increased to a high of 10.9 million at the end of July 2021. Small businesses are in head-on competition with mega-corporations for the same talent.

With the help of a CPA, you can streamline the talent management process, ensure legal compliance, take advantage of missed opportunities for tax credits and hiring sources, and strengthen your company’s role as a socially responsible citizen. Contact the team at BradyRenner CPAs to discuss the many ways we can support your Human Resources team and your business.


Image Credits: Freepik @Creative Commons