The upcoming changes to the tax law have received a significant amount of coverage from the news media.  Small business owners, tax accountants and financial advisors are doing their best to sift through the changes and understand the financial impact of the changes.  An overlooked impact is the talent pressure businesses and professional services firms will feel in 2018.

Over the last 5 years, fewer accountants are choosing to pursue a career as a tax professional.  They choose corporate accounting roles, auditing positions and roles in government or non-profit.  Professional services firms have been experiencing a decline in tax professionals for the last few years.  The tax law changes will exacerbate this talent shortage in the market.

Accounting firms, legal firms and financial services firms will look to add qualified tax professionals who are able to interpret the tax law and advise their clients on tax savings opportunities.   To add talent, firms will need to offer better compensation packages to attract tax accountants to their organization.  These providers should expect to experience a 10% per year increase in base salary for tax professionals each of the next two years.

Firms who do not pay competitively should expect to lose their talented professional to another firm.  Corporations will also be impacted.  The demand for tax knowledge will be strong enough to lure Corporate Tax staff working in a company back into a professional services role.  These factors will lead to overall shortages in the market and the need to either increase wages or develop creative approaches to retain their team members and attract new people to their organization.

While the changes in the tax laws will certainly impact all business owners, the impact they will have on the professional services firms will be much more significant.