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January 29, 2022

The Great Resignation & Its Impact on Accounting Profession in Canada

What is the Great Resignation Tidal Wave?

The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that describes record numbers of people leaving their jobs after the COVID-19 pandemic ends and life returns to "normal.". With over 40 percent of the global workforce considering leaving their employer this year. 

Some believe that the resignation wave is actually a result of people having a traumatic response to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are re-evaluating their relationships to work in the broader context of their lives. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a torrent of employees leaving the workforce or switching career paths. 

What Is Causing the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation isn't mainly about pay. A pandemic-driven exodus from the workforce has been marked by workers seeking more flexible working conditions, better pay and benefits, and career advancement.

The global reports show record numbers of people around the world have realized that, for them, it is high time and are considering voluntarily leaving their jobs. So, what’s behind this predicted mass exodus of talent? What’s triggering people to want to leave their jobs in such vast numbers? Here are some factors leading to the trend of great resignation.

1. Uplifted confidence in searching for a new job

Those people who had planned on leaving their jobs pre-pandemic but decided to hold off due to the instability caused by COVID-19 are now resuming their job searches with newfound gusto. With rising vaccination rates globally and the gradual opening of economies, we’re seeing a seismic shift in the job market and confidence returning almost everywhere in the world. There are more opportunities out there than there have been in a long time, so many feel now is the right time to finally make their move.

2. Pandemic provided the time and space to reflect on both personal and professional lives

If people weren’t already considering looking for a new role before the pandemic hit, then chances are that they are now. Lots of people have simply realized that life is too short to do a job they don’t love, for a company they don’t think cares about them. The pandemic has made employees consider their job or career choices.

3. Desire to work remotely

Before the pandemic, many workers had not experienced remote working. Then, at the peak of the pandemic, offices everywhere were forced to shut their doors, and workers were told to work from home. While remote and hybrid working models were already beginning to gain popularity pre-pandemic, the pandemic certainly accelerated this new working trend, and many believe it’s a “trend” here to stay.

After 18 months of working from their own homes, where they are the ones in control, doing their jobs in a way that works best for them, and enjoying the freedom to live their personal lives alongside their 9-5’s, some just don’t want to go back to the office. This, coupled with the fact that many have already relocated or are planning to be closer to family or to achieve the lifestyle they’ve always dreamt of the prospect of having to return to the office has been a big trigger to leave for many people.

4. Insufficient Compensation

With inflation and the cost of living on the rise, dissatisfaction with their pay packet was another major reason for employees handing in their notice.

5. Burnout

Burnout right now is real and it’s rife. This is the most obvious reason why people are quitting their jobs: they’re burnt out. Between the pandemic and getting vaccinated, the sudden shift to remote work (and all the new processes that came with it), cultural and socioeconomic changes, prioritizing mental and physical health—it all adds up, and people are struggling to keep it all together.

Burnout is defined as “a state of physical and emotional exhaustion”, that occurs when a person experiences long-term stress in a job, or when a person has worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long period. According to Microsoft’s survey:

  • 37 percent of the global workforce say their companies are asking too much of them at a time like this
  • One in five think their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance
  • 54 percent feel overworked, and 39 percent feel exhausted

6. Desire to hit ‘play’ on career growth

Everyone wants to feel that they are moving forward, that they are on the path to personal growth and success. The need to feel a sense of progress is an innately human one, but it’s a feeling many haven’t necessarily experienced for a long time.

Many have put their own personal development on pause. Instead, they’ve been busy keeping the businesses they work for afloat. Upskilling for many has been off the radar, a secondary concern that can wait until tomorrow, the next month, or even the next year.

Pandemic has made them question their skillsets. That mindset is starting to shift, with many reaching for the ‘play’ button again.

7. Financial reasons

For those who have continued to work during the pandemic, their savings have probably increased. Without the commuting costs, the after-work drinks, the meals out, or lunches in, most have actually managed to save money. This financial cushion has led many to feel more confident to make a move, or even to leave a job without having another lined up. For many, this financial freedom has given them more space to make the career decisions that are right for them.

8. Realization of not actually liking the current jobs

Another factor behind high resignation rates appears to be a sense of feeling professionally stuck. The reality of what they do has really hit them. Respondents felt their career paths had either stalled or slowed to a crawl.

As a result, there’s been a huge rise in people choosing to set up their own solo ventures and mark their professional growth. Across the course of the pandemic, there’s been a rise in side hustles.

The Great Resignation: Canada Faces Labour Drought

It's the greatest labor shortage in a generation. The last several months have seen a tidal wave of resignations, in Canada and around the world. The economic recovery from COVID-19 has produced many tales of people quitting jobs or switching careers as part of a broader re-evaluation of work and what’s truly important amid a deadly pandemic. There is this narrative that COVID has created this big epiphany [and] soul-searching about what kind of job you want to have. The Great Resignation trend may accelerate across Canada, and robust compensation packages will be critical for recruiting new talent. 

The experience of the pandemic may have led many workers to explore opportunities they wouldn’t have looked at previously. This may be one of the upsides of the pandemic. Many workers who should have quit their lousy jobs pre-pandemic but didn’t because they weren’t considering the alternatives.”

Accounting Profession and the Great Resignation Wave

Accounting firms have thus far been able to successfully weather most aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a new challenge awaits on the other side: The Great Resignation. This mass exodus — felt both inside and outside of the accounting sphere — has seen professionals at all stages in their careers unexpectedly quit, moving on to greener pastures (or to entirely different fields) leaving firm managers scrambling.

The Great Resignation is presenting an opportunity for accountants to seek out more satisfying places to work where they can realize their career goals or just be able to balance their work and personal lives better. Accounting as an industry has been relatively fortunate throughout the tumult of the pandemic, guiding clients through loan applications and handling complicated tax preparation. 

For the tax & accounting industry, the pandemic and all its related changes is a prime opportunity to look at whether work really needs to be done in the old ways, or if it’s time to move forward into a new, tech-enabled work culture.

While many businesses have been adversely affected, the study tells us that the demand for professional accountancy services has not decreased. It is now required even more urgently to address the challenges posed by the pandemic, as well as to harness opportunities for business growth.

Why opt for Accounting Profession in the Post-Pandemic World? 

The Great Resignation is dramatically impacting how we live, and work, and many people are questioning their commitment to employers who aren’t offering them the support they need beyond monetary rewards.

For the past year, many of us have been waiting to return to “normal,” and to how our work was conducted before COVID-19. The reality is: we will likely never return to the old “normal.” 

While it may sound alarming, it is actually a positive step forward for the accounting industry, and here’s why.

1. Remote practice- Increased adoption of technology

The increased adoption of technology within the tax and accounting industry was already a pre-pandemic trend, but COVID-19 forced this process to be significantly accelerated. From the use of the cloud to the virtual client and staff engagements and more, accounting professionals and firms - whether well-versed in technology or not - were quickly catapulted into full-remote practices.

2. Flexible Working Hours 

Flexibility is an asset. Flexible work will continue well after the pandemic. This is another trend that started pre-pandemic and was greatly accelerated in the last year. Many accounting firms are actively working on a permanent flex-work policy by giving employees 2–3-day work-from-anywhere options.

As it has been noted by organizations across the board, during a lockdown, how employees adapted to working from home has triggered a cultural shift, with many accounting firms now reviewing their flexible working practices.

3. Crisis breeds innovation- Financial Expertise is Crucial

It’s not just the tax and accounting industry that has innovated throughout the pandemic - businesses across industries are using this crisis to breed innovation. Businesses and individuals that are struggling financially are seeking ways they could do it better. Because of this, financial expertise is needed more than ever. From questions about the taxes to adjusting business models to needing general insights on financial health and resilience, accountants can help current and new clients find the way through the fog. COVID-19 has propelled many accounting professionals and firms further into advisory services, and this need will continue - offering a great opportunity for the accounting industry.

4. Opportunities take shape

No one could have predicted the trials and tribulations resulting from the pandemic, however, as the weeks passed, tax and accounting professionals could see there were opportunities within the new normal. As some businesses were forced to shutter and others sought to take part in the new government response programs, they now needed assistance and guidance from tax professionals.

5. Growing demand for accounting professionals in the post-pandemic world

The pandemic has had a global effect; though countries implemented a plethora of safety measures, accounting and finance professionals are recognizing a need to be at the forefront of business change. Whether it’s financial restructuring or lobbying the government and helping formulate policy, the accountancy profession can help the economy grow again. Covid-19 has pushed many businesses and industries into crisis mode. As ever, in such situations, the accountancy industry tends to thrive.

6. Accountancy still provides a stable career choice 

As an impact of the great resignation wave, one in four employees aged 16-34 are currently considering a new career as the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic bites. The accountancy and finance sector is seen as the third most stable profession – only rivaled by health, pharmaceuticals, and teaching. During times of crisis, accountancy is seen as a stable, desirable profession.

Accountants will be in demand to help companies restructure, identify unnecessary spending and navigate complex tax laws. With rising unemployment in Canada, accountancy looks set to ride out the Covid-19 induced recession relatively unscathed. 

7. Accountancy jobs won’t disappear, they will evolve.

Accountants have always been in demand, serving an important function for successful companies. Now more than ever, the business community will look to accountants for their analytical insight and their stewardship of corporate finances. While the path ahead for the economy is uncertain, the role of the accountant as a critical business leader remains crystal clear.

What Are Your Chances Of Landing An Accountancy Job In The Future? Are There Any Sectors of the Profession That Will Grow?

The role of accountants is wider and more important than ever before, offering a secure and flexible career whatever your age. In the immediate future, accountants will be busy, as companies dealing with the financial havoc caused by the Covid-19 will be calling upon their help. One area of current high demand is within insolvency practice - set to become increasingly important over the next few years. This is perhaps no surprise given that the finances and revenue streams of many firms have been decimated by a coronavirus, meaning they’ll be looking to cut costs and consolidate resources.

At present, many SMEs are prioritizing cash flow and looking to strip any needless spending from their P&L statement - accountants skilled in cost-cutting will also be busy. There could be opportunities for tax experts who can deal with the tax issues triggered by government loans.

It is also envisaged that there will be more openings at public practices and chartered accountancy firms due to clients needing increased help/advice dealing with the economic chaos unleashed by Covid-19. It is worth noting that chartered accountancy firms have always been candidate-short and job-rich, so they’ll continue recruiting. This is an obvious entry level for young jobseekers/student accountants/career changers.

With the government’s furloughing scheme complicating payroll runs at many companies, many smaller practices have recently needed extra payroll specialists on board.

The past year has also seen a rash of new businesses established by people who have either been made redundant or re-evaluated their careers while working from home during lockdown – potential new clients for the small, local, accountancy practices.

Final Words

In conclusion, accountancy still offers a safe career option, but also an ever-changing world of dynamic opportunities and possibilities.

There are countless reasons to justify that a career in accounting is something to invest in, following the great resignation tidal wave. Studying with Get Trained Get Hired is your opportunity to see if a career in accountancy is for you. Reach out to Get Trained Get Hired to book a free 30-Minute career counseling meeting. At Get Trained Get Hired we provide you with the necessary training to learn practical skills to become an accountant. Our training is based on practical real-life cases. After the training, we work on your resume and try to place you in accounting firms through our network. You will also get access to like-minded individuals who are looking for jobs through our WhatsApp group. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Or call us at 647-275-7150.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not consider your situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from professionals. Salman Rundhawa and Gettrainedgethired.com will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.


Salman Rundhawa

Salman has a strong desire to help others succeed and believe in passing on the knowledge. He likes to mentor others and wish to play part in other people success.
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