John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
There’s a caution in the air. You see it in behavior everywhere you go. It’s no surprise that you may feel it about your own career. Here’s what you should know.
Let’s start with the bad news. You can find very small numbers of layoffs of BV talent across the country. When costs need trimming, personnel cuts offer the best savings. Up to a point, of course.
The next question, of course: Will it get worse? We don’t think so. Not materially, in any case.
What may have temporarily abated is the “build it and they will come” approach that has driven so much expansion in BV recently. Ironically, that doesn’t mean there’s less work to be done. For most practices, there’s as much if not more. It’s not unusual to see a BV practice burning the midnight oil, located in a public accounting firm operating under a hiring freeze.
To some degree, the downshift merely mimics that of the public at large. More specifically, the numbers of slow-pay clients are rising. Accounts receivable are aging, and that makes everyone nervous.
The industry you work in remains strong. Though the fevered pace of M&A has slowed, there still are companies buying other companies, sometimes for no other reason that to get rid of the competition. Purchase price allocations continue to be triggered.
For the most part, financial reporting work continues to flow. As a CFO, it’s hard to imagine you’re not thinking that your goodwill is likely impaired with a value in need of testing and, maybe, re-valuing.
Estate & gift sends off mixed signals. With asset values in the tank, high net worth clients have never seen a better time for gifting. Having seen their investment accounts drained, however, they are in no mood to write another check. The impending reset of the estate exclusion will likely motivate Congress to fix it for a long time into the future. While that is generally expected to open the flood gates, clients may be sitting on their hands waiting for that day.
Bottom line: Employers are still hiring. Just not with the same urgency, maybe. For the long term, you’re in a good profession. The sky isn’t falling.