As competition intensifies in the accounting industry, a Chicago-based firm is venturing into an unconventional field: temporary employment services.
Blackman Kallick Barrelstein LLP, Chicago’s 11th-largest accounting firm, is kicking off a staffing service called ProjecTemps to capitalize on rising demand for temporary workers.
“It’s projected that in the early part of the next century, 50% of the workforce is going to be temporary,” says Cindy Spiccia, general manager of Blackman Kallick’s ProjecTemps division. “It’s without a doubt the wave of the future. Being a CPA firm, catching a little piece of this is obviously going to generate a lot of revenue for the firm.”
Blackman Kallick, a 35-year-old partnership that serves mid-sized companies in the manufacturing, construction and non-profit sectors, employs 30 temporary workers and hopes to boost that number to 80 by the end of the year and 130 by the end of 2001.
Although revenues from the division–projected at $500,000 in 1999–are small, they are expected to grow quickly. The firm’s annual revenues total about $32 million.
ProjecTemps handles positions from accounting clerks to chief financial officers. Employees can work either temporarily or as full-timers with an annual salary from Blackman Kallick, along with paid vacations and medical benefits–although the job may involve a series of temporary assignments for different clients.
Demand for temporary workers is increasing in the accounting industry, a cyclical field that often taps into temporary workers at peak times such as tax season or year-end audits, says Ms. Spiccia.
“What a lot of companies have done is scaled (back) their internal staff, and when they have these (busy) periods, they tend to bring in temporary workers,” she says.
Blackman Kallick’s venture comes at a time when the accounting industry is going through significant changes, as firms of all sizes shift from traditional audit and tax work to more lucrative consulting services. With revenues from consulting services surpassing other divisions, many CPA firms no longer even call themselves accounting firms.
“The fact that (Blackman Kallick) is doing something like temporary services on the one hand is unusual, but if you see what else accounting firms are doing, it’s not surprising,” says Gary Siegel, an accounting professor at Chicago’s DePaul University. “The whole profession is changing, and part of that change is that CPA firms are doing services that are outside the traditional area.”
By Meera Somasundaram
Blackman Kallick Barrelstein LLP, an accounting firm based out of Chicago, has started a project called ProjecTemps, a system designed to work well with the increasing demand for temporary workers. As general manager of the Blackman Kallick ProjecTemps divsion Cindy Spiccia states “It’s projected that in the early part of the next century, 50% of the workforce is going to be temporary, it’s without a doubt the wave of the future. Being a CPA firm, catching a little piece of this is obviously going to generate a lot of revenue for the firm.” All in all, the demand for temporary jobs in the accounting industry, and ProjecTemps is designed to thrive in this industry.
This information is useful to me because it gives me a realistic view of what the accounting field is turning in to. Knowing that the demand for temporary accountants during busy seasons could help me in my future career path. I could use this as a path I take as I take my journey to the top.
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