The Truth About Bringing in Accounting Temps

Arrows showing myths and facts

You have an influx of business and a new financial system to roll out at a time when your staff is already overworked and your financial analyst is going on maternity leave. Someone asks if you’d consider bringing in accounting temps, but you need someone highly skilled, and your budget doesn’t allow for a staffing agency — or so you think.

Even with low unemployment rates and a tight labor market, you can get help. In fact, you can save the day at your company once you start seeing beyond the myths of engaging temporary professionals, starting with these four truths:

Truth #1: Accounting temps are skilled professionals

Temporary accounting and finance professionals are available at all experience levels. The best staffing firms place candidates who have had 25 years as an accounting manager, people who have two years experience as an accounting clerk, and everything in between.

Many have top accounting certifications and have acquired the most in-demand skills in technology, risk and compliance, payroll, financial analysis, general accounting, bookkeeping, and more.

Truth #2 They have good reasons to work as accounting temps

Accounting and finance professionals take temporary work for a number of reasons.

Stephen Tradd


Accounting and finance professionals take temporary work for a number of reasons. Some prefer the flexibility of temp work and don’t want to work full time. Others work as accounting temps while they go through the process of applying for full-time jobs.

Many candidates are highly skilled individuals who have just moved to the area and want to get back to work right away. Some have been in one industry and want to try out a different one and learn something new.

Truth #3 You might be able to keep them full time

Then there are those accounting temps who are looking for an interim role that may morph into a full-time accounting and finance job.

Robert Half’s latest Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function report points to the trend among organizations to use a temp-to-hire process for staffing full-time positions. Temp-to-hire arrangements work well, because they allow firms to evaluate firsthand the performance of temporary workers and how they fit with the company.

Read 3 Steps to a Full-Time Solution With a Temp-To-Hire Strategy. 

Truth #4: You can afford a staffing agency

Actually, a staffing firm can save you money in terms of administrative costs, benefit payments, time spent recruiting and something you don’t always think about — the domino effect of key positions left unstaffed for too long.

Let’s say you have an open accounts payable position. It’s been open a month, and you’ve been pushing the work onto the plates of other staff members. That can increase overtime, or, worse, drive down morale to the point where people leave. All of a sudden, you see a domino effect: You had one open position in your company, and now you have two or more.

And you don’t have to rush to hire. If you take on an interim accounting professional on a temp-to-hire basis, you not only give your overworked employees immediate relief but also buy time to evaluate the temporary for a full-time role. This saves you the costs and frustrations of having made a bad hire.  

Read How an Accounting Temporary Staffing Agency Can Help Your Firm Run Smoothly.

We’re not living in the world of the 1980s movie, “Working Girl,” where the big-haired Melanie Griffith stars as a struggling office temp.

Stephen Tradd


So as you can see, we’re not living in the world of the 1980s movie, “Working Girl,” where the big-haired Melanie Griffith stars as a struggling office temp.

(Spoiler alert: She ends up with her own secretary!)

In the real world, accounting temps work at all levels of accounting and finance, and they take a variety of career paths. They might even take the path to your company, if you’ll open the door.

Have a question about using a temp agency? See our client FAQs.

Stephen Tradd is the branch manager for Robert Half’s Accountemps and OfficeTeam divisions in the Heathrow, Florida office. Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized temporary staffing company for accounting, finance and administrative professionals. As branch manager, Steve divides his time between business development and recruiting functions; he manages a team, introduces services to prospective clients, builds upon existing relationships and recruits as well as places professionals in temporary and project roles.

Steve holds nearly seven years of experience in specialized recruiting. Since joining Robert Half in 2009, he has led and managed various offices and divisions throughout Central and Western Florida. He holds a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Central Florida’s College of Business Administration.

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