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What to Know In regards to the Scarcity of Accountants within the U.S.


You’ve doubtless heard about—or skilled firsthand—a scarcity of accountants. So what provides? The place did all of the accountants and potential accountants go? And what are you able to do should you expertise expertise shortages in your agency?

Why is there a scarcity of accountants? 

Two components contribute to the accountant scarcity. One, CPAs are retiring or leaving the business early. And two, there’s a lower within the variety of accountants coming into the workforce.

Right here’s a better have a look at these causes for the accounting labor scarcity. 

1. CPAs are retiring or leaving the business early 

In response to a 2022 The Wall Road Journal article, over 300,000 U.S. accountants and auditors left their jobs prior to now two years, a 17% decline. 

There are a number of causes for this mass exodus: 

  1. 75% of the CPA workforce reached retirement age in 2020  
  2. Skilled accountants are taking jobs in finance and know-how, in keeping with SHRM
  3. Some accountants left throughout the Nice Resignation, in keeping with Enterprise Insider

2. There’s a lower within the variety of accountants coming into the workforce

Similtaneously this mass exodus from the sector, there’s not sufficient new expertise coming in to fill the gaps. 

In response to a latest report from the AICPA (American Institute of CPAs®), the variety of accounting diploma completions was decrease within the tutorial 12 months 2019-2020 than in earlier years. In 2019-2020, the whole variety of Bachelor’s and Grasp’s accounting diploma completions was 72,923, the bottom in a decade.  

Along with fewer accounting diploma completions, the AICPA additionally noticed a drop within the variety of CPA examination candidates. Between 2019 and 2020, there was a 17% lower in new CPA examination candidates, which the AICPA attributed to the pandemic. 

Though the pandemic is a big purpose for the lower in accountants and CPAs, it’s not the one one. Different causes embrace:

  • Pay: In response to SHRM, the lure of higher pay can contribute to the scarcity of accountants. Monetary accountants’ common wage is $56,320, which will be decrease than in different enterprise areas. 
  • Busy season: When individuals consider accounting, busy seasons—and the lengthy hours that include it—typically come to thoughts. When is busy season for accountants? The busy season typically happens throughout the first quarter, and the lengthy hours (typically as much as 100 hours per week) will be offputting to college students.  
  • Stigma: Accounting can get a foul repute as “boring” by individuals who suppose it’s only monotonous information entry and different tedious duties. 
  • Hurdles: Different hurdles (e.g., the excessive credit-hour requirement to take the CPA examination) may hinder college students from becoming a member of the sector. 
Shortage of accountants infographic: Stats, what the AICPA is doing, and what accounting firms can do.

What’s the AICPA doing concerning the accounting expertise scarcity? 

The AICPA made attracting new expertise to the accounting career—particularly CPAs—one in all their 2022 main strategic initiatives. These initiatives embrace attracting extra highschool and faculty college students, offering training and help companies, and collaborating with these working with CPA candidates. 

As well as, the CPA examination is getting a facelift in 2024 … or at the least a number of modifications to the infrastructure. In response to CPA Observe Advisor, there shall be a brand new infrastructure (together with eliminating the essay query), new self-discipline sections, and a higher give attention to know-how, resembling automated instruments. The emphasis on know-how requires candidates to be proficient in advances within the accounting subject. 

What are you able to do if a scarcity impacts your agency?

If the accounting expertise scarcity impacts you, your intuition could also be to work lengthy hours and keep away from taking day without work work

However you’ve choices that can assist you maximize your effectivity and get extra arms on deck. 

1. Use know-how

How typically do you utilize know-how in your day-to-day? 

Like many industries, technological developments have propelled accounting into a brand new period. Gone are the times of pen and paper and spreadsheets. Now, accountants can use revolutionary accounting and payroll software program know-how to do the heavy lifting.

A PWC report referred to as Hello, Robotic discovered that know-how and automation release these “boring” duties like transactional and information entry duties. This could allow you to give attention to “higher-value work” like evaluation and compliance, in keeping with AICPA’s vice chairman of agency companies

Nonetheless resisting know-how in accounting? Keep in mind that know-how will change into a part of the official CPA examination in 2024, solidifying it as integral.

Expertise in accounting is shortly changing into the usual, which is nice information for companies dealing with an accounting labor scarcity. 

Via know-how like payroll software program, you possibly can supply payroll companies to shoppers with out getting slowed down by handbook calculations, payroll tax filings, and tax deposits. Payroll for accountants handles the main points so you possibly can give attention to the higher-value work—even should you’re coping with a labor scarcity at your agency. 

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2. Get versatile

Staff, together with accountants, worth the pliability of distant work. In the event you’re scuffling with a labor scarcity at your agency, take into account letting staff work partially or absolutely remotely. 

Keep linked with distant accountants by way of on-line chat instruments (e.g., Slack) and video conferencing programs (e.g., Zoom). Use accounting software program and payroll software program with limitless customers and user-based permissions to deal with workloads digitally. 

3. Develop your hiring internet

The variety of accounting graduates within the 2019-2020 tutorial 12 months might have been low, however AICPA discovered that accounting applications are optimistic about future enrollments.

In the event you need assistance hiring accountants, take into account recruiting college students enrolled in accounting applications. In response to SHRM, companies are hiring college students who full Accounting 101 and Accounting 102 to fill part-time jobs and internships. 

You possibly can recruit accounting college students by chatting with enterprise courses and attending profession gala’s at your native college.  

4. Provide training help 

Think about providing training help should you rent accounting college students to fill part-time jobs and internships. This worker profit can assist you recruit and retain college students (and different staff). 

Training help, or tuition reimbursement, helps you to pay as much as $5,250 tax-free towards an worker’s qualifying training bills. The tax-free quantity applies to tuition, charges, books, provides, and tools. And thru 2025, you may make tax-free pupil mortgage funds as much as the IRS restrict. 

Are you searching for a dependable associate that can assist you streamline your payroll companies? Patriot Software program’s Accomplice Program presents discounted pricing, free USA-based help, and extra. Name us at 877-968-7147, possibility 41, to be taught extra!

This isn’t supposed as authorized recommendation; for extra data, please click on right here.



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