CPA Shortage of CPAs – What can I do?

Shortage of CPAs – What can I do?

The CPA Shortage – Strategies for CPAs and Accounting Firms

The accounting profession is at a critical juncture. A significant shortage of CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) looms over the industry, a trend highlighted in recent reports by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). As approximately 75% of AICPA members closed in on the retirement age, the profession confronts a dwindling pipeline of new talent. This shortage is not just a statistical anomaly but a call to action for firms worldwide.

Understanding the CPA Shortage

The shortage of CPAs is a multifaceted issue. Factors contributing to this decline range from demographic shifts, such as declining birth rates, to societal trends, including changing attitudes towards college education and careers. The decline in CPA candidates is also influenced by economic aspects like the high cost of education and the disconnect between starting salaries and new market realities. Furthermore, a lack of awareness about the accounting profession exacerbates the issue, as many students are unaware of what a career in accounting truly entails.

Exploring Solutions –

In addressing the pressing question, What are my Options when it comes to the shortage of CPAs?, it’s crucial for firms and business leaders to explore multifaceted strategies to counteract the drop in the number of Certified Public Accountants. This situation opens the doors to innovative solutions for accounting firms to adopt and maintain a robust workforce.

  • Upskilling Existing Staff: One effective strategy is to invest in the upskilling of current employees. Providing advanced training and development opportunities can equip staff with CPA-equivalent skills, empowering them to fill the void left by retiring professionals.
  • Promoting Internal Talent: Moving team members up the ladder is another viable solution. By recognizing and promoting talent from within, firms can encourage career progression, ensuring a consistent supply of skilled professionals ready to step into more senior roles.
  • Outsourcing to Trained Global Teams: Perhaps the most transformative approach is looking beyond borders. Global outsourcing opens the door to a vast pool of trained and qualified accountants from around the world. Partnering with organizations in countries with a surplus of accounting talent can bridge the gap in the local CPA supply. This approach not only addresses the immediate shortage but also introduces diversity and global perspectives into the workforce.

Each of these strategies offers a unique way to mitigate the impact of the CPA shortage, ensuring that accounting firms not only sustain but also thrive in this evolving professional landscape.

A Call for Proactive Measures

The CPA shortage presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the accounting industry. While the situation calls for immediate attention, it also encourages firms to rethink traditional models of workforce development and recruitment. Whether through upskilling, internal promotions, or global outsourcing, the key lies in proactive and innovative strategies. By embracing these approaches, accounting firms can not only navigate through the current shortage but also lay the foundation for a more diverse, skilled, and resilient workforce for the future.


AICPA Report 2022 –

Inactive/Retired Exposure draft AICPA –

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