3 Ways Small to Mid-Sized CPA Firms Can Attract Talented Staff

3 Ways Small to Mid-Sized CPA Firms Can Attract Talented Staff

According to the 2015 Trends Report from the AICPA, the future for the accounting profession looks bright. Accounting enrollments for the 2013-14 academic year surpassed 250,000 for the first time and accounting firms hired 43,252 accounting graduates in 2014, a seven percent increase from the previous survey conducted in 2012.

Further, 91% percent of all firms said they expected to hire accounting graduates at the same or higher levels over the next year and 97% of bachelor’s accounting programs and 70% of master’s accounting programs anticipate that enrollment will be the same or higher.

But, while there seems to be very positive trends in both supply and demand across the report, many small and mid-sized firms are having trouble finding qualified applicants. If we dig a bit deeper, we begin to see why.

1. Not everyone graduating with an accounting degree is taking the CPA exam.

While the data on enrollments and hiring represent a continued upward trend and increase, the report showed a slight widening of the gap between the number of students who are graduating with accounting degrees and the number of candidates sitting for the CPA exam.

One reason may be the 150 hours that are required of students to qualify to take the CPA exam. With tuition prices increasing and students taking on more and more debt, the extra 30 hours is no doubt a turn-off. Plus, most schools have undergraduate accounting programs that require fewer hours, so students may choose to become an accountant without a CPA license because there are other specializations in the accounting field—many of which do not require 150 hours of college credit. Read more on CPA Practice Advisor.