Accounting and Taxes

Crunching the numbers on accountant shortages

Accountants cite hiring and retaining talent as significant challenges.
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A pair of surveys found accounting firms and internal audit departments overwhelmingly consider hiring and retention to be significant challenges facing the industry.

More than 4,100 accountants and 2,300 internal auditors responded to Caseware International’s 2023 State of Accounting Firms Trend Report and the 2023 State of Internal Audit Trends report. Nearly 90% of respondents to both surveys said that retaining talent was either somewhat or extremely challenging.

Nearly 35% of accountants reported “finding the right talent” among the top three challenges for practice management over the past year, per the Accounting Firms Trend Report. This is up from 14% in the 2022 report.

Just over half (52%) of accountants surveyed described finding and hiring “the right talent for your firm” as “somewhat challenging,” with 7% describing it as “not challenging at all.”

Richard McLure, senior manager of operations at Wipfli LLC, said that the challenge of finding talent begins on university campuses.

“You just have to look at the universities,” McLure said in a quote included in the report. “There are less kids going in for accounting. So your pool is getting smaller from a graduating perspective, which is then leading to the higher levels at CPA firms.”

As CFO Brew has reported, the accounting industry is focused on attracting a younger demographic to careers in accounting. Some experts told CFO Brew that green accounting could be a possible solution.—LR

News built for finance pros

CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.