Whether you’re an entry level staff accountant or seasoned partner, let’s face it – there is a ton of work to do right now. The market for compliance work is on fire, driven by huge changes in government tax and audit regulations. Firms are drowning in work and need to find staff, but face a huge problem - We have broken the CPA career path and now face the consequences of our actions.
The CPA “pipeline” has seen better days. The new generation looks to stressed-out partners and employees in public accounting and shudders. Between flat pay, long hours, and a tax season that “never ends,” I can’t blame them. Why work in a field that may be automated, or pays less than the tech industry for the same hours?
Everything is now on the table, and many different players now drive the pipeline solution. It’s urgent - something needs to be done now and quickly. CalCPA Council members and executive leaders are asking tough questions, such as:
How do we change the perception of CPAs with students?
Should parts of the licensure process change?
What can firms do to fix our pipeline challenges?
Yet with all of this noise, it makes me reflect on what I enjoy most about the accounting profession. Flexibility (work wherever!), upward mobility (less red tape to move up), and entrepreneurship (run your own company on minimal startup capital) are great reasons to join the profession. Additionally, some of the practice focus areas are beyond fascinating – who knew I could build a career solely on forensic accounting work?
As an industry, we need to shift the newer generation’s perspective on the CPA profession. I hope that during my term we can do just a bit more to bridge the gap between generations and generate some “buzz” for accounting.