Where are all the accounting professionals going? Competitive pay and benefits aren’t enticing enough. People want work/life balance but how can firms provide that when the workforce supply is so low yet demand is at an all-time high. If technology is the answer are there firms that are successfully implementing solutions?

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Accounting pay for the college requirements/cost and hours worked isn’t alluring anymore when there are alternatives. The internet has allowed for younger generations to know the working conditions and pay for various career paths unlike in prior generations.

Some things I have heard in recent years from our people are that in some offices staff work as much as there investment banking counterparts and after 3 years are paid 1/2 and the education requirements are higher for accounting. Driven people can go into tech after a programming boot camp that lasts 3 months and make more starting than our managers after 5 years of school and 5 years of work. Trades people such as an electrician makes close to 90k a year after 4 years of work but only works 40hrs a week. If they work overtime they make as much as our managers with no formal education/costs.

Finally accounting graduates normally tick up during a recession since there are theoretically still jobs to be filled while other careers have limited openings. We have gone 14 years without a real recession (2020 was a blip). That’s a long time to go without a wave of accounting graduates and Covid accelerated older accountants to retire which has caused this labor shortage. We will be in this for 4-5 years I predict assuming we have a recession next year, so just keep hiring as much as you can.

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Accounting majors and grads are way down right now. The fact accounting is being seen as a 5 year degree now days since you need 150 to graduate. In my location colleges and universities are banding together to redesign curriculum to eliminate the potential of traditional spring internships unless you are willing to make it a 6 year degree. These are all adding up. The 150 credit requirement did more to hurt the profession than help it.

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