Year over year, CPA firm staffs are growing by 4.7 percent while payroll overall is increasing at a 4.6 percent rate. The number of tax preparation employees is falling, however, 12.5 percent for the latest month, but up 3.2 percent for the year. Women are making some large year-over-year gains as well – 4.8 percent at CPA firms and 12 percent at payroll services.
Four fewer reporting days in 2017 skewed results at first, but statistics for the week ending Feb. 10 show a difference in returns filed of around 17 percent, about half the 33 percent decline that led off the season. READ MORE →
Of course, since it comes from the IRS, it also has its own set of footnotes and qualifiers. For one, even though we’re comparing the week ending Jan. 27, 2017, with the week ending Jan. 29, 2016, the 2016 figure included four more days of tax return processing – although when comparing identical numbers of days, 2017 marks an increase. For another, the new law requiring a hold on refunds involving the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit until Feb. 15 is skewing early season refund numbers and dollar amounts, because many taxpayers claiming these credits are early filers. READ MORE →
In "How to Make Mandatory Saturdays a Thing of the Past," CPA Trendlines contributor Jennifer Wilson says the "cool firms" are eliminating the age-old practice nd replacing it with flex-time, work-at-home, and results-oriented strategies. Still, she says, "I literally hear a gasp of surprise because it challenges one of the most fundamental elements of public accounting – tracking, measuring and valuing time."