Women Lag Men in Accounting Jobs Recovery

New records set in hourly earnings.

By Beth Bellor

Across the tax and accounting industry, almost all the jobs relinquished by men in the Coronavirus layoffs have been regained by men. The jobs given up by women, on the other hand, are still largely vacant.

MORE ON JOBS: Comeback Stalls as Layoffs Hit 1,500 in Accounting | Tax & Accounting Regains 3,800 Jobs | Accounting Jobs Recovery Slows | Tax & Accounting Firms Rehire Two-Thirds of Pre-COVID Workforce | Tax & Accounting Firms Rehire Two-Thirds of Pre-COVID Workforce
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Overall, the tax, accounting, tax prep, payroll, and bookkeeping sectors employed 1.02 million full-time equivalents in March 2020, before 70,000 layoffs hit in April. So far, the industry has re-filled all but 17,600 positions.

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Survey: Full Recovery by Year-End?

Sage study finds nearly three-quarters of U.S. small and midsize businesses expect to see pre-pandemic revenue levels by end of the year.

Sage survey: Pandemic prompts innovation
Sage survey: Pandemic prompts innovation

By CPA Trendlines

U.S. businesses are becoming increasingly confident they will return to pre-pandemic revenue levels by the end of 2021, according to a new survey by Sage, a market leader in cloud business management software.

Nancy Harris, EVP and Managing Director, Sage North America
Harris

MORE SURVEYS & RESEARCH: Making Partner: What Managers Need to KnowWho’s Heating Up Accounting Tech?  |  Survey: Tax Season Swings into the Red  |  Peer-to-Peer: Your Best Advice for 2021  |  PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much?  |  PPP Traps: 1 in 5 Accountants Report Shady Dealings  |  Clients Want to Pay You More (Really!)  |  Accounting Firms Take Billions in PPP Payouts  |  Members Only: The full CPA Trendlines list of 6,611 PPP borrowers in the tax and accounting industry

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“It’s no surprise the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected small and midsize businesses, along with their employees and customers. As we faced unique challenges at home and work, businesses saw great success implementing new programs, offering flexible work arrangements, and prioritizing commitment to the communities in which they operate,” says Nancy Harris, EVP and Managing Director, Sage North America. “As the world begins to reopen, it is critical that these key learnings from the last year are not lost, and that organizations continue to leverage creativity and technology to foster stronger relationships with employees, customers, and prospects for continued growth.”

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How a Few of the Wealthiest Skate Around the IRS

And the IRS is looking the other way.

By CPA Trendlines

The Internal Revenue Service isn’t supposed to consider a taxpayer’s income or wealth when prioritizing Taxpayer Delinquent Accounts. Rather, the Service is supposed to focus on balances due, pursuing collection of higher amounts.

MORE: Pros Tackle 49% of E-filed Returns | Survey: Tax Season Swings into the Red | Another Tax Season from Hell? | Pros Process 44% of Tax E-filings | Tax Professionals Report Tough Slogging | Busy Season 2021 Gets Off to Weak Start
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Obviously, many of those higher balances are owed by taxpayers (or tax dodgers) in the higher adjusted gross income brackets, and the IRS believes that pursuing high balance dues effectively addresses high AGIs.

But the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says that focusing on the balance due is increasing the risk of high earners skipping out on what they owe.

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Tax Pros Hold Their Ground

In shorter season, professional e-filings are down only 5.6%.

By Beth Bellor

Year-to-year tax filing statistics stabilized ever so slightly this week, as average refunds slipped out of the red and IRS visits backed off a bit in pace.

MORE: Pros Tackle 49% of E-filed Returns | Survey: Tax Season Swings into the Red | Another Tax Season from Hell? | Pros Process 44% of Tax E-filings | Tax Professionals Report Tough Slogging | Busy Season 2021 Gets Off to Weak Start
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The Internal Revenue Service had received 93.2 million individual income tax returns as of April 2, down 4.3 percent from the same period in 2020. In releasing the latest available data, the agency noted that the filing season began 18 days later this year, skewing comparisons.
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173% Increase in IRS Correspondence Backlog

Who knew?

By CPA Trendlines

We all know how the IRS works. They send a letter to a possibly delinquent taxpayer who, in quivering fear, returns a response that is slipped through the mail slot in the IRS door, where it falls into a shredder that feeds into a massive onsite incinerator. The letter’s ashen remains are then loaded onto a rocket and shot toward Alpha Centauri, never to be seen again.

MORE: Hunker Down: The IRS Backlog Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon | The IRS Studebaker Bomb | Imagine IRS ‘Concierge’ Service. Just Imagine. | IRS Has Recruiting Problems, Too
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Actually, that’s not entirely true. In 2019, IRS Compliance Services Collection Operations managed to respond to 25 percent of its “inventory” of Taxpayer Delinquent Account correspondence. The other 75 percent was considered “over-aged” after not being dealt with within 45 days of receipt.
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Pros Tackle 49% of E-filed Returns

chart of weekly IRS tax return filing dataRefunds are down 19% in number and total amount.

By Beth Bellor

As in recent years, accountants are losing ground to DIYers when it comes to individual income tax returns. The question is, do they care? Or is this ground they’re all too ready to yield for more profitable pastures?

MORE: Survey: Tax Season Swings into the Red | Another Tax Season from Hell? | Pros Process 44% of Tax E-filings | Tax Professionals Report Tough Slogging | Busy Season 2021 Gets Off to Weak Start
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The IRS had received 85 million returns as of March 26, down 6.2 percent in a season that started 18 days later than in 2020. It had processed 76 million, down 12.7 percent.
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The CPA’s Best Role: Leveraging Knowledge, Not Just Process

David Bergstein says you’re wasting your time and your client’s money if you’re not focussing on the future.

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With Steven Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals: Thriving in Disruption

To be more competitive, CPAs need to shift their focus from compliance service to process-oriented, value-added work, veteran CPA David Bergstein tells CPA Trendlines. This means working with clients to understand their business operations, competition, and financial challenges, such as liquidity, solvency, and profitability.

MORE on VALUE-ADD: How CAS Communications Are Different | How Value Billing Eliminates Guesswork | Avoid Last-Minute Deal Making | How a Great Managing Partner Impacts Firm Growth | Tax Season Client Meetings: Kill Them Now | Do You Give Yourself Too Much Credit? | The 17 Rules for Making Partner at a CPA Firm | Family Feud Isn’t Just a Game Show

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See more CPA Trendlines videos here | See more David Bergstein here

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The Key Takeaways:

  • Accountants need to switch their focus to look to the future and real-time accounting, which means that the right way of doing things these days is to take advantage of all technology and automation.
  • It’s a small and mid-size business that doesn’t have a bookkeeper, that doesn’t have an accountant, that doesn’t have a controller, that doesn’t have a CFO that looks to CPAs to help them. CPAs’ advantage is to use that technology to automate all those processes and then spend time selling value-added services.
  • Today, to be successful as an accountant, you must identify what platform or platforms you’re going to use to capture your clients’ data at the source to move it through the system.
  • Payroll tax processing services can be expanded by setting up the human resource tools that go with it. Beyond processing payroll, CPAs can find ways to get lower workman’s compensation; automate the onboarding of employees, and provide various benefit options.
  • As part of the de-emphasis on process, younger staff members don’t want to do vouchering anymore, which will be supplanted anyway by automation. So, it’s great for firms to offer more training opportunities to their younger staff regarding analytical thinking, selling, and how to consult with clients to find out what their needs are.

 

Transcript

David Bergstein, interviewed bySteven Sacks
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