Planning for the Coronavirus Recession

If past recessions are any guide, the profession could lose up to 100,000 jobs.

Busy Season Barometer:
Bracing for the Coronavirus recession

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By Beth Bellor

The tax and accounting profession was adding new jobs at a rate of 2.3 percent per year before the Coronavirus outbreak, according to CPA Trendlines Research.

See: All CPA Trendlines Special Coronavirus Crisis Coverage

More Staffing and Hiring Trends: Automation and the Future of Accounting  |  Getting and Keeping the Best: The Struggle Continues |  Headcounts Dip by 3,500 in Tax & Accounting |  Creative Perks for Remote Employees |  What Staffing Shortage? |  Hiring Trends Flash Warning Signs of Slowdown in Tax & Accounting |  Salary Survey: Top Skills Getting Top Pay

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But with a new recession looming, CPA Trendlines estimates the profession could lose up to 100,000 jobs and take up to seven years to recover.

The latest data available show more than a million employees in the profession, and growing at about 2,800 new jobs per month. At the same time, wages are hitting record highs.

But with the Coronavirus crisis threatening a new recession, CPA Trendlines conducted a long-term, 30-year analysis, focused on the job losses caused by the dot-com crash of 2001 and the financial meltdown of 2007. From the analysis, CPA Trendlines calculates the profession could shed up to 10 percent of its current workforce, and not fully recover for two to seven years.

All employees, thousands, accounting and bookkeeping services, seasonally adjusted
^ Showing dips after the dot-com bubble in 2001 and financial crash in 2008: All tax, accounting, and bookkeeping services, all employees, in thousands, seasonally adjusted. (CPA Trendlines Research)

In this report, CPA Trendlines highlights:

  • Current and long-term hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the industry (all data seasonally adjusted)
  • Average hourly wages for key segments
  • Typical hours worked per week
  • Trends concerning women in the accounting workforce

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Payroll Agencies Lead Jobs Growth in the Tax & Accounting Industry

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“The opportunities for CPA firms only increase.”

Get more from the “Talent, Career, and Growth Strategies: Job Satisfaction and Hiring Trends Tracking Poll” 
Join the survey. Get the results.

By Beth Bellor

“It’s a good time to be a CPA,” says Brian Esko, and – with some notable exceptions – it’s hard to disagree.

The managing director and executive recruiter at Parker & Lynch and Ajilon Search points to an unemployment rate of roughly 1.5 percent for accounting, almost 300,000 new jobs created over the last 12 months and wages rising at roughly 3 percent annually.

MORE ON JOBS: Hiring Trends: Accounting Hits 4.2% Expansion Rate | Hiring Trends Flash Warning Signs of Slowdown in Tax & Accounting | CHARTS: Tax & Accounting Among Biggest Jobs Creators in U.S.
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Esko

“For a CPA, there are more opportunities than ever in the market and companies are doing a better job of rewarding and retaining their people through compensation increases and internal growth opportunities,” Esko says.

In this report, CPA Trendlines highlights:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the industry (all data seasonally adjusted)
  • Average hourly wages for key segments
  • Typical hours worked per week
  • Trends concerning women in the accounting workforce

READ MORE →

True Diversity Means Creating Equity

Woman opens door to find brick wall behind itWho is trying to get in the room but can’t?

By Liz Gold
in From Success to Significance: The Radical CPA Guide

So, we know you can’t just put the diversity and inclusion phrase on marketing materials and call it good. There needs to be some substance behind the claim.

MORE ON RADICALISM: A Legacy of Leadership Must Extend to Diversity | 5 Ways to Create a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace | Goals, Goals, Goals | 3 Challenges in Shifting to Product Management | Productized 1099s the New Vision Way | Why Our Clients Need Us to Be Radical
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Part of that substance includes looking at the word “equity” and considering how you can provide equitable opportunities and growth potential to every individual in your firm.
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Tax & Accounting Wages Up 4%

And, hours worked? Down all over.

By Beth Bellor

The accounting profession continues to make year-over-year gains, according to new CPA Trendlines research. Hourly earnings are growing more than 4 percent, and the number employed is up in all segments – except tax prep, which is down 8.9 percent… for now.

MORE ON JOBS: The Myth of the Staff Shortage | What’s the Profession Going To Do with 79,000 New Accounting Graduates? | Accounting Profession Shows Steady Growth | Tax & Accounting Salaries Increase 2.8% | Regional CPA Firms Go Head-to-Head with Big Four in Talent Wars | Global Talent Wars Hit Home for Local Firms | How to Set Your Firm Apart to Recruits
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In this report, CPA Trendlines highlights:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the profession
  • Average hourly earnings for key segments
  • Average hours worked per week
  • Trends regarding women in the accounting workforce

READ MORE →

Wages Up, Headcounts Down at Tax & Accounting Firms

Are these the signs of a business model makeover?

By Beth Bellor

The tax and accounting industry is marking its 15th consecutive month of jobs growth, led by CPA firms and payroll services, according to the new CPA Trendlines Research study on jobs trends. The new analysis shows wage increases coming even as the pace of hiring is weakening and hours worked hits a four-year low.

MORE ON JOBS: Tax & Accounting Salaries Increase 2.8% | Accounting Profession Growing, But Slowly | Accounting Employment Creeps Back Up | Regional CPA Firms Go Head-to-Head with Big Four in Talent Wars | Global Talent Wars Hit Home for Local Firms | Tax & Accounting Industry Shows Signs of Slowdown
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In this report, CPA Trendlines highlights:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the industry.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments
  • Typical hours worked per week
  • Trends concerning women in the accounting workforce

READ MORE →

When Coworkers Fight Flexible Scheduling

Man's finger pointing to watchSaboteurs can step in when they don’t realize they can benefit, too.

By Ida O. Abbott
Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

A talented, ambitious woman who works less than full time or takes extended family leave is extremely vulnerable to being derailed professionally.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Image Often Carries ‘Double Bind’ Baggage  | 9 Ways to Help Your Protégée Land Better Assignments | The Political Cost of Sponsorship | Don’t Let Gossip Interfere | Women Fight ‘Kids First’ Perception | 3 Changes for Men to Make | 4 Firm Benefits of Sponsoring Women as Leaders | Being the Best Means Including Women
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Whether because she is “out of sight/out of mind,” or because people doubt her commitment, she may be disregarded for promotions or high-profile projects.
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Image Often Carries ‘Double Bind’ Baggage

Black woman working at deskHow to provide ‘soft skills’ advice.

By Ida O. Abbott
Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

Feedback is important at any level of professional development.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: 9 Ways to Help Your Protégée Land Better Assignments | Steer Your Protégée to Opportunities | 4 Keys to Pairing Sponsors, Protégées | 4 Ways to Help Women Seek Power | Women Judged on Performance, Men on Potential | 3 Ways Women Benefit When Seen as Leaders | Being the Best Means Including Women
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But for a woman trying to become a leader, honest, clear and practical feedback is essential. She needs to know both how well she is performing and how to project the image she wants others to have of her.
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