Industry Employment Surge Shows No Signs of Slowing

Chart showing number of employees in the accounting industry according to Bureau of Labor Statistics
All employees in the accounting and bookkeeping industry; numbers reported in thousands

Record highs seen in overall employment, staff wages, CPA firm employment and staff, and more.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The U.S. tax, accounting and bookkeeping industries show no signs of slowing down, according to CPA Trendlines sources.

Here CPA Trendlines reports on:

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

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NEW RECORD: U.S. Accounting Industry Tops 1 Million Workers

Wages rise 6%. Double-digit expansion in payroll agencies.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The number of people employed in the accounting industry has topped 1 million for the first time ever.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? There are a million of us. Savor that for a moment.

Top Talent Strategies
Join the survey. Get the Results

In this report, CPA Trendlines covers:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, tax, payroll and CPA segments of the industry, indicating growth and shrinkage among sectors.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments, with trends in employee pay rates.
  • Typical hours worked per week, showing utilization and productivity.
  • Trends concerning women in the workforce, including hiring rates.

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U.S. Accounting Pay Beats London, but Not Asia

New global study shows 43 percent of accountants are ready to jump ship. Here’s why.

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By CPA Trendlines Research

Source: ICAS, via CPA Trendlines Research

The war for top talent in the U.S. accountancy profession is spreading worldwide, fueled by growth and increased confidence, according to a new global study obtained by CPA Trendlines.

Some 43 percent of accountants at multinational firms say they’ll probably leave their jobs within the next year or two, seeking more pay, better opportunities or both. The figures closely follow those found by CPA Trendlines in U.S.-focused studies (CPA Firms Paying Top Dollar for Talent in Nationwide Hiring Binge).

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CPA Firms Paying Top Dollar for Talent in Nationwide Hiring Binge

Pay raises trending
Pay raises trending

Wages hit new high; hourly rates at CPA firms up nearly 10 percent.

By CPA Trendlines Research

As the economy adds jobs, the accounting industry is grabbing its share and sometimes more, according to CPA Trendlines sourcesAt the same time, respondents to The CPA Trendlines Careers and Hiring Outlook tracking polls show nearly 60 percent ready to jump ship if the right offer comes along.

Join the survey. Get the results.

In this report, CPA Trendlines covers:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, tax, payroll and CPA segments of the industry, indicating growth and shrinkage among sectors.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments, with trends in employee pay rates.
  • Typical hours worked per week, showing utilization and productivity.
  • Trends concerning women in the workforce, including hiring rates.

It’s not all about the money.

Higher wages aren’t everything, as clearly indicated in The CPA Trendlines Careers and Hiring Outlook tracking polls. READ MORE →

CPA Firms Hike Wages in Battle for Top Talent

Next question: Who’s hiring, who’s not. Get the answers: Join the survey.

Wad of one hundred dollar bills held in hand on green backgroundBy CPA Trendlines Research

With CPA firms locked in a battle for top-level talent, typical wages in the U.S. tax, accounting and bookkeeping industry are advancing at record rates, according to CPA Trendlines sources.

In this report, CPA Trendlines covers:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, tax, payroll and CPA segments of the industry, indicating growth and shrinkage among sectors.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments, with trends in employee pay rates.
  • Typical hours worked per week, showing utilization and productivity.
  • Trends concerning women in the workforce, including hiring rates. READ MORE →

Yes, You Should Send Rejection Letters

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ASome people expect them…and say so.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: Do you recommend sending rejection letters to someone I interview and do not hire?

RESPONSE: Yes. Early on I did not send them, but when email came more universal, we sent them messages that way. Now we use postal mail and send the letter on our letterhead. We feel it is more courteous and respectful. The letter is similar to this:

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: When Busy Gives the Wrong Impression | When to Hire an Admin Assistant | How to Notify Clients of a Partner’s Retirement | 7 Ways to Lose a Client’s Trust | Quote With Care When Asked for Valuation | When Fees Don’t Keep Up With Cost Increases | Lowballing and Why It (Usually) Doesn’t Work | When Is It Time to Merge? | What Goes in a Client’s Permanent File? | No More Printouts at CPE Programs? | How to Apply Value Pricing to Bundled Services

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When to Hire an Admin Assistant

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ADo the math. Hire the best.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I seem to be wasting a lot of time and can’t put my finger on it. I go home at night feeling I am more behind than when I started that morning and my chargeable time is dropping. What suggestions can you make?

ANSWER: Many professionals, not just CPAs are spending more and more time on non-business purpose activities. I don’t want to say nonessential because booking a flight or setting up a client meeting is essential, just that it is not what you are being paid for – it is not your business purpose. This person I spoke to, and many others in similar circumstances, need administrative assistance.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: How to Notify Clients of a Partner’s Retirement | 7 Ways to Lose a Client’s Trust | Quote With Care When Asked for Valuation | Closed for Tax Season? Looks That Way | 12 Must-Knows for Niche Markets | How Much Should You Pay To Buy, Sell or Merge an Accounting Practice? | Is Joint Representation a Conflict? | When Fees Don’t Keep Up With Cost Increases | When Large (or Any) Clients Need Backup Assurances | Lowballing and Why It (Usually) Doesn’t Work

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Tax and Accounting Industry Hits New Highs in Headcount and Wages

Chart of BLS employment data
Tax, accounting and bookkeeping employment, through March 2015, with number of employees reported by the thousands.

The U.S. tax, accounting and bookkeeping industries remain among the bright spots in the nation’s economy, as professional and business services make up nearly a third of the last month’s job gains, according to CPA Trendlines sources.

Here CPA Trendlines reports on:

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

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Busy Season 2015: Short-Term Staffing Problems Need Long-Term Solutions

Get a read on the busy season. Join the survey; get the results
Get a read on the busy season. Join the survey; get the results

Not enough trained staff, not enough seasonal staff, not enough staff.

Next question: The smartest moves this busy season? Join the survey; get the results.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The CPA Trendlines annual Busy Season Barometer is eliciting a panoply of lessons learned and plans for a smoother season next year. A lot of professionals’ comments this year are nothing short of outright complaint. And not without reason. It’s been a rough year. If the snow didn’t get you, Forms 3115, 8962, 8965 or 1095a did. Plus all things IRS got more complicated, clients got more desperate and, apparently, tensions rose as CPAs and staff stretched themselves to the limits of professional endurance.

Nancy Casburn
Casburn

One of the main lessons learned is the need for enough staff — enough staff hired early enough and trained well enough. Nancy Casburn at Casburn CPA in Lee’s Summit, Mo., sums up the importance of the softest of software: “Staffing is the most important reason for failing or succeeding at tax season.”

If we can draw any conclusion from all the staff-related lessons reported in this year’s Busy Season Barometer, it is that the profession needs more staff, better trained staff and an availability of seasonal staff. Given the increasing complexity of tax returns, the solution of this problem — more training, more accounting majors — needs to arrive quickly and be broadly based.

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