The AICPA has just released its 2019 Trends Report. This biennial report identifies key trends in the U.S. for both supply (accounting enrollments and graduations) and demand (hiring of new graduates in the public accounting sector).
On the supply side, there is good and bad news. Bachelor and graduate enrollments are down, but still at historically high levels. The number of people sitting for the CPA Exam dipped to its lowest level in 10 years. Some, but not all of that can be attributed to candidates rushing to take the Exam in 2016 before a scheduled change to its length and complexity. The good news is that our efforts at increasing diversity in the profession are starting to pay off. While enrollment by gender is nearly even at both the bachelor's and master's levels, racial/ethnic diversity has increased with the highest percentage of non-white enrollees to date.
The demand side has shown more radical shifts. The report shows a 30% decline in hiring of new accounting graduates. As firms adapt to new technologies, they are hiring non-accounting grads to help change how they deliver tax and audit services, and to help them make that important shift to advisory services. You can download the full Trends Report here
We know that staffing continues to be the primary concern of many of our members, and it continues to be our focus at the Society. One of our most successful initiatives to help fill the pipeline is our Scholarship Program. Last year, we gave out $130,500 in scholarships and CPA Exam vouchers to aspiring accounting students to help ease their financial burden in the move towards becoming CPAs. All scholarships and vouchers are funded entirely by donations from firms, companies and members like you. To learn more and to give to the program, click here
. We also promote the profession to high school students through our conferences, early college academy and summer awareness programs. You can learn more about these initiatives here
. We will continue to work at the high school and college levels to promote the profession, and I will share updates with you on our progress.