CPA Career Outlook & Trends

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CPA Career Outlook

The career outlook for Certified Public Accountants remains strong as demand for the position grows along with a robust U.S. economy. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth for accountants to increase 10 percent faster than the average for all occupations over the next seven years.

Not only are you likely to find an open position, but you’ll also find more opportunity. The rigorous licensing requirements of becoming a CPA makes it a well-respected profession that carries more authority than a non-certified accounting position. On average, CPAs make 25 percent more than non-certified accountants. As you gain experience and expertise, you’re more likely to find opportunities for career advancement and specialized roles within companies that spark your passion.

CPA Trends

Trends in accounting are following the larger business trends of our time: healthier work environments, interpersonal connections, professional growth opportunities, and improved technology.

Proper work-life balance.

Gone are the days of long nights at the office and a single-minded pursuit of the big promotion. While younger generations understand the demands of the CPA profession, they’re also aware that a flexible work schedule and greater autonomy can actually increase performance. Look for more firms to offer these benefits as a strategy for attracting top talent.

More connected relationships between employees and superiors.

The annual review is quickly being replaced with more frequent meetings between younger employees and their superiors. Younger generations value one-on-one feedback and want to know what they’re doing right as well as what they’re doing wrong. These employees see superiors as mentors and seek to get to know them on personal and professional levels.

Expectations for professional growth opportunities.

Younger generations value professional development over a higher salary, according to Aaron Levy, CEO and Founder of Raise the Bar Consulting. Many firms are responding to this trend by offering mentorship programs as well as budgeting for new employees to attend conferences and industry events. As young employees enter the field, their development and path to promotion is being put front and center.

Shifting job duties due to advanced technology.

Technology is changing the very function of accountants as we know it. Where CPAs were once responsible for complex, meticulous tasks and processes, artificial intelligence and improved tax software are now handling the heavy lifting when it comes to data entry. This leaves CPAs with more advanced responsibilities in analysis and strategic guidance. The CPAs who can best harness the power of new technologies will be best equipped to advance their careers.

Final Thoughts

A career as a CPA is demanding, but those demands are reflected in the personal and professional opportunities that are available. With increasing demand for CPAs as well as improving work environments, now is as good of time as any to begin your path to CPA licensing and beyond.
 

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