Fewer students are studying accounting nowadays, and there is widespread concern that it will become increasingly difficult to find and keep accountants and auditors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 300,000 accountants and auditors in the United
States have left their positions in the last two years, a 17% decrease. And as baby boomers retire, this migration is anticipated to accelerate. According to the AICPA, 75% of CPAs will retire or be close to retirement in the next 15 years.
Accounting bachelor’s degree students fell nearly 9% to around 52,500 in 2020, down from nearly 57,500 in 2012. There was a 50% drop in some universities.
While there are several possible causes for the fall, one of them could be the relatively low starting
salaries. Those who work in other finance, technology, or data science are likely to earn significantly
more than those who become accountants.
Preeti Choudhary, a University of Arizona accounting professor who graduated in 1999, stated that her beginning pay in 2000 was around $48,000. She has worked in the private sector. Her pupils in 2019 had an average starting salary of $5,000 more than she did. "That is not good enough," she stated.
The PCAOB, for its part, might do more to highlight and underline the critical role of accounting and
auditing in general.
“Sometimes the impression people have when they think about the PCAOB is all about enforcement and inspection and negative outcomes, and do you want to go to a profession that has all of this extra oversight, which of course we all know, is unfortunately necessary; we can’t get rid of it. But maybe there’s a way to also emphasize the positives,” Choudhary said. “What are some of the benefits of the good auditing outcomes or of good auditing that you’ve seen in your inspection process