The Shrinking Accounting Profession
How technology & outsourcing can fill the void
The accounting profession in the United States is experiencing a significant decline, with a shortage of accountants and CPAs becoming a major concern. This shortage is compounded by the increasing number of accountants leaving their jobs at both corporations and audit firms*, as well as the declining number of accounting graduates.
According to the AICPA, the number of college graduates earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting has dropped by 4% since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the number of graduates sitting for the Uniform CPA Examination has dropped from 50,000 candidates in 2010 to 32,000 in 2021.
In addition to this, the baby boomers’ retirement is further exacerbating the situation, leaving fewer professionals to tackle more work that is increasingly complex. This combination of factors has created a perfect storm for the accounting profession, which is struggling to keep up with demand.
The SEC has expressed strong concerns about the shortage of accounting professionals, warning that it could lead to serious financial reporting deficiencies across U.S. businesses, both big and small. The shrinking accounting profession is becoming a critical issue that needs to be addressed, as it poses a significant risk to the financial stability of the country. Fortunately, with outsourced solutions and the improved accounting software and technology available, business owners have options beyond the traditional hiring of in-house staff to fill their accounting needs.
Outsourcing and Technology: A Perfect Match
Cloud-based accounting software allows accountants to access financial data from anywhere, making it easier for outsourced providers to work with clients remotely. This technology also allows for real-time financial reporting, which can help companies make more informed business decisions.
One solution to overcome the shortage of accounting professionals is to hire an outsourced accounting company that can implement technologies and software to streamline a business’s internal processes. In this regard, Signature Analytics provides a comprehensive solution that goes beyond project-based tax help.
Signature Analytics offers outsourced accounting solutions that include a Financial Intelligence Team specializing in putting the right people on an account, implementing the right technology to streamline processes, and generating accurate, relevant, and timely reporting. By leveraging technology and their team’s expertise, Signature Analytics can provide businesses with a cost-effective solution that improves efficiency and accuracy while freeing up time for internal staff to focus on other critical business activities.
With their expertise in various accounting areas, Signature Analytics can help businesses streamline their bookkeeping, monthly close, and financial reporting processes, leading to improved efficiency, cost savings, and higher profit margins. By leveraging their technology and expertise, businesses can overcome the challenges posed by the shrinking accounting profession while staying competitive in their respective industries.
Overall, hiring an outsourced accounting company like Signature Analytics can provide businesses with a comprehensive solution to overcome the challenges posed by the shortage of accounting professionals. By implementing the right technology and software and leveraging their team’s expertise, Signature Analytics can help businesses streamline their accounting processes, reduce costs, and improve their profit margins.
Top Accounting & Finance Technologies in 2023
Rippling: Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, expenses, corporate cards, computers, apps, and more — in one unified workforce platform.
Quickbooks: QuickBooks by Intuit is a well-known accounting software designed to help small to medium-sized businesses manage their finances. This easy-to-use software streamlines business tasks by offering templates for spreadsheets, invoices, and financial reports.
Ramp: Next-generation finance tools – from corporate cards and expense management, to bill payments and accounting integrations – designed to save businesses time and money with every click.
Netsuite: Netsuite is a cloud-based ERP software that includes accounting features. It is designed for medium-sized and large businesses and offers features such as financial management, inventory management, and order management.
Fathom: Fathom is a cloud-based financial analysis and management software that helps businesses to analyze and monitor their financial performance, create financial reports, and make data-driven decisions.
Bill: a leader in financial automation software for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Hundreds of thousands of businesses trust BILL solutions to manage financial workflows, including payables, receivables, and spend and expense management.
Tipalti: Tipalti is a cloud-based payment automation software that helps businesses to manage and automate their accounts payable and payment processing operations.
Salesforce: Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software that allows businesses to manage customer data, track sales leads, and create marketing campaigns.
Emburse: Emburse is the global leader in spend optimization with expense, travel management, purchasing and accounts payable, and payments solutions.
Stripe: Stripe is a cloud-based payment processing software that allows businesses to accept payments online, manage subscriptions, and run financial reports.
Asana: A project management tool. Asana helps teams orchestrate their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives.
In conclusion, the shortage of accounting professionals in the United States is a pressing issue that is being exacerbated by various factors such as declining numbers of accounting graduates, accountants leaving their jobs, and the retirement of baby boomers. However, businesses have options to fill this void through technology and outsourcing solutions.
Cloud-based accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Netsuite, and Fathom, allows for remote access to financial data and real-time reporting, making it easier for outsourced providers to work with clients efficiently. Outsourcing companies like Signature Analytics offer comprehensive solutions that combine the right technology with their team’s expertise to streamline businesses’ internal processes and generate accurate and timely financial reporting.
In addition to outsourcing, there are various accounting and finance technologies available, such as Rippling, Ramp, Bill, Tipalti, Salesforce, Emburse, Stripe, and Asana, that can help businesses manage their finances, automate processes, and optimize spend. These technologies can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase profit margins for businesses facing the challenges of the shrinking accounting profession.
In conclusion, by leveraging technology and outsourcing solutions, businesses can overcome the shortage of accounting professionals and stay competitive in their respective industries. The right combination of technology and outsourcing can fill the void and ensure that businesses have the necessary accounting support to thrive in today’s complex financial landscape.