29 outubro 2022

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Faced with a sharp decline in the number of people taking exams for entry to the profession, and a slide in interest in university accounting courses that hints at deeper trouble to come, the industry is trying to reverse the trend. From the Big Four audit firms to state accounting regulators, players are pursuing a raft of new measures to attract people to a career in accounting, including advertising to high-schoolers and programmes to cut the cost of becoming a certified public accountant (CPA).


“As a profession, our ability to protect the public interest could be at risk,” said Lara Abrash, chief executive of Deloitte’s US audit business. With declining numbers of new entrants and a “cliff” of baby-boomer retirements, a crunch could come within a decade, she said. Christina Ho, a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the industry’s regulator, called the shortage a “crisis” in a speech last month. The number of people sitting the CPA exam had hit a decade low even before the pandemic, which caused a further drop to just 72,271 last year, from almost 103,000 five years before. With 43,000 candidates in the first half of 2022, the rebound does not look strong enough to recover lost ground. “The downward trend is very recent,” said Abrash. “As people are planning their careers, we have just lost our ability to tell our story.”

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