The Growing Shortage of CPAs: Causes and Opportunities

June 18, 2024

The Growing Shortage of CPAs: Causes and Opportunities

The Growing Shortage of CPAs Causes and Opportunities (1)

By Christine Fabbro Brunner | Chief Executive Officer | Brunner Sierra Group

I recently had the honor of speaking at the Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) annual conference, a truly remarkable event that brought together some of the most dedicated and passionate professionals in our field. The opportunity to share my insights and engage with such a vibrant community was both humbling and inspiring. But, although this year has been exceptional for CPAs, it also has been marked by a difficult long term outlook for the future of my profession.


In recent years, the accounting profession has faced a notable shortage of CPAs, a trend that raises concerns about the future of financial expertise in our society. This shortage is driven by several factors, each contributing to the diminishing influx of new professionals into this vital field.


One significant reason for the shortage is the rigorous nature of the CPA exam. The CPA exam is widely regarded as one of the most challenging professional exams, requiring extensive knowledge and preparation. The difficulty of passing this exam can be a deterrent for many aspiring accountants, discouraging them from pursuing the certification despite their interest in the field.


Additionally, the profession itself has been facing issues that might be contributing to the decline. The perception of the CPA career as stressful and demanding, with long hours during tax season and tight deadlines, can make it less appealing to younger generations who prioritize work-life balance. Furthermore, the evolving landscape of accounting, with the increasing integration of technology and automation, might also be shifting interest away from traditional accounting roles.


Despite these challenges, becoming a CPA offers numerous rewards and opportunities that can make the journey worthwhile. One of the most appealing aspects of being a CPA is the high level of respect and trust that comes with the title. CPAs are seen as experts in financial matters, and their advice and services are highly valued by businesses and individuals alike.

The Growing Shortage of CPAs Causes and Opportunities (2)

The financial benefits of being a CPA are also noteworthy. CPAs typically command higher salaries compared to their non-certified peers. The demand for their expertise often leads to lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, including public accounting, corporate finance, government, and forensics and fraud investigations. This financial stability and potential for career growth make the CPA designation an attractive option for many.


Moreover, CPAs have the chance to make a significant impact on the organizations and clients they serve. They play a crucial role in financial decision-making, helping businesses navigate complex regulations, optimize tax strategies, and ensure financial transparency. This sense of contributing to the success and integrity of the financial world can be incredibly fulfilling.


To address the current shortage, it is essential to encourage and support the next generation of CPAs. This could involve making the path to certification more accessible through educational programs, mentorship, and financial assistance for exam preparation. Promoting the diverse and rewarding career opportunities within the CPA profession can also attract more talent to this field.



While the CPA profession faces challenges that contribute to its current shortage, the benefits and opportunities it offers remain compelling. By addressing the obstacles and highlighting the rewarding aspects of being a CPA, we can inspire more individuals to join this essential profession and ensure the continued strength and integrity of our financial systems.

If you’re interested in becoming a CPA or pursuing a career in the CPA field, click the link provided to explore the rewarding opportunities, professional growth, and financial stability this path offers. Don’t miss out on the chance to secure a respected position in the business world.