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The Creative Solution to Beating the Accountant Shortage in the U.S.

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Would you believe a single typo could lead to a multi-million-dollar class action lawsuit?

For ride hailing company, Lyft, that isn’t just a hypothetical scenario; It’s a real, arduous legal battle they must face after the company’s shares soared above 60% due to an extra zero that slipped into their quarterly earnings statement for Q4 of 2023. 

But it wasn’t just Lyft that made a similar blunder. Major companies, such as Planet Fitness, Rivian Automotive, and Mister Car Wash also had to make corrections to their earnings reports after finding errors in them.

It makes you wonder: is this wave of reporting errors indicative of a worsening accountant shortage in the U.S.?

The short answer is yes.

Read More: Accounting Firms Face Their Biggest Capacity Crunch Yet: Here’s How to Solve It 

How Bad is the Accounting Shortage in the U.S.?

empty accounting office

The accountant shortage in U.S. has reached crisis levels.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 4% increase in accountant and auditor job openings until 2032. That’s approximately 126,000 accounting roles that need to be filled yearly.

However, a closer look at the numbers will have you scratching your head and wondering if it’s possible to meet the ever-increasing demand with a rapidly dwindling supply of accounting professionals.

The U.S. Accounting Shortage by the Numbers

More than 300,000 accounts and auditors have left the profession since 2020

staff exit

75% of U.S. CPAs have reached retirement eligibility in 2020

To add insult to injury, enrollment in accounting programs at colleges and universities have also been on a downward trend for several years now. The academic year 2021-2022 saw the highest drop in accounting graduates in years, with only 47,070 students earning accounting degrees—a 7.8% decline from the previous school year.

With seasoned practitioners retiring and not enough next generation talent entering the labor market to replace them, current accounting professionals grapple with longer hours, more grueling workloads, and higher risks of burnout.

Many businesses across the country are already feeling the pinch. In a 2023 analysis by equity research firm, Hudson Labs, more than 720 companies cited poorly staffed accounting departments as one of the reasons for potential errors.

“If the people preparing the financials are overworked, or there’s not enough of them, you will have errors.”—via Fortune
Joshua Khavis
Joshua Khavis
Assistant Professor, University of Buffalo School of Managment

Audit-Employee Turnover, Audit Quality, and the Auditor-Client Relationship

One look at these numbers can make you feel pessimistic about the future of the accounting industry. If you’re a firm owner looking to expand your business and deliver better quality services to your clients, it’s normal to feel like the walls are closing in on you.

But now’s not the time to lose hope. It’s time to get creative. Rather than letting those walls limit your business growth, you should take them down instead.

Unconventional Challenges Call for Creative Solutions

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The accountant shortage in the U.S. is a threat to accounting firms nationwide. However, this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. With technology breaking geographical boundaries, it’s easier to tap into the global workforce now than ever before.

Read More: AI in Accounting—Can Tech Solve the CPA Shortage?

Don’t wait until your team gets burned out and make costly million-dollar mistakes. Fill your firm’s staffing gaps with TOA Global’s trusted outsourced accounting services. Our army of 3,400+ accounting professionals in the Philippines can help you instantly increase your firm’s capacity and ensure business continuity despite the scarcity of talent in your locale.

With a vast talent pool of job-ready bookkeepers, auditors, executive assistants, junior CPAs, and US-trained outsourced accountants, you can tailor our solutions to fit your current needs and create a talent strategy around your long-term goals.

Beyond filling your firm’s talent gap, outsourcing can also help you save thousands on hiring and salary costs. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone: increasing capacity while reducing costs.

Try our savings calculator now to see how much you could potentially save with outsourcing.