I know you’re as sick of hearing about the accountant shortage as I am writing about it, alas here we are. One group that isn’t sick of discussing it is the AICPA. While all their schemes up until now have done approximately fuck all to fix the issue, there’s now a Pipeline Advisory Group that will surely get to the bottom of this at long last.
The AICPA has formed an advisory group of accounting stakeholders that will help to shape strategy to address the profession’s talent shortage.
The National Pipeline Advisory Group represents a broad spectrum of leaders in the accounting profession. The group’s work on a national pipeline strategy will be informed by the use of technology, surveys, and in-person forums to solicit insights and input from diverse groups nationwide, the AICPA said in a news release.
“The slowdown in young adults choosing accounting as a career is a collective problem for the CPA profession and requires a collective and inclusive solution,” said Sue Coffey, CPA, CGMA, CEO of Public Accounting for AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Coffey is executive sponsor of the initiative and member of the advisory group.
“We want to make sure we have a broad range of viewpoints and perspectives to help define the profession’s pipeline strategy moving forward,” Coffey said. “This deep, capable, and experienced group will play a critical role in guiding that conversation and subsequent call to action.”
Now, before you say “didn’t they do this already?” you should know that ‘The National Pipeline Advisory Group’ “is focused on developing a cohesive and agile national strategy.” Says JofA, that strategy goes beyond the elements of the Pipeline Acceleration Plan, a set of initiatives already underway or being explored. Whew, here I thought they were demonstrating to us the meaning of insanity in practical application.
The Pipeline Acceleration Plan (known around these parts as the AICPA’s 12-Point Plan to Do F*ck All to Solve the Accountant Shortage approved in May at Council):
What the plan actually needs to look like:
Pay people better then you can hire more people which would address public accounting’s second biggest issue of relentlessly long hours. While you’re at it start promoting entrepreneurship, small firm, and straight-to-industry as viable options for accounting majors instead of professors aggressively advertising Big 4 as the be-all end-all of accounting because that gateway to Hell is scaring a lot of people away. You’re welcome for that freebie, AICPA.
The Center for Audit Quality just released a report on increasing diversity in the pipeline that, while clearly focused on diverse students (it’s literally in the title of the paper), gives us a wealth of data on why young people are choosing other majors. It also gave us this quote:
So we already have a wealth of answers to the “why” in the “why aren’t young people pursuing accounting?” Is a new group somehow going to unearth an as yet undiscovered, mysterious reason for why young people are choosing majors other than accounting? Sure hope so, this song and dance is getting old.
No offense intended to members of the group, sure you all are wonderful people.