The results of a new survey produced by Jupiter Media Metrix, the global leader in market intelligence for the new economy, show that, in spite of increased access to the Internet by U.S. citizens, accountants have little to fear in terms of a reduction of work load during the busy tax season.
Accounting firms are experiencing the spring crush in a way that incorporates long-term concerns about staffing. The number of college accounting majors has dropped 23 percent over the past decade, according to a study prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The expanded education requirements that are becoming commonplace for accountants explain a portion of the declining workforce. The large CPA firms lure the majority of graduates into their workforces by offering perks such as bonuses and education assistance; meanwhile the smaller firms are struggling to find personnel.
In the electronic arena, the number of tax returns prepared online continues to grow, with the TurboTax web site, which provides online tax preparation, reporting an increase in visitors of over 72% so far this spring compared to last year.
Even though the number of taxpayers using online tax preparation services is growing, 38 percent of Internet users plan to utilize the services of a tax professional this year.