Jumping Ship: Why do CPAs Flee?
AccountingWEB has reported several stories over the past few months about the consistent migration of CPAs and accountants from accounting firms to smaller businesses--many of which are dotcoms.
Where does all the competition come from? Skilled, trained accountants certainly aren't a dime a dozen; in a six-year period from 1992 to 1998, the number of people sitting for CPA Exam fell 40 percent.
Rivalries spring from the Silicon Valley and Wall Street, where CPAs working for Big 5 firms and smaller shops can be lured for stock options, incentives and other benefits.
But more than that, analysts say the increased pressure over accounting regulations have forced the bean counters to flee their previous firms. Another factor is the stringent 150-hour rule that requires, for most students, five years of school. AccountingWEB recently ran an article about how firms in Illinois are overlooking the rules and hiring students regardless of the amount of hours they possess.
To fight back, large firms have begun increasing salaries and offering more benefits--but are they too late?
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.