Despite rising nationwide concerns about the regulation of CPAs and other financial advisory positions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a highly favorable employment outlook for this field.
The U.S. Accountancy Licensee Database of the National Association of the State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), which does not include numbers for Delaware, Hawaii, Utah or Wisconsin, notes there are currently 664,532 licensees nationwide.
According to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for those thousands of accountants and auditors is expected to grow at a rate of 10 percent, which is faster than average.
This comes in the face of numerous efforts by state legislators to consider deregulation.
In an article published by the Journal of Accountancy, Skip Braziel, vice president of State Regulatory & Legislative Affairs for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), writes, “It’s not that CPAs are being singled out. Instead, they’re being swept up in a larger political push to reduce state licensing requirements. The bills are written so broadly to bring us into the bills; that’s why we’ve been engaged.”
The state’s dental board tried to shut down teeth-whitening businesses, which, in turn, took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The judges decided state regulatory boards were violating anti-trust laws by wrongly trying to eliminate competing businesses.
That, in turn, prompted some states to consider if licensing boards overstep their limits.
“You had this case open the door for an even broader review of what are these boards [are] doing,” Braziel said in the article. “Do we really need all these occupations and professionals regulated through licenses?”
Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.