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Mind Leakage

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TLDR:

  • A recent study found that the pipeline of future accountants at universities is dangerously low and that more than 73% of accounting students need outside financial support to earn a license as a Certified Public Accountant.
  • At the same time, accounting puts us on the cutting edge of another trend.

A recent study found that the pipeline of future accountants at universities is dangerously low and that more than 73% of accounting students need outside financial support to earn a license as a Certified Public Accountant. The data was collected by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, but it looked at accountants nationwide. Even worse, the number of students who graduated with an accounting degree at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year was down 7.4%, part of a six-year trend of fewer people entering the profession, according to other data from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Accounting is a career that’s built around solving challenging problems and helping interesting people achieve their business and financial goals, which in my experience, never gets boring. What’s not to like, other than perhaps the frequent deadlines? However, it’s incumbent on all of us to step back from our laptops and make sure that more college students are aware of all the possibilities our field has to offer. Many don’t understand how much the field is evolving and all the opportunities it offers those who want to be on the cutting edge of change. That is why, when Marcum reaches out to future accountants through our many recruiting efforts around the country, we present ourselves as more than a professional services firm. Accounting has morphed into a tech field—we even have our own proprietary AI tool at Marcum, as I’ve shared in a previous column—and that trend will only accelerate. Sunday is Father’s Day. I’m blessed to have three children who are not only healthy and happy, but also accomplished in their professional lives. My son Brian can now be added to the list of successful entrepreneurs in the family. He joined us at Marcum a dozen years ago, and now he is opening a new business in the Hamptons, where he lives year-round. As a family, we are extraordinarily proud. And where did he get the business idea? He got it from me. Sometimes the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. At the same time, accounting puts us on the cutting edge of another trend. Accounting has always been a people business, and, in an age when many interactions in our daily lives have become automated, we are leaning into the soft skills where people will always outperform technology. Whether we sit down with clients to handle sensitive matters like succession planning, divorce, or selling a company, these are never just transactions. They’re complex situations where clients have a lot at stake, not just financially but emotionally. Serving these clients isn’t just about preparing a spreadsheet. It’s about listening, not just to what the clients say but also to what they struggle to articulate. Only when we can truly hear the people we serve can we do our best work for them. We work closely with all of our team members to help them develop not just their skills as financial professionals but also as trusted advisors. When you think about the news we’ve all read about the pipeline crisis over the past year, and the ongoing need for skilled professionals in areas like cybersecurity and software development, it’s clear that the brain drain isn’t just an accounting problem. It’s a problem for anyone looking for a rewarding, long-term career in a high-demand field. It ultimately rests on the accounting firms to help solve the industry’s talent shortage, and Marcum is doing its part, with compensation being a key factor. We offer competitive pay for new hires and have increased pay scales across all professional levels. In addition, our perks, flexible schedules, bonuses, and excellent benefits make this field much more appealing. We also support all our associates in their CPA path, cover the costs for their first-time sitting for the big exam, and even offer bonuses for

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