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Top Challenge Facing CPA Firms: Finding Qualified Staff in 2024

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TLDR:

  • Finding qualified staff is the top issue facing most CPA firms in 2024 according to the AICPA PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey.
  • Challenges with staffing, working with the IRS, and developing firm leaders are among the key concerns for accounting firms of different sizes.

This week at the ENGAGE conference in Las Vegas, the AICPA revealed the top issues facing accounting firms in 2024 based on the results of the PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey. The survey, conducted every two years, collected responses from 667 participants representing various practice types and firm sizes. The top challenges identified included finding qualified staff, keeping up with changes in the U.S. tax code, and working with the IRS.

The survey emphasized that talent issues go beyond recruitment, with concerns also focusing on retaining qualified staff, developing future firm leaders, and addressing the aging of owners and partners in smaller to midsize firms. Larger firms highlighted the importance of effective staff utilization and management, as well as staff compensation and reward programs.

Looking ahead, survey respondents predict that staffing, emerging technologies, and changes in the regulatory environment will continue to have the greatest impact on firm practice operations over the next five years. The intersection of talent and technology was underscored as firms strive to leverage technology to enhance service delivery and attract innovative professionals.

A full commentary on the survey results will be made available later this summer, along with a roadmap to resources for firms to address their challenges. As Lisa Simpson, vice president of AICPA & CIMA, noted during the Town Hall, the survey results highlight that many accounting firms, regardless of size, are facing similar issues in the current landscape.

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