The Global Accountant Shortage is Real

Right here, right now

The global shortage of accountants is a pressing issue that has significant implications for businesses and economies worldwide.  The U.S. alone is estimated to be short 340,000 accountants due to retiring professionals and lack of new entrants.

Nearly 600 U.S. listed companies reported personnel-related weaknesses in internal financial controls in the first half of 2023, a 40.6% increase from 2019. From the supply side, the number of accounting graduates in the U.S. declined by 2.8% at the bachelor’s level and 8.4% at the master’s level in the 2019-2020 academic year. The total number of CPA exam takers in the U.S. dropped by 7% from 2021 to 2022, reaching the lowest level since 2006.

But here’s a staggering statistic–around 75% of AICPA members are at or near retirement age.

As a result, 87% of companies find it increasingly difficult to secure talent for essential accounting functions like financial reporting and analysis.

Why is this happening?

  • Retiring Baby Boomer Accountants: A significant number of accountants are reaching retirement age, leading to a substantial loss of experienced professionals in the field.
  • Fewer Students Entering Accounting Programs: There has been a decline in the number of students pursuing accounting degrees and CPA certifications, partly due to the perceived lack of attractiveness of the profession compared to other fields like technology and finance.
  • Accountants Leaving for Other Fields: Many accountants are transitioning to other careers that offer better pay, work-life balance, and opportunities for advancement.

Impact on Businesses and Economies

Challenges for Companies


  • Difficulty Maintaining Accurate Financial Records: The shortage of accountants makes it challenging for companies to maintain accurate financial records, leading to potential errors and compliance issues.
  • Increased Risk of Errors and Compliance Issues: With fewer accountants, the risk of financial misstatements and non-compliance with regulations increases, which can result in fines and damage to a company’s reputation.
  • Lack of Financial Guidance for Decision-Making: Companies may struggle to make informed strategic decisions without adequate financial analysis and guidance from skilled accountants.

Effects on Specific Industries

  • Finance and Banking: These sectors rely heavily on accountants for managing financial data and ensuring regulatory compliance. A shortage can lead to slower processes and potential compliance issues.
  • Healthcare: Accountants in healthcare handle billing, insurance claims, and financial management. A shortage can result in billing errors and financial discrepancies.
  • Small Businesses: Small businesses often lack the resources to compete for top accounting talent, making it difficult to manage finances accurately and hindering growth.
  • Government and Public Sector: Accountants play a key role in budgeting, auditing, and managing public funds. A shortage can lead to delays in public projects and inefficiencies in resource allocation.

Broader Economic Impacts

  • Slower Economic Growth: The shortage of accountants can slow down economic growth by hindering businesses’ ability to manage finances effectively and make informed decisions.
  • Increased Financial Risks: The lack of skilled accountants increases the risk of financial misstatements and non-compliance, which can have broader economic implications.

Some Strategies to Address the Shortage

  • Investing in Accounting Technology and Automation: Implementing software to automate routine tasks can reduce the workload on accountants and allow them to focus on more strategic activities.
  • Offering Internships and Training Programs: Providing opportunities for students and new graduates to gain practical experience can help attract more individuals to the profession.
  • Utilizing Freelance and Outsourced Accountants: Outsourcing accounting tasks can help businesses manage their financial operations without the need for full-time hires.
  • Encouraging Continuous Learning for Existing Staff: Promoting continuous professional development can help current employees stay updated with industry trends and enhance their skills.
  • Improving Compensation and Benefits: Offering competitive salaries and benefits can 

attract and retain top accounting talent.

Is there hope?

The global shortage of accountants is a critical issue that requires immediate attention. By understanding the causes and impacts of the shortage, businesses can implement effective strategies to attract and retain accounting talent. Embracing technology, promoting continuous learning, and offering competitive compensation are essential steps in addressing the shortage and ensuring the future success of the accounting profession.

Your next steps...

💡Click here to reduce time spent on period-end reporting

🔋Click here if you wish to solve 25+ Spreadsheet reporting issues

🔆 Click here to improve the accuracy and usability of generated reports

💯 Click here to decrease risk by providing on-demand access to the transaction detail behind every reported balance

☎️ Book a free, no-obligation walkthrough with Mondial to see how we can help you in financial reporting and consolidations just like one of our successful clients.

Follow Us

© 2024 Copyright Mondial Software. All rights reserved.