New National Research on CPA Pipeline Challenges Underway

CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2023 – The Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS), in partnership with the Center for Accounting Transformation (the Center) and a coalition of other stakeholders, is launching a new, national survey to gain fresh insight into what’s driving the decline in individuals pursuing the certified public accountant (CPA) credential.

This survey will expand the reach of the one ICPAS deployed in fall 2020, allowing for direct comparisons against previous findings, which were published in the 2021 Insight Special Feature, “A CPA Pipeline Report: Decoding the Decline.” The new findings will be published and shared to bring awareness of, and renew focus on, the most relevant and effective strategies to promote the CPA credential and ensure its sustainability and relevance moving forward.

A key focus of this survey is to understand why a growing number of accounting students and young professionals in accounting and finance careers don’t finish the CPA exam or elect to never take it at all. Accounting and finance students and professionals under the age of 35, with and without the CPA credential, are encouraged to complete the survey. The organizing partners also encourage all accounting and finance professionals to share the survey link with those they know in the target audience.

The survey will close Dec. 15, 2023. The responses are anticipated to reveal recent trends and key issues that will arm CPA profession leaders and stakeholders with a deeper understanding of the current perceptions of the profession, the decision-making process regarding pursuing or not pursuing the CPA credential, and the perceived value and relevance it holds today.

“The profession is aligning on the approaches necessary to help stem the tide and ultimately reverse the negative CPA talent pipeline trend we’re collectively facing,” says Geoffrey Brown, CAE, ICPAS president and CEO. “While there’s more research than ever on this topic, interest continues to be high in learning more about the perceived barriers deterring prospective CPAs from ever pursuing the credential. A lot has happened in the three years since our last survey was issued, which is why we were compelled to partner with influential stakeholders across the country to garner a fresh look.”

This national survey is made possible through the collaboration of numerous organizations, united in their commitment to advancing the goals of this project. Additional research partners include the Alabama Society of CPAs, American Accounting Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Colorado Society of CPAs, Florida Institute of CPAs, Hawaii Society of CPAs, Iowa Society of CPAs, Kansas Society of CPAs, Kentucky Society of CPAs, Maryland Association of CPAs, Massachusetts Society of CPAs, Michigan Association of CPAs, Montana Society of CPAs, NABA Inc., National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, New Jersey Society of CPAs, Ohio Society of CPAs, Oklahoma Society of CPAs, Rhode Island Society of CPAs, Tennessee Society of CPAs, Virginia Society of CPAs, and Washington Society of CPAs.

“We welcome all organizations interested in participating in this important research to join in at no cost to them,” says Donny Shimamoto, CPA, CITP, CGMA, inspiration architect of the Center. “The greater the survey’s reach, the more conclusive and credible the research will be.”

Those interested in disseminating the survey are requested to complete the CPA Pipeline Research Ally Form by Oct. 31, 2023. Each research ally will be provided with a unique survey link to share with their network, and the detailed de-identified data from the respondents who use that unique link will be shared with them.


About the Illinois CPA Society
Founded in 1903, the Illinois CPA Society, with more than 21,700 members, is one of the largest state CPA societies in the nation. Its mission is dedicated to enhancing the value of the CPA profession through the strategic initiatives of advocacy, information, education, and connections. Visit

About the Center for Accounting Transformation
Established in 2021, the Center for Accounting Transformation is dedicated to accelerating the evolution of the accounting profession through research, learning, and community. Its mission is to #improvetheworld by providing inspiration, knowledge, and tools to enable more mindful and holistic decision making. Visit



Questions, comments, and feedback

Derrick Lilly
Asst. Director Communications & Publications | 312.517.7614