Re-Decoding the Decline

Re-Decoding the Decline: An Updated CPA Pipeline Report

In October 2023, the Illinois CPA Society, in partnership with the Center for Accounting Transformation, convened a coalition of 27 additional research partners—including the American Accounting Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Beta Alpha Psi, and 24 other state-based CPA membership associations—to collaboratively conduct a new national survey to gain fresh insight into the current drivers of accounting students and young professionals’ decisions to become CPAs or not.

Thanks to the widespread distribution efforts, 7,780 accounting students, graduates, and young professionals under the age of 35 who were pursuing or had pursued accounting degrees and careers—including CPAs and non-CPAs—completed the survey, including 3,287 full- or part-time students. In all, the survey responses compiled represent respondent perspectives from every state in the nation, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and even abroad.

The resulting 2024 Insight Special Feature, “Re-Decoding the Decline: An Updated CPA Pipeline Report,” reveals respondents’ perceptions of CPAs and the CPA credential, along with the top challenges and deterrents driving their decisions to pursue the CPA credential or not. The findings provide invaluable insights the CPA profession and its stakeholders cannot ignore while trying to counter the persistent decline in the number of individuals pursuing the CPA credential.

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