AICPA 2015 Trends Report - UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

AICPA: Accounting enrollments reach all-time high

aicpa1The American Institute of CPAs recently released its 2015 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and Demand for Public Accounting Recruits report. The report projects the outlook of the public accounting field based on data collected from both firms and universities during the 2013-14 academic year.

A blog post on AICPA Insights details major findings of the report. These findings include a continued increase in undergraduate and graduate program enrollment, which crossed the 250,000 threshold for the first time, with a 19 percent increase in enrollees in master’s programs. While the total number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded in accounting remained steady after an all-time high in 2011-12, master’s degrees awarded increased by 31 percent.

And that’s good news for graduates, since a record number were hired into the profession in 2014 – a seven percent increase from the previous survey. A majority of that increase comes from master’s hires.

The future of the field looks positive as well, with the majority of universities expecting same or higher enrollments over the next two years. Firms are similarly optimistic, with 91 percent forecasting the hiring of both accounting and non-accounting graduates to be the same or greater in the coming years. Additionally, an even larger majority (97 percent) of firms anticipate they will have the same or more CPAs on staff.

More details – including historical data and firm demographics – are available in the full report, available for download here.