Another busy season has passed. The profession continues to wrestle with labor issues, forcing firms to try to expand their capacity and find ways to sustain profitability or continue growth. The continued reduction in the supply of CPAs is simple math. Aging CPA Baby Boomers are retiring at a higher rate than new CPAs are being admitted. Add in the number of CPAs going to the private sector and it becomes clear that the labor problem is not going away.
There are many ways to increase capacity. These include offshoring, raising fees, client upscaling, hiring remote staff and adding advisory services that do not need a CPA to deliver. Technology and the use of bots and artificial intelligence are promising capacity expansion options, but they are still evolving, and the cost may be outside of the average firm’s ability to implement on their own.