The 2023 AICPA Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits report (short: Trends report) was released last week and spoiler alert, it’s dark. There’s a ton to dig into, while we’re doing that here’s a taste. This is all anyone cares about anyway right?
Says the AICPA, bachelor’s degree completions in accounting dropped 7.8% from 2021–2022 after steady decline of 1-3% per year since 2015–16. Master’s degree completions also fell in 2021–2022 (-6.4%) but the percentage decline is significantly less than in 2019–20.
65,035 total accounting degrees completed for 2021-22. So 3,964 fewer bachelor’s and 1,246 fewer master’s for a total of 5,480. Since accounting graduate numbers peaked in 15-16, here’s the difference by year compared to prior year. As always, accountants are encouraged to audit the math:
- 2016-17: 1,336
- 2017-18: 394
- 2018-19: 2,204
- 2019-20: 3,391
- 2020-21: 2,408
- 2021-22: 5,480
Comparing the latest report to 2015-16 that’s 14,819 fewer BS and MS degrees for 2021-22.
Anyway, while we crunch some numbers and work up some obnoxiously snarky observations on the 2023 Trends report, you can catch up on where we were when the 2021 report was released in early 2022: State of the Accounting Profession 2022 Via the AICPA Trends Report