Last week, we published a letter written to Fortune by a former CPA who pivoted to driving 18-wheelers and found far more career happiness than he ever would have in accounting (good for him). It seems his words resonated with a few people who felt compelled to reach out and offer their own perspectives. Here are two of the emails we received in response to that article.
Accounting and being a CPA have been the worst personal decision and professional organization I’ve been a part since passing.
It’s all low pay, nepotism, good ol boy, white dominated pile of c***p.
We won’t argue with you there, dear reader. The numbers don’t lie: of 658,267 actively licensed CPAs in 53 of the 55 licensing jurisdictions, less than 1% are Black (2020 data), a number that has remained largely unchanged in 40 years. It wasn’t until 2015 that a woman became CEO of a Big 4 accounting firm for the first time. 65% of new graduate new hires hired into accounting/finance functions of U.S. CPA firms are white. And check out this chart from the 2021 AICPA Trends report on accounting firm demographics:
Moving on. This next reader bangs the same old drum: the pay sucks and the work sucks.
I am a CPA & CMA- I find that being an older student ( accounting at 32 bc SEC audit of company left me without real estate leasing job) I have struggled to find a good fit. Most companies want a controller + level employee with Big 4 experience. Starting I couldn’t take the kind of paycut to be a entry level field auditor or tax. Accounting is miserable. Manual processes that suck away time. Companies pay more for “finance” employees who do more budgeting & analysis. It seems accounting doesn’t pay for as much knowledge as you need when compared to a person in finance.
This is why no one really wants to be an accountant – not enough pay or perks. All the tedious, monotonous work has to be done so give it to the people that rarely complain and just do the work because no one else will do it.
Just FYI, dear reader, some people enjoy tedious, monotonous work and that’s what draws them to accounting. No really.
Anyone else want to bitch? Our inbox is always open.