The next face of the accounting profession

The AICPA's “2019 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits" breaks down the new face of the profession as it enters a new decade.

The biennial report, first published in 1971, is based on university responses from the 2017-2018 academic year and U.S. accounting firm responses from the 2018 calendar year. This year's report found that the face of the profession is changing — between more diverse candidates and a rise in non-accountants hired by firms.

Enrollment in bachelor's accounting programs reached its second-highest level in the 2017-2018 academic year, following a high in 2016-17.
The number of new CPA candidates dipped again in 2018, after reaching previous highs in 2010 and 2016.
Accounting bachelor's graduates are becoming more diverse, with a notable rise in Hispanic/Latino graduates.
The ethnic breakdown of CPAs in firms, however, remains largely uniform.
While firm staff are evenly split male and female, partners remain overwhelmingly male.
The hiring of non-accountants reached an all-time high last year, perhaps foreshadowing trends in the decade ahead.
Firms that hired accounting grads in 2018 largely expect to hire the same amount in 2019. Firms that hired non-accountants are mostly unsure as to how many they'll hire in 2019.
Ninety percent of firms expect to have the same number of CPAs or more on staff in 2019.