AICPA Publishes Expanded Plan To Address Accounting Pipeline

May 18, 2023

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) recently released an updated version of its plan to increase both the number of accounting graduates who pursue a career in the profession and those who go on to obtain a CPA license.

The detailed plan, which builds on earlier drafts to create a nationwide CPA pipeline strategy, will be presented next week at the spring meeting of the AICPA’s governing council. In a press release, the AICPA said its leadership is looking to move forward with a consensus approach for both quick and long-term actions to attract future generations of accountants and CPAs.

The AICPA engaged in a dialogue with numerous stakeholders before publishing its plan, including state CPA societies, accounting firms, academia, state boards of accountancy and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

The Pipeline Acceleration Plan includes several recommended actions not included in earlier drafts:

  • Expand 529 funds to CPA Exam costs – The AICPA and state CPA societies are working with federal legislators on the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (H.R. 1477), which would allow the use of 529 college savings plans to include expenses required to obtain or maintain postsecondary credentials, including CPA-related costs such as exam review courses.
  • Support for the government audit and finance sector – To address concerns over the ability of local governmental entities to find skilled auditors and finance professionals, the AICPA is collaborating on solutions with the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT). A working group involving key stakeholders – state auditors, state comptrollers, state treasurers, CPA firm representatives and local government representatives – will delve into opportunities and best practices for hiring CPAs to work in state and local government and finding qualified CPA firms to audit local governmental entities.
  • Develop best practices for offshore talent – The AICPA is examining the need for best practices and other potential resources that would help small and medium-sized firms partner successfully where needed with offshore talent suppliers. This is in addition to the expansion of the administration of the CPA Exam in India and South Korea and exploration of offering the CPA Exam in the Philippines.
  • Explore launch of a CPA image campaign – The AICPA is looking into a campaign to create positive awareness of the profession with middle and high school students. The initiative would build on the Center for Audit Quality’s Accounting+ initiative, and the AICPA will work with state society input and perspectives to draft a feasibility plan later this year.

A synopsis and full version of the Pipeline Acceleration Plan are available on the AICPA website.

Pipeline Acceleration Plan