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n average, close to four million
potential CPAs were born each
year during the baby boomer
years of 1946 to 1964. Fortunately,
not all of these roughly 75 million baby
boomers were driven to become CPAs
(just a little accounting humor early in
the article!).
Baby boomers have been turning 65
years old in record numbers since
2011, and this will continue until the
year 2029. The largest generation in
U.S. history makes up 31 percent of
the country's overall workforce; some
experts estimate that $10 trillion worth
of businesses are expected to change
hands by 2025 as part of a mass baby
boomer retirement wave.
This aging of the baby boomers is
creating a unique period of time for
CPA firms in the United States, New
England, and right here in Connecticut.
For the next decade or so, there
will be excellent opportunities for future
employees, present employees, and
firm owners but those opportunities
also come with major challenges for
those same three groups.
There will be a talent drain at CPA
firms as current partners and other
employees continue to retire. CPA
firm workloads and revenues continue
to grow, so firms will need to keep
bringing in college students and other
new employees to keep up with that
growth and offset future retirements.
Encouraging the Accounting
Career Path
Given the many benefits of earning
an accounting degree and becoming
a CPA professional job security, a
challenging and rewarding career,
and solid earning potential colleges
should be encouraging more students
to try an accounting course or two.
The accounting profession is not
always an easy road, but it is an out-
standing profession. If you are pres-
ently residing in the "younger genera-
tion," I encourage you to consider a
career as a CPA!
CPA firms need to aggressively pursue
this younger generation at the college
level. They should also find ways to
reach candidates outside of account-
ing who are still in the early stages of
their careers. Firms could take action
steps, such as being more visible on
campuses, considering hiring profes-
sional recruiters, reaching out to refer-
ral sources, and offering referral fees to
current employees.
Talent Retention
Once the firms have recruited this
new talent, they need to train them,
motivate them, evaluate them fairly,
reward them properly, and retain
them. A firm's responsibility is to drive
continual improvement by creating
a positive work environment so that
talented employees are free to use their
individual strengths to make the team
and the firm better, each and every
year. The employee's responsibility is
to take ownership of his or her own
career and to grow as a person and a
professional, each and every year.
How the
Baby Boomer
Retirement Wave
is Creating Opportunities and
Challenges for Everyone in the
Accounting World
By Carl R. Johnson, CPA, President, CRJ Consulting
Opportunities and Challenges for Future Firm Employees
Drive continual improvement by creating a positive work environment
so that talented employees are free to use their individual strengths.