The AICPA reports that in the 2017-2018 academic year, racial/ethnic diversity among accounting graduates has increased, including a 7 percentage point rise in the number of Hispanic or Latino accounting graduates. 2019 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits has been released by the AICPA, and the significance of the reported findings will be discussed at NASBA’s Annual Meeting by Joanne Fiore, AICPA Vice President- Professional Media, Pathways and Inclusion. Those designating themselves as “white” in 2018 remain the largest percentage of new bachelor’s and master’s of accounting graduates (58 percent), followed by “Asian/Pacific Islanders” at 16 percent. In 2017-18 there was an equal percentage by gender of new accounting graduates with bachelor’s degrees, while women accounted for 53 percent of the master’s degree graduates in that year.

While there was a significant increase in the number of CPA Examination candidates in 2016, in 2018 the number fell to its lowest level in 10 years, 36,827. However, the number of CPA candidates who passed their fourth section of the Uniform CPA Examination in 2018 was 23,941, while in 2006 only 14,101 passed their fourth part.

Yvonne Hinson, the AICPA’s Academic-in-Residence, points out: “Across the last two Trends reports, we have experienced an approximate 30 percent decline in hiring of new accounting graduates. The marketplace continues to demand different competencies and, while accounting graduates are still being hired, firms are seeking other skill sets to expand services. We are seeing that the gap in skill required in the profession, especially as it relates to technology needs, is being met with non-accounting graduates.”

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