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what does the marketplace for accountants look like today?

The market today looks roughly like it did about 15 years ago. CPAs are still in demand. However, multiple offers for accounting majors right off campus will not be automatic. In today’s economy, large firms and companies are closely scrutinizing their hiring budgets and current headcount. It’s no secret that some public firms recently experienced a period of layoffs or right-sizing, appropriately named for counseling out poor performers. But it is not well known that many small CPA firms continue to weather the tough economy well. And there are also parts of the country and specific industries that have seen little negative effects of the recession. In those small firms and markets, we see job opportunities for accountants, especially CPAs. Check it out for yourself by reviewing the job postings on the AICPA’s CPA Job Finder at www.cpajobfinder.com.

In the 2009 PCPS CPA Firms Top Issues Survey, the majority of responding participants anticipated no change or even a slight increase in hiring between years. (Visit tinyurl.com for more on the survey.) Some medium-sized firms have told us that they are continuing their internship programs and will be hiring off campus again this year. And all firms agree that it won’t be long until the talent war for strong accountants is again in full force. They just don’t know exactly when this happen.

Although the job market for accountants has slowed as compared with a decade of a seller’s market, there remain opportunities. And the bottom line is that top performers and those with credentials, like a CPA, have great advantages over the rest of the competition.

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