CPA Pipeline Research

The accounting profession is facing a shortage. From staffing shortages to pipeline challenges, we see articles almost daily mentioning concern. We hear the cause is everything from the declining enrollments in accounting programs, to a lack of exam-takers and the credential losing its luster.

But what is the real reason? Without the data, it's just conjecture.

That's why the Center for Accounting Transformation is pleased to partner with the Illinois CPA Society on re-issuing its 2020 CPA pipeline survey in an effort to gain fresh insight into the factors impacting the decision to become a CPA or to not become a CPA and we would welcome your participation.

The goal of this research is to expand the reach beyond Illinois and compare the 2023 responses against previous findings, which were published in the Society’s Insight Special Feature A CPA Pipeline Report: Decoding the Decline. The new findings will be published to bring awareness and renewed focus on the most relevant and effective strategies to ensure a strong CPA pipeline.

The nationwide decline in the accounting pipeline has been percolating for years. Now, the credential seems to have lost its luster. But why? 

Many young people simply are not interested in or aware of the vast array of opportunities that a career in accounting has to offer. In the past, earning the CPA credential was a badge of honor, a symbol that identified the holder as someone who exhibited a high level of competence in the profession.

Is it a recruitment issue? Is it a financial issue? Is it stereotype issue?

That's what the CPA Pipeline Research study is all about. With input from various regional and national stakeholders, the Illinois Society of CPAs has developed a survey targeted toward accounting students, graduates, and professionals under the age of 35—including CPAs and non-CPAs—with the aim of gaining insight into what is truly underlying the decline in individuals pursuing the CPA credential and understanding why so many accounting students and young professionals either do not finish the CPA exam or never take it at all. 


Together, we can #EnableTransformation, find ways to improve pipeline issues, and #ImproveTheWorld.

To join in this important research study and help distribute the survey through your network, we invite you to connect with the Center for Accounting Transformation, your state CPA society or one of the organizations from across the country listed below.

The target audience includes students majoring in accounting and accounting professionals under 35 (non-CPAs and CPAs).

The survey will be open ~Oct. 1 – Dec. 15, 2023 and can be promoted any time during this period.

This national survey was made possible through a collaborative effort involving numerous organizations from across the country, united in their commitment to advancing our shared goals. We would like to gratefully acknowledge our research allies:

Center for Accounting Transformation - logo
Illnois CPA Society Logo
OSCPA logo
TSCPA logo
We would also like to gratefully acknowledge the following research distribution partners from the American Accounting Association:

Susan Anders, Midwestern State University
Dr. Andres Bello, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Stacy Bibelhauser, Western Kentucky University
Kenneth Bills, Michigan State University
Stephen Brigham, Moorehead State University
Imani Brown, Hofstra University
Veena Brown, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Erik Boyle, Idaho State University
Jill Cadotte, Ohio North University
Dr. Jade Chen, Loyola Marymount University
Gia Chevis, Baylor University
Carolyn Christensen, SUNY Westchester Community College
Emily Cokeley, East Tennessee State University
Junnan Cui, St. Norbert College
Tiffany DeRoy, University of South Alabama
Hayden Deberry, The University of Oklahoma
Sonia Dhaliwal, University of Guelph
Robert Eger, Bellarmine
Mark Evans, Wake Forest University
Anne Farrell, Miami University
Margaret Fiorentino, Beta Alpha Psi
Sandra Frempong, Blassys Academy
Elizabeth Grace, San Jose State University
Benjamin Hoffman, Cleveland State University
Dana Hollie, Louisiana State University
Marsha Huber, University of Missouri – Kansas City
Joseph Johnston, Illinois State University
Lee Kersting, Northern Kentucky University
John Keyser, Case Western University
Maggie Knight, Creighton University
James Koehn, Chadron State College
Sheila Luke-Coomes, Kansas State University
Laura McNear, Messiah University
Dr. Cathryn Meegan, Jacksonville University
Tracie Miller, Franklin. University
Jill Mitchell, University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce
Mitchell Oler, University of Wyoming
Tracy Noga, Bentley University
Jong Chool Park, University of South Florida
Iyad Rock, Lewis University
Nadia Rogers, Virginia Tech
Arline Savage, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Nadia Schwartz, Augustana College
Joanie Sompayrac, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Eileen Taylor, North Carolina State University
Mark Taylor, University of South Florida
Stephanie VonFintel, Northwood University
Dr. Anna Vysotskaya, University of Lincoln
Jing Wang, University of California, Bakersfield
Kathy Wantuch, The Ohio State University