According to the NASBA 2023 licensing information, there are approximately 672,587 actively licensed CPAs in the United States.
If you are starting a career in accounting or want to become a CPA, you might wonder, “How many CPAs are there?” That’s a good question. There might be more than you think.
Today, let’s delve into this topic, exploring the current state of the CPA population, its growth trends, and what these numbers mean for you and the accounting industry as a whole.
How Many CPAs are in the US?
As of September 1, 2023, there are approximately 672,587 actively licensed CPAs in the United States based on NASBA’s licensing data. This number represents a significant portion of the accounting profession, demonstrating the widespread recognition and adoption of the CPA credential.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) plays a crucial role in maintaining standards and supporting the CPA community, ensuring that these professionals are well-equipped to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of accounting.
Total Number of CPAs by State
- California: Over 90,000
- Texas: Around 60,000
- New York: Around 50,000
- Illinois: Around 25,000
- Florida: Around 25,000
- Pennsylvania: Around 20,000
- Ohio: Around 20,000
- New Jersey: Around 15,000
- Georgia: Around 15,000
- North Carolina: Around 15,000
Other states typically have fewer CPAs, but the numbers can still be quite substantial, ranging from a few thousand to over 10,000.
How many CPAs are there in the world?
Determining the exact number of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) worldwide is challenging due to varying accounting certifications and standards across different countries. In the United States alone, there are approximately 664,000 licensed CPAs, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
Other countries have their own accounting qualifications, such as Chartered Accountants (CAs) in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, and their numbers are substantial as well. To get a comprehensive global count, one would need to aggregate data from all countries, accounting for their specific certifications and ensuring that the data is up-to-date.
CPA Career Growth and Trends
The accounting profession, and consequently the CPA population, has witnessed substantial growth over the past few decades. This growth is attributed to the increasing complexity of financial regulations, the globalization of business, and the expanding role of accountants in strategic decision-making. The demand for CPAs has been steadily rising, leading to more individuals pursuing this prestigious credential.
However, it’s important to note that the growth rate has seen fluctuations, and recent years have witnessed a slight decline in the number of CPA exam candidates. This can be attributed to various factors, including changes in educational requirements, the rigorous nature of the CPA exam, and shifts in career preferences among younger generations.
CPA Geographic Distribution
The CPA population is not evenly distributed across the United States. Certain states, such as California, New York, and Texas, boast higher numbers of CPAs, reflecting their status as economic hubs with a concentration of businesses and accounting firms. In contrast, smaller states and those with less corporate presence may have fewer CPAs per capita.
Understanding the geographic distribution of CPAs is crucial for both aspiring accountants and businesses. For individuals looking to enter the profession, it highlights potential regions for employment opportunities. For businesses, it helps in strategic planning, especially when considering locations for expansion or identifying regions with a readily available talent pool.
Impact of Technology on the Number of CPAs
The advent of technology has had a profound impact on the accounting profession, automating routine tasks and shifting the focus of CPAs towards advisory and strategic roles. This transition requires a new set of skills, emphasizing analytical abilities, critical thinking, and technological proficiency.
The integration of technology in accounting is also seen as a factor influencing the CPA population. As automation takes over repetitive tasks, the demand for strategic and advisory services is expected to rise, potentially leading to an increase in the need for CPAs and other qualified accounting professionals.
The Future of the CPA Profession
Looking ahead, the CPA profession is poised for transformation. The continuous evolution of financial regulations, the globalization of business practices, and the integration of technology are shaping the future landscape of accounting. For aspiring CPAs, this presents a world of opportunity, requiring a commitment to lifelong learning and adaptability.
The AICPA and other regulatory bodies are continually working to update the CPA curriculum and examination to align with industry changes, ensuring that new entrants are well-prepared to navigate the complexities of modern accounting.
The CPA profession stands as a pillar of the accounting industry, with a significant and vibrant community of professionals. Understanding the current state of the CPA population, its growth trends, and geographic distribution provides valuable insights for both aspiring accountants and established professionals.
The future of accounting is bright, with technology and globalization paving the way for innovative practices and roles. For those considering the CPA path, the journey promises challenges, growth, and the opportunity to make a lasting impact in the world of finance and beyond.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the number of CPAs in the United States increasing?
The CPA population has experienced overall growth over the past decades, but recent years have seen some fluctuations, with a slight decline in CPA exam candidates.
Which states have the highest number of CPAs?
States like California, New York, and Texas have the highest number of CPAs, reflecting their economic prosperity and concentration of businesses.
How is technology affecting the CPA population?
Technology is automating routine accounting tasks, shifting the CPA role towards more advisory and strategic functions, which may influence the demand for CPAs in the future.
What does the future hold for the CPA profession?
The CPA profession is poised for transformation, with increasing demand for skills in technology, critical thinking, and strategic advisory, ensuring a vibrant and dynamic future for CPAs.