CPA – A recession-proof qualification

Hi, Some days back, you were thinking about doing the CPA. And you were thinking on the right track.

This is the reason WHY…

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow faster through 2018 than for all the occupations the bureau tracks. It adds that the best prospects are for those “who have a college degree and professional certification, especially a CPA.”, which ranks the “hottest” jobs based on “great pay and superior growth prospects” and “work that’s meaningful,” puts CPA as number 6 on its top-ten list.

Why the CPA job market remains strong even during the recession?               

Continuing demand is good news for CPAs. It means career stability, excellent compensation, increased mobility, and continued career growth opportunities. Several factors have combined to sustain demand for CPAs.

– Corporate Scandals and an Intense Focus on Business Ethics:

An intense focus on corporate accountability as a result of widespread fraud and wrongdoing continues to fuel demand for CPAs. Companies must now meticulously scrutinize every aspect of the entire accounting process, and corporate leaders — many of whom are not accounting experts — must personally attest to the integrity of their financial statements. Expanded and more stringent regulations also mean government agencies are hiring CPAs to monitor how well companies comply.

-The Global Economy and a Move Toward International Reporting Standards:

The global economy and proliferation of multi-national organizations increase the demand for CPAs both internationally and domestically. The world marketplace today needs experts who understand everything from international business ethics to International Financial Accounting Standards. CPAs who can adapt to other cultures and understand global business perspectives and regulations are extremely valuable.

-Business Complexity and Constantly Advancing Information Technology:

New business models, more complex information, and evolving technology mean CPAs with solid IT skills are needed to design, integrate, and implement advanced software systems. They are also needed to serve as consultants to link technology solutions with sound business practices.

-Projected Retirements of a Large Number of CPAs in the Near Future:

According to the AICPA, 75 percent of today’s CPAs—by and large, the baby boomers—will be retiring within the next 15 years. As they leave full-time active practice, the demand for qualified CPAs to fill the ranks will continue to increase. A side effect of an aging population in general is an increased need for CPAs to assist in retirement planning.


With the growth of global economy and establishment of a lot of multinational companies and outsourcing work in India, the demand for CPA has increased considerably. This is because US companies connect with CPA easily than the Indian CA’s not because of knowledge but because of the credibility. All the multinational companies as well as Big 4 want to hire CPA compared to CA just to make sure that they can bring in uniformity in accounting practice and presentation. A lot of companies needs to publish their financial statements according to US GAAP for SEC reporting, so they need a professional who has in-depth knowledge of US GAAP & IFRS. Some companies even have to prepare their financial statements first in Indian GAAP and then convert it into US GAAP or IFRS and it can be achieved with the help of CPA who is well aware with SEC reporting and US GAAP &IFRS reporting framework. CA candidate lack this knowledge and that’s the serve as the basis for the selection and rejection of the prospective candidate.

The market research shows that lot of CAs after finishing their CA exams enrolls for CPA certification and this shift has occurred in Indian job market as well as the students because of the growing opportunities in the multinational companies and Big 4s like Deloitte, PWC, EY, and KPMG etc.

Take a look at the average salaries for college graduates in public and private accounting. Keep in mind if you also have a CPA license, you’ll make 10-15% more when you start out.


Employer Jr. Level (0 – 3 yrs.) Sr. Level (4 – 6 yrs.)
Public Accounting (large firm) $63,250-$83,250 $78,500-$106,500
Public Accounting (medium firm) $56,500-$67,750 $70,500-$96,000
Public Accounting (small firm) $51,500-$60,500 $63,750-$81,500
Corporate Accounting (large co.) $53,750-$69,500 $68,750-$87,750
Corporate Accounting (medium co.) $49,250-$65,250 $61,250-$79,750
Corporate Accounting (small co.) $45,000-$59,000 $57,500-$70,000

Serious earning potential over time gives CPAs great job security. Here are some examples of upper-level salaries for managers in corporate accounting:

Position Large Co. Small to Medium Co.
Chief Financial Officer $207,000-$465,750 $105,250-$208,750
Corporate Controller $140,000-$224,750 $92,000-$161,250
Tax Manager $112,000-$158,250 $88,000-$124,750


Click here for an instant query mentioning your educational qualifications.  We do a free eligibility check before you join for our CPA live online interactive classes.

Article composed by Bhaswati Bhattacharya, Director Logic School of International studies.


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