Accounting statistics reveal that most accountants think that there is a major shift in accountancy that leans towards the adoption of cloud accounting. As such, keeping an eye on new software developments probably can’t predict the future of the accountant industry, but it can most certainly prepare you for it.
Therefore, here are some of the most crucial stats and facts regarding the industry and its future:
10 Key Facts & Accounting Statistics for 2021
- $416.23 million is the estimated value of the US accounting software market by 2024.
- 61% of small business owners are fully satisfied with services provided by their accountant.
- 51% of accountants believe that tech skills will be the most important part of their profession in the next 5 to 10 years.
- 1.27 million auditors and accountants were employed in the US in 2020.
- Deloitte is the largest accounting firm in the US by revenue.
- The accounting Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the median pay for auditors and accountants in 2020 amounted to $73,560 per year.
- The global accounting software market is expected to reach $19.59 billion by 2026.
- The CPA exam pass rate in Q1 2021 ranged from 46.64% to 59.29%.
- 62.6% of all accountants in the US are women.
- Al Capone was brought down thanks to an accountant working for the FBI.
If you want to find answers to your accounting industry-related questions and discover more exciting statistics about auditors and accountants, take a quick look below.
US Accounting Job Statistics
How many auditors and accountants work in the US, what’s their average pay, and where do they work?
1. The median pay for auditors and accountants in 2020 amounted to $73,560 per year.
Based on the May 2020 data, 10% of workers in accounting earned over $128,680 per year. In contrast, 10% of the employed earned less than $45,220 per year.
Industries with the highest median pay are:
- finance and insurance ($78,600 per year),
- management of companies and enterprises ($76,230),
- accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services ($73,180),
- government ($72,260).
2. Washington DC offers the highest accountant salary.
The average accountants’ salary in Washington DC amounts to $104,651. The second highest paying city is Los Angeles ($64,800), followed by New York ($61,796), Austin ($61,635), and Dallas ($61,561).
3. As of May 2020, California has the highest number of auditors and accountants — 150,050.
New York and Texas are close behind with 112,360 and 109,470, respectively. Florida (73,690) and Pennsylvania (50,240) take fourth and fifth place.
4. There are 1.27 million accountants and auditors working in the US.
The data shows us there was a decrease in numbers compared to 2019 when there were 1.28 million employed auditors and accountants.
However, this is supposedly changing, given that one-fifth of accountancy businesses intend to hire new people.
5. The most common work contexts for accountants are accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services.
24% of all auditors and accountants work in these fields. Others are far less numerous:
- finance and insurance (9%),
- government (8%), and
- management of companies and enterprises (7%).
At the same time, 7% of auditors and accountants are self-employed workers.
6. 38% of accountants believe their work is meaningful, while 71% are content with their job.
Moreover, they seem to be keen on office space. Most accountants work in the office (91%), but only 5% are working from home.
Small Business Accounting Statistics
How many small businesses use the help of accountants, and how important is their role?
7. 41% of small business owners and managers take care of finance and accounting on their own.
The majority of small business owners prefer doing their own accounting instead of turning to skilled bookkeeping professionals.
Accounting stats also show us that 30% of owners have an employee who takes care of the necessary finance and accounting issues. 17% use external and internal accountants, and 13% use the help of external accountants only.
8. 21% of small business owners consult with their accounting office more than once per month.
18% do it once a month, and 23% talk with their accountant once a quarter.
On the other hand, 11% of managers and business owners consult their accountant only once or twice a year for certain questions, or during tax season.
9. As per bookkeeping business statistics, 61% of small business owners are fully satisfied with services provided by their accountants.
Yet, over 25% of them agree it is the accountant’s responsibility to help them with tax filing and support, business consulting, payroll, picking a business entity, accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and cash flow. Invoice financing is a very popular service in recent years too.
10. Accounting statistics from November 2020 report that 741,000 people worked in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services.
43% of work positions are associated with auditors and accountants.
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks hold the second-largest share of positions in the accounting sector at 10.3%.
In comparison, tax preparers make 6.62% of employers.
According to recent bookkeeping statistics, the number of employees has been declining at a rate of -2.18%, dropping from 998,000 in 2019 to 741,000 in 2020.
11. As the FinancesOnline accounting statistics indicate, the chances of accounting clerk jobs becoming automated are a whopping 98%.
Automating accounting tasks have become one of the latest trends, helping eliminate confusion and minimizing human error.
Still, these processes rely almost entirely on computers, meaning, there’s always the threat of fraud and security breaches. Therefore, we can expect more demand for internal auditors who will work exclusively on checking the data for inaccuracies.
AI and Cloud Accounting Statistics
How does technology affect the accountant profession?
12. 51% of accountants believe that tech skills will be the most important part of their profession in the next 5 to 10 years.
Likewise, 43% of accountants claim that technology implementation in their profession made them more productive, and 40% plan to invest in predictive analytic capabilities.
13. $416.23 million is the estimated value of the US accounting software market by 2024, accounting stats show.
Apparently, the market was worth $347.31 million in 2020, which is a neat increase from 2019. Among the most popular accounting software options were Sage Intacct, Sage50 Cloud Accounting, and Xero.
14. One of the leading accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers, plans to hire 100,000 new people by 2026 in areas like AI and cybersecurity.
PwC is prepared to spend a staggering $12 billion to set this plan in action, and they are not the only ones. KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, and Ernst & Young already invested billions of dollars in cloud-based and other technologies.
15. Accounting statistics suggest that companies with cloud-based accounting are able to generate 15% more revenue.
Another report indicates that 87% of the surveyed companies confirmed that leveraging a cloud-based infrastructure helped speed up the accounting processes.
16. 58% of the surveyed accountants are keen on adopting AI applications.
Accountants believe that Artificial Intelligence can assist them with their tasks, especially when it comes to routine communications, removing the drudgery of data entry, and number-crunching.
Furthermore, accounting facts show 22% of the surveyed strongly agree that AI will improve their companies, while a mere 4% strongly disagree with this statement.
17. The global accounting software market is expected to reach $19.59 billion by 2026.
The worldwide accounting software market was worth $12.01 billion in 2020, and it’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2021 and 2026, reaching $19.59 billion.
In line with accounting software statistics, one of the biggest reasons for the mentioned growth will be cloud-based accounting software solutions.
18. 85% of the surveyed accountants think their profession needs to adapt to new technology faster.
Accountants believe that the main reasons for their companies to fall behind the competition are the lack of expertise and the lack of money and time for investment in digital transformation.
Interesting Facts about Accounting
How many people pass the CPA exam? Who makes the majority when it comes to gender, and many more interesting facts are in this section.
19. The CPA exam pass rate in Q1 2021 ranged from 46.64% to 59.29%.
Becoming a certified public accountant is a challenging undertaking. The exam is notoriously difficult, and it consists of 4 parts.
The candidates are evaluated against an established standard of competence. Each part is assessed separately, and you need to pass all four elements to become a certified public accountant.
20. Accounting is one of the most popular jobs in the Philippines.
(BossJob) (Grit PH)
The demand for accountants in the Philippines has been either persistent or continuously increasing over the years, given that not many accountants get a certification.
Yet, accounting is one of the most popular jobs in the country due to the competitive salary and possibilities to work in different fields.
For example, this is what the salary outlook looks like:
- CPAs earn an average of ₱240,136 per year (about $5,016),
- tax accountants get ₱384,210 ($8,025),
- auditors get ₱224,244 ($4,684), and
- payroll clerks earn ₱145,041 ($3,029) per year.
21. As accounting gender statistics show, 62.6% of all accountants in the US are women.
In 2019, there were 624,000 women and 374,000 men in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping & payroll services.
Despite that, women are paid significantly less than their male counterparts. Female’s average salary is $56,946, whereas the men of the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services industry received $101,147.
Regarding the racial and ethnic diversity in accounting, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander employees are earning 1.7 times more than the others.
22. By 2029, the job outlook for accountants is expected to grow by 4%.
This employment growth will be associated with the economy’s health. In other words, the more the economy grows, the bigger the need for workers who deal with financial records, like auditors and accountants.
While technology (cloud computing, AI) will significantly impact the accountant’s role, it will not reduce the demand for workers.
23. An accountant career in forensic will get you $95,500 per year.
Forensic accountants deal with fraud, money laundering, and bribery by investigating financial transactions and records. Some of the areas of forensic accounting include identity theft, trademark and patent infringements, and compensation disputes.
The FBI and IRS frequently use the skills of forensic accountants in solving financial crimes.
24. 15% of the FBI’s staff are forensic accountants.
As the accounting statistics report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been employing accountants since its foundation in 1908.
There are two possible accounting careers in the Bureau:
- non-agent accountant, who deals with the in-house business management and financial administration, and
- special agent forensic accountant, who deals with the analyses of personal and business records of suspected criminals.
25. Notorious Al Capone was brought down thanks to an accountant working for the FBI.
One of the most notorious criminals, Chicago crime boss Al Capone was brought down in 1931. According to some accounting fun facts, Capone wanted to become a bookkeeper. Still, he couldn’t resist all the glamour of gangster life.
He had a natural talent for being a gangster and making money, but as his power and wealth grew, so did his violence. However, what ended his gangster career weren’t charges of violence but tax evasion.
Capone boasted that feds couldn’t collect legal taxes from illegal money, but the feds disagreed, and his reign of terror finally ended when FBI agents gathered evidence of his tax evasion.
Today, 88% of Americans absolutely agree tax evasion is not acceptable.
26. Fun facts about accounting: the inventor of bubble gum was an accountant.
In 1928, an accountant named Walter E. Diemer, who worked at Fleet Corp, managed to invent bubble gum by conducting experiments with gum recipes. The first created bubble gum was colored pink because that was the only food coloring available to him.
27. Deloitte is the largest accounting firm in the US by revenue.
In 2020, Deloitte had revenue of $23.16 billion, making it the leading accounting company in the US.
PWC was the runner-up, with an income of $18 billion. Ernst & Young was ranked third ($15.82 billion revenue), while KPMG ($9.57 billion revenue) took fourth place.
Where do accountants work?
(BLS) (All Business Schools)
The majority of accountants work in offices. However, they can also work from home, individually, or in teams.
Their main job is to take care of financial records—make sure they are on point, and that the taxes are paid without delay.
Other tasks may include inspection of account books and accounting systems, organizing financial records, providing auditing services, working on different ways to reduce costs, etc.
What are the 4 types of accounting information?
The four main types of accounting are:
- Accounting information of financial performance and financial position (the company’s net profit or net loss at the end of year).
- Accounting information of total cost and per unit cost (for fixing the estimated sale price).
- Accounting information for planning and control of business (for controlling the financial activities).
- Accounting information for tax management (like the income tax).
The fifth type of accounting information is accounting information for social responsibility (collecting info on the cost of natural resources, product safety, etc.).
How is statistics used in accounting?
Statistical analysis is essential to accountants, as figures help them improve their efficiency. They’re also crucial to the accountants’ client choice-making process.
For example, auditors use statistical analyses to gather evidence when conducting a reliability assessment. Accountants can further use statistics to forecast earnings, consumption, book value, and cash flow.
Risk accountants use statistics to limit valuation errors, whereas forensic accountants use them to analyze financial instruments used for financial fraud.
What percentage of people are accountants?
Roughly speaking, accountants make up 0.38% of the US population. In 2020, there were 1.27 million auditors and accountants in the US while the overall population stands at 331,002,651 people.
The number of employed auditors and accountants peaked in 2012 with 1.28 million employed individuals..
Is the accounting industry dying?
No, the accounting industry is pretty much alive and kicking. What’s more, it’s expected that the demand for auditors and accountants will grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029.
There will always be a need for accountants, even with the rise in technology (cloud, AI). In fact, technology can only improve their work. Over half of accountants (51%) believe it will significantly impact their profession in the next 5-10 years.
Is accounting a good career choice?
Accounting is one of the most promising professions nowadays. The demand for accountants is growing, and so is their salary. Moreover, accountants can choose to work in general practice or areas like auditing, tax, corporate finance, recovery and insolvency, and forensic accounting.
Accountants usually work 40 hours per week, so a good work-life balance is crucial. They also have great potential for growth and moving up ranks in a short period of time.
The accounting industry outlook is looking pretty good. The starting accountant salary is above average, so considering all the factors, it’s a good career choice indeed.
Whether you own a small business, a large enterprise or you’re a freelance worker, accounting can have a massive impact on the success of your business, and these accounting statistics are proof of that.
Make sure you stay up to date with the latest innovations in the accounting world, and your business should continue flourishing.
- All Business Schools
- Data USA
- Data USA
- Grit PH
- Maryville University
- Quest Recruitment
- Robert Half