More than 99% of businesses today are, in fact, small ventures, and an astounding 60% of them admit they don’t know enough about finances and accounting. What’s more, with the dawn of the new digital era, the use of spreadsheets and ledgers has become obsolete. Accounting statistics reveal that 90% of 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:
Top 10 Key Accounting Industry Statistics and Facts
- In 2018, there were 1,424,000 jobs in the accounting industry.
- The average accountant salary in 2018 was $78,740.
- It’s estimated that there are 1.01 million employees in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services.
- Close to 42% of businesses expect their accountants to give them business advice.
- It’s estimated that 67% of accountants think that cloud technology makes their business better.
- Companies that use cloud accounting add 5 times more clients than companies that don’t use these tools.
- Accounting statistics from 2018 show that 64% of companies with 51–100 employees hire a CFO.
- Approximately 66% of accountants claim they would invest in AI to save time on repetitive tasks.
- It’s expected that the accounting software market will reach $11.8 billion by 2026.
- 15% of the FBI’s staff are accountants.
If you want to find answers to your accounting industry-related questions and discover more interesting statistics about accountants and auditors, take a quick look below.
Accounting Job Statistics
1. Accountants and auditors had a 0.385 GINI wage coefficient of back in 2018.
At the time, this coefficient was lower than the national average, which was 0.479. Meaning, the wages for accountants and auditors are more evenly distributed than those of the general workforce in the US.
2. In 2018, there were 1,424,000 jobs in the accounting industry.
According to the bureau of labor statistics, accounting is a prosperous career choice with ample opportunities for employment. The general accountant job outlook is also looking good.
Experts predict that by 2028 the accounting job growth will rise by 6%, and the industry will employ some 1,514,700 accounting professionals.
3. The average accountant salary in 2018 was $78,740.
(Data USA) (BLS)
The CPA average salary in 2018 was $24,851 higher than the average national salary, which was $53,888 for the same year. Nevertheless, statistics on accounting from the bureau of labor statistics also reveal that the median wage for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks was in the $40,240 range.
Moreover, the data on accountant salary by state also reveals that San Jose, CA, Fairfield, CT, and Westchester County, NY, had the highest CPA salary in the USA.
4. Payroll management makes up 25% of accounting practices.
Accounting and bookkeeping are services that dominate the offering on the global market.
Besides payroll management, personal and corporate tax management accounts for 24%, and compliance work makes up 20% of accounting practices. Invoice financing is very much popular in recent years too.
Small Business Accounting Statistics
5. 67% of small business owners are very satisfied with their accountant services.
(Wasp Barcode) (Clutch)
Accounting and bookkeeping are important for every business, yet they’re essential for small businesses the most; 14% of small businesses outsource their bookkeeping (accounting makes up 37% of all outsourced jobs).
Another 16% of SMBs do the same for their personal finances, and 30% of businesses outsource their tax planning, according to some recent bookkeeping business statistics.
6. It’s estimated that there are 1.01 million employees working in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services.
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks hold the second-largest share of positions in the accounting sector at 9.36%.
Moreover, the number of employees has been growing steadily at a rate of 3.46%, growing from 988,000 in 2017 to 1.02 million employees in 2018, according to recent bookkeeping statistics.
7. A whopping 42% of businesses expect their accountants to give them business advice.
In addition, 83% of accountants reveal that their clients expect more from them now than five years ago — hence why accountants are so hard-pressed on exploring new ways of improving productivity.
As a result, this has led two-thirds of accountants to turn to AI for automation.
8. As the FinancesOnline accounting statistics indicate, 50% of accounting processes can be automated.
Automating accounting tasks has 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.
9. Accounting statistics from 2018 show that 64% of companies with 51–100 employees hire a CFO.
Since only 14% of business owners have substantial knowledge about finances and accounting, 30% of the highest full-time accounting positions are occupied by CFOs.
General bookkeepers and accounting staff, on the other hand, occupy 21%, whereas accounting managers and controllers occupy 19% and 12%, respectively.
Lastly, merely 4% of the highest full-time accounting positions are occupied by staff accountants.
AI and Cloud Accounting Statistics
10. It’s estimated that 67% of accountants feel cloud technology makes their business better.
Some of the benefits cloud technology provides include improved service offerings and client collaboration. These tools enable businesses to save time and dedicate themselves to parts of their job that require interaction with their clients and managing and empowering internal teams.
11. Companies that use cloud accounting add 5 times more clients than companies that don’t use these tools.
Accounting statistics also show that 58% of large companies use cloud accounting, and estimate that by the end of 2020, 78% of small businesses will rely solely on cloud technology.
In addition, companies that only use cloud accounting have 15% year over year revenue growth.
12. Approximately 66% of accountants claim they would invest in AI to save time on repetitive tasks.
According to research, the majority of accountants embrace automation and cloud services. Moreover, accounting stats also show that they’re eager to learn new skills that would satisfy their clients’ needs.
13. Over 80% of executives believe that AI will lead to a competitive advantage.
(Journal of Accountancy)
AI integration allows automated data entry and data categorization, which can considerably speed up a business’ work time.
In addition, 79% of executives also believe that AI will increase their company’s overall productivity, as supported by the latest accounting facts.
14. RPA has decreased the time of contractual processing and auditing from several months to just weeks.
Robotic process automation has enabled accountants to discover areas of redundancy and increase their efficiency. As a result, larger companies that use AI have increased their efficiency and can offer higher-level services, and have in that way started outpacing smaller accounting businesses.
Due to this, accountants have taken on more advisory roles, as recent facts about accounting reveal.
15. The accounting software market is expected to reach $11.8 billion by 2026.
Starting in 2018, the accounting software market has been expanding at an 8.6% YOY rate, with North America being the largest contributor to this growth, in revenue terms.
The migration to cloud services and the integration of accounting software with mobile devices were the main reasons for these impressive accounting software statistics.
16. About 49% of accountants want to automate number crunching and data entry.
Close to half of all accountants would like to automate small tasks such as email and diary management, data entry, and number crunching. An additional 18% would also like to automate the interaction with their clients to process simple requests.
Additionally, automation would not only save accountants’ time, but it will also decrease staff turnover, which tends to become high with tedious, repetitive tasks.
Interesting Facts about Accounting
17. The CPA exam pass rate in 2019 ranged from 46.31% to 59.98%.
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 4 parts to become a CPA.
18. As accounting gender statistics show, 60.6% of all accountants and auditors in the US are women.
(BLS) (Data USA)
In 2018, there were 767,000 men and 1.2 million women in accounting and auditor positions.
However, women were paid significantly less than their male counterparts. Female accountant’s average salary was $66,432, whereas the men of the accounting industry received $97,939.
19. 15% of the FBI’s staff are accountants.
As the latest accounting statistics report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been employing accountants since its foundation back in 1908.
There are actually 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.
20. 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 actually wanted to become a bookkeeper, but he couldn’t resist all the glamour of gangster life.
He has 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.
Do you use statistics in accounting?
Statistical analysis is essential to accountants, as figures help them improve their efficiency, and 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 also use statistics to forecast earning, consumption, book value, and cash flow.
What percentage of people are accountants?
(Statista) (Data USA)
The number of employed accountants and auditors peaked in 2012 with 1.28 million employed individuals, yet has been through ups and downs ever since.
Nevertheless, the industry started improving over the course of 2019 with a growing rate of 0.121%, peaking with 1.28 million employed accountants and auditors a second time.
Is accounting declining?
(Firm of the Future)
With technological advancements, such as cloud accounting, people may think that accounting is dying. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
As long as there’s a need for keeping scores, there will also be a need for assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses. Hence, there will always be a need for accounting and accountants.
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 as well, and 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.
Good accounting can improve the financial health of your company, and save you precious time — hence why it’s so often seen as a core practice for many a successful business.