The accounting profession has a pipeline problem. The demand for CPAs is high, but the number of recruits is low, and the situation was exacerbated even more by the pandemic as workers’ priorities shifted and career paths were re-evaluated.
For more than 20 years, the Society’s CPA Candidate membership class has welcomed graduates who have completed the academic requirements to become a CPA and are pursuing further requirements necessary to become a CPA. But times and attitudes have changed. Less than 10 percent of graduating NJCPA Student members move up to the CPA Candidate category, and there’s been a 45-percent drop in CPA Candidates since 2016.
The Society’s current membership structure for graduates is based on what we want them to do right away, not what they want out of their careers long-term. The NJCPA needs to hold onto graduates and young professionals by removing membership barriers.
Establishing the new Affiliate class and providing one year of free membership for graduating Student members will enable young professionals to take advantage of the benefits of membership (e.g., discounts, training), for as long as needed while the NJCPA showcases to them the relevance and beneﬁts of becoming licensed as a CPA.