Everyone is hurting these days and while CPAs made it through much of disastrous Q4 2008 seeming virtually recession-proof (from Rick Telberg's CPA Trendlines), the financial fallout has inevitably made its way to firms across the globe. But there's no reason to fret; opportunities still abound for CPAs and there are plenty of ways to buff up your resume and profile just in case you find yourself fighting for a top spot on a recruiter's list.
A large chunk of President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the Stimulus) includes large amounts of funds set aside for the Office of the Comptroller General to keep an eye on distribution of rescue monies - and who is going to be providing those much-needed eyes? Accountants of course! Yahoo's HotJobs reports on industries which stand to benefit from the Act, proving that accounting stands to benefit from nearly every aspect of the Stimulus.
The Stimulus also included several tricky tax changes - and while rogue homeowners and taxpayers may prefer to brave the unknown without the guidance of a qualified professional, it's always in one's best interest to seek the help of a Certified Public Accountant, especially when it comes to the many tax twists and turns hidden in the Stimulus. This goes for both individuals and businesses - which translates into a wealth of opportunity for accounting professionals.
So it goes without saying that the majority of the career good news for accountants may be found in the government sector. A good place to start is USAJobs, the official career site for positions within the United States Federal Government. The site lists 2192 open positions for Accounting Clerks/Technicians, 2508 Military Payroll Clerk positions, 3427 Accountant positions, 3902 Auditor positions, and 8075 Compliance Investigator positions - that's 12,029 positions for accounting professionals alone, not including various other industry opportunities with individual branches of the government.
The IRS, specifically, is looking to fill revenue agent positions - especially in Southern California. This position pays between $30,772.00 - $86,525.00 a year and includes a $5,000 recruitment bonus for "hard to fill" locations. For more information on open IRS positions, check out USAJobs or contact Iwona Gwizdak. Applicants must meet certain qualification requirements and must apply by March 29th, 2009 to be considered for June hire.
And what about the firms?
California-based Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. LLP is looking to fill a Staff Auditor position in San Francisco and recently posted several other audit and tax positions in their San Francisco and North Hollywood offices.
Southern California's Holthouse Carlin Van Trigt LLP (HCVT) is always looking for senior tax professionals (2 - 3 years of experience) and tax mangers (5+ years experience) in the Los Angeles area.
For the larger firms, most of their official career sites can be found via simple Google search but here's a great place to start with some of the top accounting firms around the country:
- Burr, Pilger and Mayer - voted one of the top 25 places to work in the Bay Area
- BDO Seidman - with 1095 member firm offices in 110 countries
- KPMG - employs 137,000 professionals in 144 countries
- Ernst & Young - saw a 16.2% increase in revenue in 2008
- RSM McGladrey - the firm who survived the Great Depression to become 5th largest accounting firm in the country today
- Deloitte - serves more than 80% of the world's largest companies
- PwC - has clients among 422 of the world's Global 500 companies
- Grant Thornton - named a 2007 Working Mother 100 Best Company by Working Mother Magazine
- CBIZ - multi-faceted provider of tech, audit, accounting software, and testimony services
There are also a multitude of accounting recruiters floating around on the Internet - all the more reason to make sure your online identity is one which draws them to you!
However you look at it, CPAs are more important than ever - someone's got to sort through the financial mess, offer professional guidance in troubled times, and help new and struggling companies make sure their plans are sound. If you are not already certified, there is no time like the present, especially if you are looking for work. While many firms still cover the cost of CPA Review, offer bonuses for passing the exam to new staff, and encourage unlicensed staff with PTO for exam dates, don't find yourself looking for work without those three very important letters after your name!