There’s an Accountant Scarcity, It is Changing into a Massive Downside


This text initially appeared on Enterprise Insider.

The accountant scarcity is so unhealthy that firms are delaying submitting key necessary studies.

On Friday, Tupperware mentioned it did not have sufficient accountants to get its annual report out on time. The storage container producer is the newest on a rising listing of firms which have delayed their annual studies for a number of causes. About 70 firms have postponed annual studies this yr, up 40% from final yr, analysis firm Intelligize tallied final month.

In a regulatory submitting, Orlando-based Tupperware blamed the delay on “important” previous and current accounting attrition, “which has resulted in useful resource and talent set gaps, strained sources, and a lack of continuity of information.”

Tupperware added that earlier delays in submitting its 2022 annual report led to postponement of its quarterly studies, which subsequently pushed again work on its 2023 annual report.

On LinkedIn, the corporate is hiring for a single accountant, a job in Poland.

As soon as an American kitchen icon, the producer now faces a slew of enterprise issues. In October, its exterior accounting agency, PricewaterhouseCoopers, dropped the corporate as a shopper. Virtually a yr in the past, Tupperware warned buyers of potential chapter amid larger losses and operational prices.’

Accountant staffing points at Tupperware and different companies have gotten an operational headache with no indicators of abating.

Seasoned accountants are retiring whereas the career, which has a popularity for lengthy hours and unfulfilling work, has struggled to draw youthful expertise. The American Institute of Licensed Public Accountants mentioned that 75% of licensed accountants reached retirement age in 2020. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics tasks there will likely be 126,500 openings for accountants and auditors every year, on common, over the last decade.

However many college students say they’re turned off by the fifth yr of school wanted for accounting programs. And accountants’ common beginning wage of about $62,000 appears to be like much less interesting than different higher-paying or lower-stress jobs in enterprise.

“Accountants and auditors are to enterprise as these folks within the black-and-white-striped shirts are to sports activities. We are the referees of enterprise,” Steven Kachelmeier, the chair of the accounting division on the College of Texas, informed Enterprise Insider final yr.

“We might not at all times just like the referees, however sports activities is a free-for-all with out them,” he mentioned, explaining that if shortages of those staff proceed, accountability and integrity in enterprise may undergo.

This yr has seen a slate of high-profile monetary reporting errors, a few of which brought about inventory costs to alter. In February, ride-hailing app Lyft erroneously reported in its fourth-quarter earnings launch that it expects revenue margins to extend by 500, not 50 foundation factors β€” which led its inventory to surge 60%. Electrical car maker Rivian and gymnasium firm Planet Health mentioned they made earnings typos this yr.

In an analogous transfer to Tupperware, toy big Mattel mentioned in a February submitting that it was unable to file its 2023 annual report on account of “sure deficiencies in its inside management over monetary reporting.”

The Securities and Exchanges Fee can situation penalties for misguided filings, together with fines for delays and errors in monetary reporting.

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