Accounting is one of those professions that very few individuals are equipped to do. But it’s also one many people need. 

With the world leaning towards a more digital approach of doing anything and everything, do accountants still have a place in it? 

You can find the answer to this question in the compilation of the latest available accounting statistics.

Read on to discover what the numbers show.

Fascinating Accounting Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • Technology poses the threat of replacing 94% of accountants and auditors.
  • 37% of accounting personnel will work remotely in the US in 2021.
  • 94% of accountants have adopted cloud accounting.
  • 60% of small business owners feel they aren’t knowledgeable when it comes to accounting.
  • Accounts payable automation software can save a business $16 or more per invoice.
  • The latest reports show a $71,550 median salary for accounting workers.
  • A 4% job growth is projected in the period of 2019–2029.

General Accounting Statistics

Want to know how technology impacts the accounting industry? And what’s the state of the industry? These general numbers from the industry experts can offer some insights.   

1. Technology poses the threat of replacing 94% of accountants and auditors.

That’s a pretty significant percentage. In addition to this, technology threatens to replace 99% of tax preparers, 98% of bookkeepers and auditing clerks, and 97% of payroll and timekeeping clerks.

Accountant facts in another study by McKinsey projected that 400 and 800 million of all jobs would be automated by 2030.

2. Accountants only handle 25% of self-employed people’s accounting tasks.

So who handles the remaining 75% of tasks? Well, a whopping 72% of self-employed people do their accounting. Additionally, 2% ask family and friends for help, and 1% seek the assistance of a mysterious “other person.”   

3. The US accounting industry statistics show it has generated over $110 billion in revenue.

KPMG, PWC, EY, and Deloitte—these four firms are responsible for over one-half of the revenue, having earned $56 billion.

Looking at the global report, these four firms had combined revenue of over $157 billion, employing more than one million people.

4. One of the interesting facts about accounting tells us 83% of accountants feel clients are more demanding these days.

The vast majority of accountants say that their clients are more demanding and expect more from them than they did five years ago. 

But how can accountants keep up with the increased demand while remaining relevant? 

They need to embrace technology. 

5. There are a total of 664,532 CPA licenses in the US.

This brings the percentage of accountants with CPA to 46.3% of all in the workforce. 

The survey was conducted in almost each of the 55 states—the exception being Hawaii, Wisconsin, Utah, and Delaware. 

6. 37% of accounting personnel will work remotely in the US in 2021.

When it comes to accounting companies’ biggest concerns this year, 36% of them cite that the uncertainty that the pandemic brought is what worries them the most. 

In line with that, the same percentage is concerned about their clients’ financial health due to the situation.

Cloud Accounting Statistics—How Much of the Industry Is Online?

What is the cloud adoption rate amongst accountants? Are they hopping aboard, or have they completely missed the train on this one? Let’s find out!

7. 94% of accountants have adopted cloud accounting.

Research on cloud accounting software reveals that almost all accountants are adopting cloud solutions. The public cloud accounting adoption rate is 91%, while the private one is 72%.

8. 67% of accountants prefer cloud accounting.

With such an impressive adoption rate, it’s no surprise that so many accountants are trying it out for themselves. What is surprising is that two-thirds of accountants prefer cloud accounting over more traditional systems. 

9. Businesses that use cloud accounting systems have five times more customers than businesses that don’t.

Cloud accounting statistics show that businesses that utilize cloud accounting systems add five times the amount of customers to their customer base that traditional firms do. 

Not double, not triple the number of customers—but five times the number. The increasing digitalization and automation of many services is not only cost-reducing but also brings in new customers. 

10. Cloud accounting statistics show 18% of firms in the UK have 98% of their clients in the cloud.

Globally, almost one-third (31%) of accounting companies have over 80% of their clients online. 

Research shows that companies with all of their clientele online get five times more new customers than those who don’t practice this.

11. The global accounting software market share is expected to be worth around $4.25 billion by the end of 2023.

Research also shows that using cloud computing for your accounting can reduce costs for a business by up to 50%. 

It comes as no surprise then that the pre-pandemic projections indicated that 78% of small businesses would transfer all of their accounting to cloud software. 

Small Business Accounting Statistics

Small to medium businesses make up 99% of global companies. Many accounting firms are technically small businesses themselves.

So, let’s find out what small businesses think about accounting by dissecting these small business accounting numbers. 

12. 14% of small business owners think accountants could do more to reduce their taxes.

On the other hand, 62% are of the opinion that their accountants do all they can to minimalize the amounts they pay in taxes, while another 24% are undecided. This shows that most owners are aware of the importance of accountants in their business.

Interestingly, 71% of small companies outsource their tax preparation—this is an accounting service outsourced the most. 

13. 60% of small business owners feel they aren’t very knowledgeable when it comes to finances and accounting.

By their own admission, just over 60% of small business owners aren’t very knowledgeable when it comes to the finance and accounting aspect of their business.

14. The cost of an accountant for a small business is anywhere between $20–$100 per hour.

The hourly pay rate depends on many things, one of the most important being your location. The rates for an accountant in New York are not the same as the ones in Texas. 

The level of education, reputation, as well as experience of the accountant also carries the weight when they set their rates. 

15.  44% of business owners feel their accountants are more reactive than proactive.

Across small businesses of different sizes, the complaints remain the same. What’s more, the accounting industry overview shows 36% of small companies have timeline issues, 32% don’t get enough guidance, 29% feel their accountants don’t provide advice, and 23.6% feel their accountants don’t educate them.  

If you’re looking to drum up more business from your small business clients, it’s worth evaluating those areas, identifying where you may be falling short, and improving in those areas.

16. 64.4% of small business owners make use of accounting software.

More than half of all small business owners use accounting software instead of enlisting the help of qualified accountants to aid them in their business’s accounting tasks.

This proves that more and more owners opt for automation.

Accounts Payable Statistics

Accounts payable is an essential segment of accounting to consider; however pricy it might seem, the figures show it takes six to eighteen months for an accounts payable software to pay for itself. 

17. In the UK alone, 70,000 people work in accounts payable.

According to accounting labor statistics, more than 70,000 people who live or work in the UK publicly display that they’re employed in accounts payable. 

However, the actual amount is closer to 250,000 at any given time. 

18. Accounts payable automation software pays for itself within 6 to 18 months.

Sure, accounts payable automation can be a significant investment, especially to the small business owner or a single-person operation. But this investment is worth it, as it pays for itself within 6 to 18 months. 

19. Those who use accounts payable automation software save an average of one hour per day, accounting services statistics show.

Do you know the saying “There are not enough hours in a day?” Well, by using accounts payable automation software to capture invoices and process payments, you save time every day. 

20. Accounts payable automation software can save a business $16 or more per invoice.

Depending on your company size, accounts payable automation software can save you $16 or more per invoice. 

While this may not sound like a lot, consider how many invoices need processing and the fact that it can take more than five whole days for an invoice to reach accounts payable. That’s a lot of potential savings in both time and money. 

Forensic Accounting Statistics

While accounting can seem like one of the less exciting fields of work, there is a section of it that deals with fraud—read for some of the most interesting facts and figures about forensic accounting. 

21. There are 37,596 forensic accountants in the US.

There are 37,596 forensic accountants in the US alone, with an average of six employees per service. 

The majority of forensic accountancy businesses are controlled by Deloitte, KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and EY.

22. Forensic accountants’ salaries are $86,267 on average nationwide.

Accounting job statistics report that the starting salary for a forensic accountant in the US is around the $50,500 mark. Senior forensic accountants can earn upwards of $133,000. 

But why do forensic accountants get paid so much? 

23. Anti-fraud experts estimate $3.7 trillion of revenue is lost every year.

An organization typically loses around 5% of revenues every year, accounting fraud statistics show. That’s approximately $3.7 trillion. 

Money aside, fraud also results in low employee morale, decreased productivity, and tarnished reputations. 

24. 40% of cases discovered by forensic accountants aren’t reported.

What we hear about forensic accounts is impressive, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg as 40% of cases aren’t even publicly reported. 

Fear of bad publicity is the main reason for this.

Accounting Employment Statistics

Numbers reveal a whole lot about the state of the accounting industry. We’re going to find out what some of these revelations are.

25. The accounting workforce is made up of 1.96 million people.

But not all of those accountants are actually working as accountants. The fields of payroll services, bookkeeping, tax preparation, construction, banking, and insurance sectors also employ qualified accountants.

26. The 2019 median salary for accounting workers was $71,550.

Numbers indicate that 2019 was a pretty good year to be employed as an accountant. The median pay for accountants was $70,500 per year or $34.39 per hour. 

Accountants certainly have a way of earning quite a lot—just remember that the minimum wage in the US currently is only $7.25. 

27. 59.7% of the accountants were female in 2020 in the US.

Accounting staff employment by gender differs worldwide, but this particular industry is one of the rare ones where women manage to come on top.

Well over a half of total accounting jobs are currently held by women.

28. A 4% job growth is projected in the period of 2019–2029.

At least that’s what the latest statistics from 2020 show.

There are currently 1.69 million accounting positions filled, with an expected 4% growth in demand for accountants during a ten-year period.

Additionally, the number of remote accounting jobs is also expected to increase exponentially.

29. 74.8% of accountants are white.

Caucasians make up the bulk of accountants, with a whopping 74.8% of accountants falling into this ethnicity. Second up are black people, who represent 12.1% of accountants, and 4.9% of accountants identify as Asian. 

Accounting Software Usage Statistics

We know that small businesses turn to accounting software more than they turn to actual accountants. 

But what about the rest of the world? 

Here are a few accounting software usage figures that should clear things up.

30. Almost 75% of accounting tasks can be automated with accounting software.

Accounting, as you can imagine, takes a large amount of time and skill to get right. The US accounting services statistics show that almost 75% of accounting tasks can be automated by using the software.  

31. In less than six years, the global accounting software market will be valued at $11.8 billion.

By 2026, the global market for accounting software will be valued at close to $12 billion, which means it’s growing at an expansion rate of 8.6% every year. The accounting stats brought with it revealed that the market was valued at $5.7 billion. 

32. 38% of businesses that don’t use accounting software say it’s because they’re scared it’s not secure.

For all of those who make use of accounting software, many do not. The top reasons for not using accounting software include: may not be secure (38% of businesses), is too expensive (35%), and it is generally too complicated to learn (18%). 

Whether they know Intuit QuickBooks by name alone or if they are or have been users of the software, about seven in ten business owners are familiar with the software brand. 

In comparison, the next most well-known accounting software brand (Paychex Accounting Online) is familiar to only 25% of business owners. 

How will accounting services change in the near future? As with every other industry, technology advancements will influence its future course heavily. 

34. Technology literacy is the top additional skill accountants need to have in today’s day and age.

A knack for numbers and an eye for detail aren’t the only skills accountants need to succeed in this day and age. 

Technology literacy (57%), relationship building (46%), business advisory (44%), experience in a specific industry (43%), and project management (36%) are all vital skills a 21st-century accountant must possess. 

More accountants are studying further to keep up with these demands and ensure their skillset remains valid.

35. Bookkeeping statistics show that accounting and bookkeeping are an accountant firm’s top services, with 79% of them providing this.

Accounting firms are in high demand for these services: 79% accounting and bookkeeping, 25% payroll, 24% tax, 20% compliance, 17% business advisory, 15% assurance and audit, and 5% act as outsourced CFOs. 

36. 29% of automated technology is used in accounting.

Accounting automation statistics are quick to point out that 29% of automated technology is applied to and in the accounting industry. 

Additionally, the latest reporting shows that 50% of all accounting tasks can be done through the technologies available today.

37. 92% of accountants are not future-ready.

What do all of these trends mean for the future of accountants? While relatively confident there will always be a need for their skills, the overwhelming majority of accountants feel they’re not future-ready.

Accounting Statistics—The Takeaway

Taxes and bookkeeping are among every business owner’s biggest nightmare. Finding a trustworthy and knowledgeable accountant that has the necessary experience can saw a company a lot of money—and trouble. 

In an increasingly digitalized industry, a lot of these processes will be done through software; however, there is no indication that automatization can ever completely replace an actual accountant.

Hopefully, these figures shed some light on the importance and development of the accounting industry, and help make more informed decisions about a business’s financing.