The St. Louis Business Journal highlighted the growth of Smith Patrick CPAs in its 2023 St. Louis Largest Accounting Firms list, which ranks the top 25 accounting firms by number of professionals and number of CPAs. An interesting trend in the report was that the number of accounting professionals in St. Louis is growing at a faster pace than CPAs.
David Smith, owner and president of Smith Patrick CPAs, was one of two St. Louis accounting firm leaders interviewed on the growth of non-CPA professionals as part of the annual St. Louis’ Largest Accounting Firms List published by the St. Louis Business Journal.
According to the article:
- The number of non-CPA professionals employed by the St. Louis region’s 25 largest accounting firms increased by 12% last year to 1,594.
- By comparison, the number of CPAs employed by those same firms grew by only 5% to 1,184.
The St. Louis Business Journal says that the role of non-CPA professionals within an accounting firm can vary, though they typically handle duties such as compliance, payroll and loan support for firm clients, act as agents representing taxpayers with IRS matters or serve the function of non-CPA business accountants while studying to become a CPA.
Over the past year, Smith Patrick CPAs reported a 20% increase in professionals on its team.
“Our firm has been growing to support our existing client base as well as new business that we’ve earned in the past year with the continued vision to provide value to each of our client relationships. The growth of professionals at our firm during the last year is primarily related to higher demand for our expertise and guidance from existing clients,” said Smith.
With a shrinking workforce pool and increased demand from consumers for its services, it’s a challenging trend that accounting firms are facing, says Smith.
“Practitioners are retiring from this industry and are not being replaced with enough new accounting students. Meanwhile, demand has increased due to the ever-complex IRS regulations and financial markets,” he said.
Despite hiring challenges, Smith Patrick CPAs is contining to grow its team.
“We’re continuing to seek talented people who appreciate a culture of strong client relationships and a passion for enjoying life and helping others. We’re looking to strengthen connections with local universities and continue to grow our internship program, which we’ve had for many years. We’re also participating in the AICPA George Willie Ethnically Diverse Student Scholarship & Internship Program, and plan to continue to evaluate acquiring other CPA firms with similar values,” said Smith.
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