Hawai‘i’s Shifting Accountant Count

Feb 10, 2017

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Tax season is getting closer. And there’s nothing like an approaching deadline to get people thinking about their accountants. As Pacific Business News found, there have been some big changes in the accounting industry.  Editor in chief, A. Kam Napier, has more.

This week, PBN pulled together data on the 25 largest CPA firms on Oahu, ranked by number of certified public accountants. KPMG came out on top with 52 CPAs. That firm has been in Hawaii since 1917.

We also surveyed the firms about work conditions and recruitment and retention issues. During the upcoming crush of tax season, the firms that responded say that on average, their accountants will put in 50- to 60-hours weeks. There was a time when firms would just power through this, but now they try to offset the long days with such benefits as in-office massage therapy, flex-time and telecommuting during the busy season. Many of the firms offer extra time off employees can use when tax season ends. One firm gives everyone an extra week off from Christmas to New Years.

 

Industry leaders say this move toward a more flexible work pace helps with recruitment. Hawaii firms are finding it especially difficult to find accountants with 3-to-5-years of experience. In Hawaii’s low employment environment, it’s easy for employees to job-hop, looking for the best fit.

 

The changes have also helped the industry overcome what used to be a gender imbalance, with the industry once dominated by men. Women now make up about 60 percent of the profession, nationally and locally.