Accounting & Auditing | BLI Leadership

What accounting students want from employers

On March 9 we visited with the Salisbury University chapter of Beta Alpha Psi and had an opportunity to engage these future CPAs in a dialogue about their future careers. Can you guess the No. 1 thing they want in their careers?

Work / life balance!

The top five things they want in an accounting career are:

  1. Work / life balance 
  2. Money (competitive salary)
  3. Flexibility (where and how they work)
  4. Career development and training (growth)
  5. Diversity and inclusion

These answers are consistent with our prior student research and the latest generational research we have been following.

Some other fun facts from students:

Intermediate II is still the hardest course!

Job security (and pay) is the No. 1 reason why they chose accounting as a major, with several students saying they thought it involve a lot of math.

Here is the "Why CPA? Why MACPA?" video we mentioned that shows the many career paths available as CPAs. 


And one more video we think captures the Spirit of the CPA here and our purpose at the MACPA as the professional home for CPAs.

The students loved hearing Barrett Young, founder of the Green Abacus, talk about his career path and how he ended up with his own business serving tech startups all over the United States. Barrett is also an active volunteer at the MACPA and on the board of our New / Young Professionals Network. As a millennial business entrepreneur, he was asked a lot of questions about how he got started and what advice he had for them as they prepare for careers in accounting.

His top three actions in starting his own business:

  1. Get debt-free for financial security. (For more information, see our financial planning resources here).
  2. Try a lot of things and find what you love to do. 
  3. Focus on that one thing and become great at it. 

His top three recommended skills:

  1. Social technologies to build your digital footprint. (He uses technology to find and connect to client and prospects.)
  2. Grow your network. (He got involved in the MACPA early and made a lot of connections.)
  3. Communication. (He produces a podcast and has blogged to communicate his point of view.)

Here is a prior student professional issues update with background for the students and includes some of our prior research. 

Accounting Career & Professional Issues Update for Students - 2014 from Tom Hood, CPA,CITP,CGMA

Visit our Tomorrow's CPA website for more student information (membership is FREE), including scholarships, internships, events, and more. Or contact our membership manager, Rebekah Brown, CPA, at for information on our student and young professional activities.

Make sure you check out our first-ever Student Leadership Academy on June 25-27 in Towson, Md.