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EY to Invest $1 Billion in Effort to Attract New Accountants

The firm said the investment includes a boost in compensation for entry-level accountants as well as other tech-related initiatives.

EY US announced plans on June 12 to invest $1 billion over three years in talent and technology as a way to improve the attractiveness of the profession to young accountants.

The Big Four firm said the investment includes a boost in compensation for entry-level accountants, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled audit and tax platforms, a new “360 Careers” experience, outreach and support for college students, and enhanced well-being benefits.

“Investors and global capital markets depend on a thriving accounting profession,” Ginnie Carlier, EY Americas vice chair of talent, said in a statement. “Our goal is to make EY US the most preferred place to launch an audit or tax career and become a springboard for future business leaders—for our own organization and leading public and private enterprises.”

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The firm said it will increase early career compensation as part of a total rewards package “that recognizes the value of a certified public accountant career path,” EY said. However, the firm didn’t specify how much more it will pay its entry-level accountants. The median U.S. salary for tax and audit staff at a Big Four firm in 2023 was $70,000, according to the website

Reversing the downward accounting enrollment trend depends on the creation of a more attractive employee experience, including starting salaries that are competitive with other majors and professions vying for top talent, a recent report from the National Pipeline Advisory Group stated.

In a comparison of accounting starting salaries with other professions with which accounting is competing for talent, accounting is at the bottom, the report shows.

“Accounting is the language of business, and it’s time to put accounting graduates on par with other business-degree holders,” said Dante D’Egidio, EY Americas vice chair of assurance. “By increasing the starting salaries of CPA-track professionals to market-leading compensation levels, we are continuing to recognize the trust placed in the profession, reward the valuable skills accountants bring and ensure a strong pipeline of CPAs for generations. Our investment in the profession will continue for years to come, including upskilling our professionals in advanced technologies like AI.”

The firm said AI-powered capabilities are being built into the global EY organization’s core audit platform tools to enhance audit quality, improve productivity, support risk assessment, and deliver better insights on key business issues. EY said last September that it had invested $1.4 billion in AI in 2023, including launching a new AI platform,, and a large language model, EYQ, and that the firm plans to train its entire global workforce of nearly 400,000 people on AI.

According to EY, the $1 billion investment also includes:

  • Pathways to CPA licensure, including the EY Career Path Accelerator, to remove barriers to entry and create a growing pool of future CPAs.
  • New EY 360 Careers experience for young professionals starting in 2025, which will serve as a launch pad and accelerator to give campus recruits the essential skills they need to grow as leaders at the global EY organization, forge their paths as entrepreneurs, or advance to prominent C-suite positions later in their careers.
  • Well-being enhancements to help professionals perform at their best, including dedicated coaching and well-being assistance for audit and tax teams during periods of peak performance.