But perhaps most important : ''The price is going up , I'll tell you that , '' said Rick Dunham
, a partner with Dunham & Watkins CPAs Inc.
in San Jose.
The forces behind the worker shortage have been building for years.Accounting has gradually become less appealing as a career , in part because of the time and effort it takes to earn a certified public accountant's credential , and in part because enticing opportunities suddenly arose.Internet start-ups and the high-tech industry raided the accounting industry , doling out stock options and paying salaries that had seemed unattainable.
Meanwhile , the accounting industry has consolidated and refocused.What once were the ''Big 8'' accounting firms are now the ''Big 5 , '' and they emphasize consulting and other accounting services , while generally limiting tax preparation to businesses and their top executives.
has booked about 80 of his
380 clients at Dunham & Watkins and began interviewing clients in late January -- before the deadline for companies to even issue W-2s , 1099s and other tax statements. ''I've already done seven or eight.I've never done one before Feb. 1 in my life.Never.''.
* Choosier tax pros.Some taxpayers will have to hunt harder for help because many firms have as much business as they can handle.Many firms say they'll put a premium on a prospective client who needs more than a personal tax return , who runs a business or who wants advice year-round.