How Will a Trade War Hit U.S. Accounting and Auditing Jobs?

It’s expected that trade battle between the U.S., China, Canada and Europe will continue this week as all sides continue to increase tariffs in continuing circle of retaliation. The question then becomes, what will the knock-on effect of a global trade war for financial executives, auditors and accounting professionals?

As the chart above shows, the U.S. has been increasing its “export” of accounting, audit and bookkeeping professional services over the past decade. This has been mostly due to the increase in international trade and the adoption of U.S. standards and as U.S. multinationals expand their global presence.
While there is no historical data on the impact of a trade war on the accounting and finance professionals, some have made projections based on economic activity, Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC estimates that 26,590 “professional services jobs” will be lost to battle over aluminum and steel tariffs alone.
“Services sectors are hit the hardest for several reasons,” Tradewinds says in its recent report. “[As] the largest component of the U.S. economy, services are key inputs into the output of every U.S. sector. As manufacturing, agriculture and energy output decline, so too do services output and related jobs. “
These threats come as accounting employment has experienced a steady increase over the past five years, as the cart below reveals.