As the highly regulated cannabis industry grows, a call for strong, skilled, and experienced financial professionals is growing with it. But, many big accounting firms are still shying away from the industry as it presents unfamiliarity and risk. For the right professional, the cannabis space is booming with opportunity.
What’s complicated about cannabis
Compliance is of utmost importance for companies in the cannabis space due to differing state and federal legislation. This means that while artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are changing accounting jobs (and in some case, eliminating accounting jobs), jobs in niche industries like the cannabis industry are popping up.
Not long ago, legal cannabis products were relegated to medicinal use in a small handful of states. Legislature in recent years has opened up medicinal cannabis to a wide array of states, and recreational cannabis in a growing number of states as well. While cannabis is legal in multiple states, it is still federally recognized as an illegal and illicit substance. Therefore, remaining compliant is of critical importance to companies in the industry. A failure to comply with the various complex regulations can lead to hefty fines–or worse, shutdown.
As such, CPAs are in especially high demand in this fast-growing niche. By 2021, the U.S. cannabis market is projected to reach $70 billion. This could be a significant source of new revenue for accountants who have recently felt the threat of AI and automation changing the landscape of the accounting field and opportunities within it.
How to tap into the industry
CPAs interested in entering the cannabis space should focus on these three steps: education, networking, and building a strong and substantial team.
There is much to learn about the various, complex regulations of the cannabis industry. Immerse yourself and commit to learning as much as you can about all facets of the cannabis industry, including farming, food, and retail. The AICPA website is an excellent resource.
Network with executives
Networking is arguably the most powerful method of building your business. In an age of social media, networking is easier than ever before. Join, follow, subscribe, and engage with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter wherever and whenever cannabis and legal (and soon-to-be-legal) markets exist.
Build a team
You’ve educated yourself and networked–now you need to build a skilled team. Offer a complete package including bookkeeping, tax planning, and more. The demand is high in this industry–but so is the competition. Provide something truly different to prospects.
No matter the industry you serve, Flexi can serve your accounting software needs. Learn more about partnering with Flexi today. Call 800-353-9492.