Report from Insights: CPAs central to Sage’s strategy
Helping your small-biz clients get credit
Weaver merges in Elms Faris
Make the choice to pass the CPA Exam
The IRS Oversight Board releases its 2009 report
IRS staff are divulging private taxpayer info
Planning for the Medicare tax on investment income
Now may be the time for nonpro;ts to look into M&A
IASB revises fair value of ;nancial liabilities
the spirit of accounting
The Gordian Knot of pension accounting
The case for CPAs using wealth managers
The 2010 Top New Products
The leaders in low-cost accounting
Preparation precedes pro;ts
CRM: One size does not ;t all
New strategies in client retention
Stepping up from marketing to practice growth
Rebecca Ryan asks, Is your ;rm too busy?
26 VAR News
32 New Products: Software
32 New Products: Books
35 Advertiser Index
Despite amassing a grade point average in college that rivaled my points-per-game average as an inept high school basketball player, I actually explored the idea of taking the LSATs and at- tending law school. Toward that end, I sought out one of the law school professors, a vibrant
and charismatic woman who taught contract law. I was not so much focused on her outline of what to
expect during the ensuing three years, but was far more entranced by her personal tale of attending law
school in the late 1950s at a Northeastern college, which shall remain anonymous.
Very early on, she told me she asked a male classmate a question and
instead of a reply, she got a stern reprimand that she was “occupying a
seat that should have gone to a man.”
I’m still astonished that someone could display such brazenly sex-
ism, even in a bygone era where social or even legal repercussions were
I remembered that conversation after reading that some 10 accounting
;rms were recently cited as Best Accounting Firms for Women by the
American Society of Women Accountants and the American Woman’s
Society of CPAs, which conducted the survey in conjunction with research concern Wilson-Taylor Associates. Some 20 ;rms participated
in the inaugural study, the 2010 Accounting MOVE Project List of Best
Accounting Firms for Women, and they were ranked on such criteria
as range, depth and success of programs, and workplace culture with
regard to women at the mid-level position and above.
I found the study particularly relevant, since one of the most cited
statistics in accounting is that more than half of accounting graduates
are female, but women comprise something on the order of 15 percent
of partners and shareholders at accounting ;rms. ;e demographics as
women advance up the chain of command are inarguably o;-kilter.
In the last issue, I wrote about the underpinnings of the future accounting ;rm, with an emphasis
on career customization and workplace ;exibility. But as I mentioned, and is reiterated in the report,
;exibility is one solution to successfully keeping and retaining women (and men), but obviously not a
panacea for gender parity. Several of the report’s other conclusions jumped out at me, including a ;nd-ing that women are an overlooked resource for gaining and retaining clients, currently a critical issue
for ;rms. ;ere was also scant evidence of women’s initiatives. ;e recommendations that the report
issued are more common sense than revelatory, such as starting retention e;orts and career planning
at the point of hire, and implementing women’s initiatives to help build the pipeline of female talent.
I feel, as I’m sure others do, that there should also be more women-centric accounting events throughout the year. By coincidence, in our second October issue, if you’ll pardon a small dose of self-promotion,
we’ll run our annual special section on “the Most Powerful Women in Accounting,” which we hope next
year to expand beyond print with a live event.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ;rms that made the list. ;ey are: BDO in N. Y.; Berry
Dunn McNeil & Parker in Portland, Maine; ;e Bonadio Group in Pittsford, N. Y.; CCR in Westborough,
Mass.; Hood & Strong in San Francisco; Jones & Roth in Eugene, Ore.; Moss Adams in Seattle; Rothstein
Kass in Roseland, N.J.; William Vaughan Co. in Maumee, Ohio; and Wiss & Co. in Livingston, N.J.
We’ve obviously come a long way since that law professor’s rude encounter a half-century ago, but
few would argue that there’s still work to do.
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