The life of staff
BY LIZ GOLD
Meaning and money come before work/life balance
Marc Rosenberg, of The Rosenberg Associates in Wilmette, Ill., routinely holds focus
groups of young CPAs to get a better understanding of what motivates them and what
they’re looking for in their careers and from
While flexibility at work and work/life balance remain impor-
tant for young staff in CPA firms, advancement opportunities
and compensation rank higher on a list of what they want out
of their job. They also want their partners to communicate bet-
ter about what success means.
He shared two stories that came out of
his most recent gathering of new accountants: “One thing I always do is ask them
what they think the partners at their firms
earn,” he explained. “At the last focus group,
their collective responses were $175,000 to
WHAT THEY REALLY WANT
Average ranking of importance to young staff
(on a scale of 1 to 17, with 1 being the most important)
Flexibility (when you work);
$225,000. The actual number is $350,000.
After this session was over, one of the young
men returned to his firm and immediately
marched into the managing partner’s office
and said, ‘I just found out how much money
you guys earn. What do I have to do to be-
come a partner?’
“Another question I ask is, ‘How many
hours a year do you think the partners work?’
The response of the focus group was 2,900.
The reality: 2,350. Sure, the partners work
harder than the staff, but there’s a big differ-
ence,” Rosenberg said. “Moral of the stories:
Partners do a terrible job at communicating
with staff regarding what it means to be a
partner, how one advances to partner, and
the rewards and obligations staff can expect
once they become partner.”
Rosenberg is hired by partners of account-
ing firms to conduct an upward evaluation
of their staff through a customized online
survey. Each person within the firm evalu-
ates each person for whom they have worked.
This is done anonymously and Rosenberg
said that partners have to be “courageous”
to do this because they are often surprised
at the results.
citrin cooperman merges
in Schwartz & Hofflich
Details: Citrin Cooperman is expanding in Connecticut by combining with
Norwalk-based Schwartz & Hofflich.
The partners and staff of Schwartz &
Hofflich have joined Citrin Cooperman,
effective November 1. Citrin plans to
close its Southport office, and move the
staff there to Schwartz’s office in Norwalk.
The Connecticut office now includes
seven partners and 20 staff. Joining Citrin
Cooperman from Schwartz & Hofflich are
partners Neil Bayer, Lawrence Feldman,
Barry Newman, Eric Prescott, Pasqualino
Spagnoli and Gilbert Watkins, in addition
to 14 staff.
Schwartz & Hofflich is expected to add
$4 million in revenue to Citrin.
Appreciation and recognition;
Source: The Rosenberg Associates
He said that many partners feel that younger
staff don’t want to work or aren’t as committed to the firm. This is a misconception, however, according to Rosenberg, as his research
shows that younger staff actually want to be
kept busy and engaged.
“They don’t want to work 2,800 hours —
and if they feel they have stopped learning
or that their firm has stopped growing, they
will leave,” he said.
“They want to learn, they are not slackers
or goof-offs,” Rosenberg continued, pointing
out that most accounting firm partners are
not trained to be great bosses. “They want
to make a career out of it. Today, partners
need to do a much better job at helping
young people understand how they can become successful. Staff people have this idea
that partners work all the time. Staff people
want to have good work to do and they want
to know, ‘If I do this, how does this help me
move up?’” AT
Bdo combines with McBride Shopa
Details: BDO USA LLP is expanding
to Delaware by adding the partners and
staff of McBride Shopa & Co.
McBride Shopa has offices in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Del. The
combination will add four partners to
BDO, along with 36 other professionals
and staff members, and about $5 million
in annual revenue. McBride Shopa has
been a member of the BDO Seidman Alliance since 2000, where it cooperates on
business development and client work.
CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman Mccann
acquires Kirkland, russ, Murphy & tapp
Details: CBIZ and its affiliated accounting firm Mayer Hoffman McCann have
acquired Kirkland, Russ, Murphy & Tapp,
expanding the firm’s presence in Florida.
CBIZ, a public company, acquired KRMT’s
non-attest practice, while MHM acquired
the attest practice. CBIZ and MHM operate
in an alternative practice structure.
KRMT has approximately 75 total personnel and approximately $12.8 million
in revenue during the past 12 months.
CBIZ/MHM ranked eighth on Accounting
Today’s list of the Top 100 Firms, with
$600.66 million in annual revenue. Eleven
former shareholders of KRMT will be joining MHM as shareholders.