Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Recruiting and retaining women accountants Essay

Recruiting and retaining women accountants - Essay Example The following background information gives more detail on these issues. The role of women in CPA firms has changed significantly over the last 20 years. The whole new dimension that women have brought into accounting profession was about being more relationship-focused. But even more importantly, leadership roles are often taken by women at CPA firms now. "When I joined BK in 1982, we had no women partners or managers. Now we have five female partners and 21 women managers Clients also are more accepting of women in authority positions" (Burns 2003). Currently the traditional image of the leading man has been shaken with skillful women leaders at CPA companies. The statistics gathered by Stafford Specialized Information Services during its research of Women in Public Accounting 1992-2000 (2000, p. 4) shows that the Big Five auditors more than tripled ranks of women partners since 1992: there was 434 women partners in 1994 and 1,384 of them in 2000. At the same time women's share of partnership in big CPA firms has risen from 4,8% to 11,7% in 1992-2000. Although partnership is not always the most desired goal for every woman in CPA, still it is the most significant achievement for them. As statistics shows, more and more women become oriented towards leadership in CPA. Nowadays public accounting companies have also changed their view of women's role. "In addition to strong technical skills, firms now look very closely at the interpersonal skills of job candidates, too Approximately 50 percent of our entry-level hires are women." (Burns 2003). Meanwhile recruitment and retention still remains to be the most troubling concern for CPA firms. Finding qualified staff and developing future owners of CPA companies was identified as the first item in their top priorities list (The Practicing CPA 2003). Young professional women are now more acceptable with CPA companies than before, mainly due to more flexible scheduling. However, the old issue with work-life balance still remains the most challenging factor for women, who decided to bring career into their life. Studies of the past indicate that there are some positive changes, which is supported with an increasing number of women leaders in CPA firms. The research held in 1990 has revealed that one-third of 721 survey respondents "believe that their accounting work has had some negative affect on their opportunity to marry or on their marriage, while 28% of those who are unmarried believe that their job demands partly explain why they are not married" (Stockard 1990). According to Burns (2003) it is now possible for both men and women to have flexible work schedules and maintain a work-family balance. Nevertheless the problem of balance still remains to be urgent. Extensive travels to client offices, which may mean the accountant is away for several weeks, make it very hard to maintain a work-life balance for managers and partners. That is why women accountants pay attention to such

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