Just as there are multiple paths to women’s success in public accounting, so there are many types of firm cultures and programs that propel women to leadership. In its fifth year, the 2014 Accounting MOVE Project also introduces the Best Public Accounting Firms for Leadership Equity.
2014 Best Public Accounting Firms for Women
Firms with at least 40 employees, where women comprise about 38% of top leaders. Firms listed in alphabetical order.
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLC, Chicago, IL: Baker Tilly closely tracks the women in the organization and analyzes the proportion of women in its pipeline by business unit, while assuring that business development is integrated early and often into its partnership training.
BeachFleischman, Tucson, AZ: Women comprise 32% of partners and principals, reflecting an accelerating rate of promotions. Productivity is directly supported through focused work-life benefits, including sick-child care and holistic wellness programs.
The Bonadio Group, Pittsford, NY: For those women at The Bonadio Group who are on a partner track, the firm makes a clear distinction on how flexible work arrangements, common at many firms and certainly at Bonadio, will relate to their advancement potential and timeframe. The firm’s pre-partner track provides a way for women to pace their pursuit of partnership in an intentional, clear mode. This year, 29% of Bonadio’s partners and principals are women.
Clark Nuber, Bellevue, WA: Clark Nuber’s clearly spelled out performance and leadership qualification goals are especially effective at providing midlevel women with career milestones. Each partner is either a mentor or a performance manger, and in some cases both, to at least a few rising leaders, providing incremental feedback that enables women to see precisely how they are advancing. It’s working; this year, 31% of the firm’s partners and principals are women.
CohnReznick LLP, New York, NY: Proof that the combining of two firms can create new common ground for advancing women, CohnReznick used the launch of its initiative, WomenCAN, to create new relationships across the blended organization. Detailed analysis revealed organic strengths in a few offices that the firm is cultivating for cross-pollination.
Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company, LLP, Minneapolis, MN: With Beth Kieffer Leonard as managing partner and Kimpa Moss as partner for operations and administration, rising women have two strong models for career destination and leadership style. Women comprise a healthy 27% of partners and principals overall.
Moss Adams LLP, Seattle, WA: Women now account for 24% of partners at Moss Adams, as the firm drives accountability and responsibility for advancing women to practice and office leaders. Context is key: leaders receive insight into their scorecard results and guidance on next steps from firm leaders. Moss Adams is also winning new clients with results-driven networking partnerships designed to help women grow their network and build their book of business.
Plante Moran, Southfield, MI: Nationally known for its work-life programs, Plante Moran continues to the raise the bar for all firms – and all employers. It is strengthening its tracking of leadership-track women and building out its network of champions for women in each office. This spring the firm publishes its first-ever report that tracks its women in leadership initiative.
Rehmann, Saginaw, MI: Firm leaders regularly review the status of leadership-track women, ensuring that none escape the chance for stretch and high-profile assignments. Now, Rehmann is developing detailed metrics that identify high-potential women early with the aim of equipping them with both general management skills and insight into next career steps.
Rothstein Kass & Company, Roseland, NJ: By staking out advocacy for women in its client industries, Rothstein Kass continues to lead the way as an innovator in business development. Its annual study, “Women in Alternative Investments,” influences authority, expertise and referrals into its women’s business development programs.
Best Public Accounting Firms for Leadership Equity
These firms, in alphabetical order, are the 2014 Best Public Accounting Firms for Leadership Equity.
Frazier & Deeter LLC, 34%
Hood & Strong LLP, 39%
Insero & Company CPAs, P.C., 52%
Johanson & Yau Accountancy Corporation, 45%
Kerkering, Barberio & Co., 58%
Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen & Russ P.A., 38%
Marks Nelson Vohland Campbell Radetic LLC, 36%
Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico, LLP, 41%
Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP, 38%
Firms were ranked on the range, depth and success of programs and workplace culture proven to remove barriers to women’s success, especially at midlevel and above. A key factor is the proportion of women partners. The 2014 Accounting MOVE reported that women comprised 19% of the partners in aggregate, at the 50 participating firms. For the Best Public Accounting Firms for Women, firms with higher proportions of women partners had an edge in making the list. MOVE methodology pivots on four factors – money, opportunity, vital supports for work/life and entrepreneurship – known to advance women in the workplace.
About the 2014 Accounting MOVE Project
The Best Firms were among the 50 that participated in the 2014 Accounting MOVE Project. Through the project and its sponsoring associations, the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants, the profession can consistently measure the status of women and collaborate on proven and promising practices that advance and retain women. The 2014 report of the Accounting MOVE Project was made possible by charter sponsor Moss Adams LLP and national sponsor Rothstein Kass & Co. The Accounting MOVE Project research partner is Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., which has been measuring and supporting the advancement of women since 1998.