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2011 Best Accounting Firms for Women revealed

May 16, 2011

The American Society of Women Accountants and American Woman's Society of CPAs announced the 2011 Best Accounting Firms for Women.

The 10 firms were chosen from the 25 that participated in the inaugural cycle of this project and were rated on “range, depth and success of programs and workplace culture proven to remove barriers to women’s success, especially at midlevel and above,” according to the societies’ press release.

Also considered is the MOVE methodology, which factors in four key elements to advancement: Money, Opportunity, Vital supports for work/life and Entrepreneurship.

Registration for the 2012 cycle of the Accounting MOVE Project opens in October 2011.

The 2011 Best Accounting Firms for Women, in alphabetical order, are:

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, Chicago

Women account for 19 percent of its partners and principals.  The firm's "Growth and Retention Of Women" program makes the retention of high-potential women as they transition to manager a priority. The firm also upholds a strong pay equity accountability structure.

Clifton Gunderson, Milwaukee, Wis.

Forty-four percent of the firm’s senior managers are women. Work-life changes instituted a decade ago by now-CEO Krista McMasters significantly contributed to the firm’s high retention rates.

Hood & Strong, San Francisco

Hood’s leadership grooms its high-potentials methodically, rotating them onto different teams with different supervisors to broaden their leadership visibility in the company. Women make up 53 percent of firm partners and 67 percent of senior managers.

J.H. Cohn, LLP, New York

Women make up 58 percent of managers and a range of women's initiatives and work-life programs were introduced in the past five years. The firm also offers best-in-class tech support for flexworking.

Johanson & Yau, San Jose, Calif.

The firm conducts weekly training sessions and maintains a mentoring program. Firm partners (40 percent are women) regularly meet one-on-one with employees to review personal goals, productivity and emerging career advancement and growth opportunities.

Jones & Roth CPAs and Business Advisors, Eugene, Ore.

The firm has a new semi-annual review process. Three committees of mentors and managers evaluate each employee, twice a year. Bonuses are distributed with the year-end statement. “The process helped the firm identify and correct the occasional pay inequity, while creating buy-in for firm strategic goals and accelerating the promotion of women to partnership.”

Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company, LLP, Minneapolis, Minn.

The firm keeps a high profile in local entrepreneurship organizations for women while emphasizing training for managers to ensure pay equity. Flexwork also allows advancement, as Managing Partner Beth Kieffer Leonard Leonard was part-time eighteen years ago. Twenty-five percent of its partners are women.

Moss Adams LLP, Seattle

Retention rates for women are rising at nearly every segment in the firm's pipeline, with the proportion of women partners at 22 percent. The firm also offers career advisors and a Forum_W program as a platform to identify and develop women in each of the firm's 20 offices with leadership training and mentoring.

Plante & Moran, Southfield, Mich.

Recently, the firm created a formal mentoring program that paired senior-level female associates with partners to provide additional guidance, knowledge-building and perspective to support their paths to partnership. This is in addition to the firm’s emphasis on flexwork and inclusion.

Rothstein Kass & Co., Roseland, N.J.

With its "Allies Program" and "Rainmakers Roundtable" workshops focused on business development, Rothstein was among the first to partner with like-minded law, investment and financial advisory firms for mutual development of partner-track women. The firm also has a structured program that frames business development skills for associates.



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