As a national transition looms, with 78 million Baby Boomers expected to retire in the next two decades, the recently formed CPA Consultants’ Alliance has published a new leadership white paper addressing this shift, as well as other opportunities and challenges in the profession.

“CPA Firm Leadership: Communication Drives New Possibilities” is based on a survey of more than 780 CPA firm respondents asked about their views on leadership and their current career outlook.

Survey participants, predominantly from medium to large-size firms, and nearly three-quarters of which are CPAs, were largely satisfied with their jobs, with 92.8 percent likely (23.1 percent) or very likely (69.7 percent) to continue in public accounting.

Of the 57 respondents (7.2 percent) who reported they were unlikely or very unlikely to continue in the profession, the most significant number came from the senior position, at 21.8 percent. Their reasons, also tracked by the survey, were varied.

Respondents were also polled on what they deemed the most desired leadership characteristics. The top answer was having integrity, followed by the ability to develop and delegate to a strong team, and the third most popular response was being a visionary.

In terms of what participants needed from leadership, the overwhelming response was better communication.

The CPA Consultants’ Alliance was formed this year to explore leadership issues and collaboratively share tools, content and solutions among its consultant members to benefit practitioners in the CPA profession.

“Leadership is the foundation of our profession, and this white paper will speak strongly to every current and future firm leader,” stated Sandra Wiley, president of The CPACA. “Progress begins with a current assessment about our profession and then applying that knowledge in your own firm so transformation occurs. The CPACA has a clear vision to inspire positive change in our profession, and we believe this is a tremendous first step.”

The full “CPA Firm Leadership: Communication Drives New Possibilities” is available as a free download from the CPACA Web site.