Career site Vault.com has released its 2011 Accounting Quality of Life Rankings, examining what accountants really think about their firm’s culture, compensation, hours, training, and diversity, among other categories. 

Armanino McKenna took the top spot in overall satisfaction, and Kaufman, Rossin & Co. was No. 1 in firm culture, but Marcum LLP led the pack, taking the top spot in seven of 15 categories, including compensation, hours, training, diversity in respect to minorities and overall business outlook.

“The result of a recent merger between two formidable accounting firms (Florida-based Rachlin and New York-headquartered Marcum & Kliegman), Marcum is now one of the 15 largest accounting firms in the U.S.  Based in Long Island, N.Y., Marcum has become a strong presence on the East Coast, and it has aspirations of creating a national firm,” said Vault.com finance editor Derek Loosvelt in a statement.  “It has also become a firm known for treating its employees well: it pays its employees at the top of end of the national scale, works but not overworks its staff, and maintains a family-like culture, despite having nearly 1,000 employees.”

In order to determine the Vault Accounting Quality of Life Rankings, accounting professionals were asked to rate their own firms in a variety of categories on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest.  A firm’s score in each category is simply the average of these ratings.

This year, Marcum LLP dominated the Accounting Quality of Life Rankings, taking the top spot in seven out of 15 categories,

Below are the top-ranked firms in each Quality of Life category along with quotes from their accounting employees:

Overall satisfaction: Armanino McKenna (“I came to this firm in 2000 hoping to grow professionally and looking for an opportunity to advance. This firm has helped and allowed me to do both, and I honestly could not imagine a more rewarding professional experience than the one I've had so far.”)

Firm culture: Kaufman, Rossin & Co. (“The firm culture is very people-oriented and supportive. The partners maintain an open-door policy, and are approachable and responsive.”)

Hours: Marcum (“We work hard at Marcum, but the hours are very reasonable.”)
Manager Relations: Kaufman, Rossin & Co. (“Office doors are always open. All managers are very approachable and willing to help.”)

Formal Training: Marcum (“Training is top notch. Marcum places a heavy emphasis on training.”)

Informal Training: Marcum (“Through the Career Development Program, employees are assigned 'coaches' who help them along their career path. My coach is very supportive and has been instrumental in my growth at Marcum.”)

Office Space: Marcum (“The brand new offices are state of the art and spacious.”)

Compensation: Marcum (“Marcum pays at the higher end of the pay scale. Compensation is extremely competitive.”)

Selectivity: PricewaterhouseCoopers (“We only strive to hire the best candidates.”)
Green initiatives: Goodman & Company (“Goodman has implemented a green office environment, with recycling programs throughout the office, and encourages green-type behavior related to electricity usage, etc.”)

Overall Business Outlook: Marcum (“Marcum is set up to thrive as soon as the economy turns around.”)

Overall Diversity: Kaufman, Rossin & Co. (“Gender, sexuality, race and religion are not factors in people being hired or promoted.”)

Diversity—Women: Goodman & Company (“The firm has been very supportive of diversity with respect to woman. There are many female partners and employees, and various options for flexible work schedules for working mothers.”)

Diversity—Minorities: Marcum (“We hire people solely on talent and ability.”)

Diversity—GLBTs: Kaufman, Rossin & Co. (“There is no discrimination against GLBT persons.”)

Vault.com’s Complete Accounting Quality of Life Rankings can be
accessed at http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/rankings/individual?rankingId1=179&rankingId2=180&rankings=2&regionId=0&rankingYear=2011.