Accounting MOVE Project releases 2020 report on female leadership

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The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and its Accounting MOVE Project released their 2020 report, detailing female leadership and gender equity at CPA firms.

MOVE (Money, Opportunity, Vital supports, and Entrepreneurship), sponsored by CohnReznick, Moss Adams, and other participating firms, focuses on the advancement of female leaders via yearly reviews.

The 2020 MOVE Project results were based on survey results from 43 participating firms that were polled during the first quarter of 2020.

Notable figures from this year's report include:

  • 90 percent of firms have partners and principals review internal pay equity surveys, up from 71 percent in 2014.
  • 48 percent of firms conduct internal pay equity surveys that include base pay and bonuses.
  • 52 percent of polled firms rotate emerging women leaders into client-facing roles (an all-time high). Additionally, 38 percent of firms offer rotations onto executive task forces, another all-time high.
  • 69 percent of MOVE Project firms report actively exploring new lines of business, compared to 39 percent in 2014.

“The findings of this year’s report solidifies that women are extending positive change into the financial workforce by creating new initiatives and client retention with creativity and leadership,” said Cindy Stanley, executive director for the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), the association partner for the Accounting MOVE Project. “The unique perspectives and reliability of women in finance will continue to create new streams of opportunity and pave the way for progress.”

“Collaboration, diverse perspectives, and a growth mindset are important ingredients to fueling new services and a firm’s growth," said Jennifer Wyne, executive director of human resources for Moss Adams, founding sponsor of the MOVE Project, in a statement. "This year’s study shows many examples of how women leverage these leadership capabilities to create a competitive advantage for their firms.”

The Best CPA Firms for Women list, sponsored by AFWA, highlights the best firms for women based on MOVE polling results. The firms, in alphabetical order, are:

  • The Bonadio Group (Pittsford, N.Y.)
  • BPM (San Francisco)
  • Brown Smith Wallace (St. Louis)
  • Clark Nuber PS (Bellevue, Wash.)
  • CohnReznick LLP (New York)
  • Eide Bailly (Fargo, N.D.)
  • Lurie LLP (Minneapolis)
  • MCM CPAs and Advisors (Louisville, Ky.)
  • Moss Adams (Seattle)
  • Novogradac & Co. LLP (San Francisco)
  • OUM (San Francisco)
  • Plante Moran (Southfield, Mich.)
  • Rehmann (Troy, Mich.)

The report's 2020 Best CPA Firms for Equity Leadership highlighted firms with at least 50 staff members where women make up at least at least 33 percent of partners and principals. Top firms this year include:

  • Kaiser Consulting (Columbus, Ohio) — 100 percent women on management committee
  • Kerkering, Barberio & Co. (Sarasota, Fla.) — 60 percent of women partners and principals
  • KWC (Alexandria, Va.) — 60 percent of women partners and principals
  • Bader Martin (Seattle, Wa.) — 54 percent of women partners and principals
  • James Moore & Co. (Gainesville, Fla.) — 53 percent of women partners and principals
  • Jones & Roth (Eugene, Ore.) — 50 percent of women partners and principals

For the full 2020 MOVE report, head to AFWA's site here.

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Diversity and equality Gender issues