A nationwide survey found that employers aren’t delivering in a number of areas that matter most to younger workers in the accounting profession.

The focus of the “2006 CCH Young Accounting Professionals Survey” was on recruitment and retention, asking CPAs with between four and seven years of experience how well their firms were doing in four areas -- firm culture, benefits and compensation, professional training and development, and firm resources and infrastructure. 

Harris Interactive conducted the survey for CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business. More than 150 CPAs were randomly polled in July and August, ranging from workers at firms with less than five practitioners to firms with more than 100 employees.

In nearly every instance, fewer than half of firms received a very good rating on their ability to deliver on the attributes that the professionals had selected as the most important to them.
According to the survey’s respondents:

  • The top culture attributes at a firm include ethical leadership (63 percent), work/life balance (56 percent) and high quality feedback (24 percent). While more than half (55 percent) gave their firms a very good rating for ethical leadership, the work/life balance and high quality feedback attributes received very good ratings of 38 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
  • The top three most important benefits and compensation attributes are compensation, ( 74 percent), flexible hours (51 percent) and reward directly on merit (34 percent). While 45 percent of CPAs gave their firms a very good rating in terms of offering flexible hours, the other attributes received the rating from 20 percent or less of young CPAs.

The survey findings were released at the ongoing CCH User Conference. More information on the results is available at www.cch.com/press/news/2006/20061031t.asp.

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