During the first-ever Women's Forum in May, we had the privilege of speaking to a group of 200 professional women who were smart and fun, and had plenty to say about what is working and not working in our industry. One of the most interesting ideas bantered about was part-time partners as a common concept for the firm of the future. We decided to speak with a few firms that are blazing the trail for others to follow and have currently implemented this practice.The part-time partner position within the firm is relatively new. It usually results when someone making a major life change approaches the firm to ask for a new way to work. This life change could be the joyous occasion of a new baby, or it could be the other most joyous occasion in life - retirement!

Read almost any industry magazine or book today, and you will note three realities that will make this a necessary practice for accounting firms over the next few years:

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