As best practices in HR spread throughout the accounting profession, it’s getting harder and harder for firms to differentiate themselves, so they need to take every chance to reinforce their unique qualities.

In the annual ranking of the Best Firms to Work For that we compile in partnership with Best Firms Group, we see a large number of best practices that are common to all of the program participants, whether they make the list or not – and a much smaller list of practices where there is a significant gap between the Best Firms and the also-rans.

Below is a list of policies and HR offerings where the gap between the percentage of Best Firms that embrace them and the percentage of other firms was well above average. While some of these may not be practical for firms of every size, they’ll at least give you an idea of where the best are pulling ahead.

  • Reimbursement/assistance for business education workshops or conferences – 95% vs. 84% 
  • Reimbursement/assistance for professional certifications – 93% vs. 83%
  • Offering flexible hours or compressed work week – 92% vs. 82%
  • Offering telecommuting options – 90% vs. 77%
  • Paid time off for community service activities/volunteer work – 88% vs. 76%
  • Offering fitness and/or wellness programs – 87% vs. 79%
  • Offering lactation facilities of breast-feeding mothers – 82% vs. 67%
  • Offering facilities to promote exercise and fitness – 63% vs. 48%

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