What does it take for women to advance in accounting? The Accounting MOVE Project is finding the answer - and has come to some insightful conclusions.

For one, many firms have extensive support and work-life programs in place for working parents during busy season. Yet they do a terrible job communicating this, perpetuating the stereotype that accounting firms are unfriendly to women.

Last year, the project - co-sponsored by the American Society of Women Accountants and the American Woman's Society of CPAs - introduced an inaugural report to measure and support the advancement of women at public accounting firms, with the goal of equipping firm leaders and women with practical strategies.

Wilson-Taylor Associates, the firm that released the inaugural report of the Accounting MOVE Project, is looking for firms to participate in their sophomore effort - one that will focus on Gen Y women, the partnership pipeline and measurement strategies.

Last year, the project found that 51 percent of firm employees were women, and that they make up 49 percent of all managers. The ceiling, however, is at the senior-manager level, where women comprise 40 percent of senior managers and 17 percent of partners.

The report also found that firms often overlook women's aptitude for business development. Let's say it together out loud: Women can and do bring in new business!

Firms of all sizes are encouraged to get involved. Registration for the 2011 survey, which is due out in mid-April, is now open at www.wilson-taylorassoc.com. Applications will be accepted into mid-January, but the earlier you get it in, the better.

We're looking forward to the future here at Accounting Tomorrow. Are you? Tell us your predictions at tomorrow@sourcemedia.com.

- Liz Gold

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