Reasons vary why professional Gen Y or new-to-the-firm Gen X staff might leave a firm, but that some reasons stand out, according to firms recently surveyed.

Relocation for personal reasons, incompatibility with a firm's culture, and a desire for more work/life balance are most-cited reasons. Close behind: Young staffers leave to work as CPAs in industry.

Going to work for a competing firm, dislike of public accounting, and a general change in professions are next most-cited.

Lack of challenging assignments, mentoring, and advancement opportunities; education challenges/CPA exam; desire for more money; and a desire to work closer to home are among the least-cited reasons for young staffers to leave.

Look for Practical Accountant's cover story on onboarding new staff in its May issue.