In 2015 the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) reported that although nearly half of all new CPAs entering the field were women, only about 14% of women held partner or principal positions.
So what’s being done to integrate more female CPAs into executive roles?
Ever sine 1989, the AICPA has continued developing its Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee (WIEC) to create workshops, professional networks, webinars, and literary articles to advocate and support women seeking leadership jobs. Yet, in more recent years another group has surfaced to offer women even better chances of landing high-ranking positions: the Accounting MOVE Project.
The theory behind the Accounting MOVE Project is that more women will rise to more prominent titles through executive sponsorship. Basically, executive sponsorship is a type of planned succession wherein executives help groom candidates, particularly women, for future leadership roles when replacements, retirements, and new positions become inevitably necessary.
The Accounting MOVE Project also distributes a survey to top accounting and financial firms throughout the country to assess the condition of women in the accounting field. According to the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) the survey focuses on four specific aspects of success: Money, Opportunity, Vital support, and Entrepreneurship.
This year, the Accounting MOVE Project ranked the 10 Best CPA Firms for Women based on three major attributes:
- Steady and quantifiable evidence of leadership progression of women
- Active programs that secure the advancement of women
- Strong incorporation of executive sponsorship initiatives
The results were as follows:
- The Bonadio Group (Pittsford, NY)
- Burr Pilger Mayer (San Francisco, CA)
- Clark Nuber (Bellevue, WA)
- CohnReznick (New York, NY)
- Frazier & Deeter (Atlanta, GA)
- Lurie (Minneapolis, MN)
- MCM CPAs and Advisors (Louisville, KY)
- Moss Adams (Seattle, WA)
- Plante Moran (Southfield, MI)
- Rehmann (Troy, MI)