Women and Family Issues/ Government Accounting

The JofA inadvertently left out a sidebar when it published the article “Toward An Equal Future” on page 71 in the June 1999 issue. We apologize for the omission. Below is the sidebar in its entirety.

Women CPAs in Government

Would you like better hours? A more-flexible vacation and leave policy—one that can accommodate a vacation during tax season or a 12-week leave if a serious family situation requires it? How about a secure retirement plan that includes cost-shared health care?

As women CPAs in federal, state and local government, my colleagues and I have found advantages such as upward mobility, regular schedules and employee benefits. Depending on the job responsibilities and the government agency, colleagues also find:

  • Flexible hours, days and work sites.
  • Opportunity to telecommute part of the week.
  • Travel as an optional requirement.
  • Additional temporary flexibility for long-time employees as needed.

At my government agency, the work itself is very challenging and not an impediment to maintaining our work/life balance. Some colleagues pursue the leading edge of accounting practice: interpreting the application of GAAP to specific facts and circumstances, establishing the staff position on issues in the professional literature and enforcing professional standards and federal regulations for entities under our jurisdiction. Other colleagues have found interesting opportunities with our inspector general or in the budgeting, analysis and accounting operations for our agency, so crucial to continuing our mission. During the period since1993 the overall percentage of women colleagues has gone up by about 20%, with an even greater increase of women in the Office of the Chief Accountant of the Commission, the most prestigious level for CPAs on staff.

In contrast to public practice, the emphasis for government CPAs at work is not billable hours, marketing strategies and mandatory overtime but quality of output and quality of life. I recommend it.

For further information relevant to CPAs in government, check out the AICPA Web page at www.aicpa.org/members/div/cpagov/index.htm or send an e-mail to cpagov@aicpa.org .

—Jeanne Sizoo Bennett, CPA

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as a matter of policy, disclaims responsibility for any private publication or statement by any of its employees. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the commission or of the author’s colleagues on the staff of the commission.


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