Contrary to what most CPA firm partners believe, advancement, not compensation, is the top priority among most young CPAs in deciding whether to join and stay with a firm, according to an AICPA survey.
The Top Talent Study by the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) asked 646 young CPAs in spring 2006 what was most important to them in choosing an employer. It also asked 645 partners what they thought recruits most prized. The respondents were drawn from 600 firms.
Ninety-three percent of partners said they thought salary was the new recruits’ chief concern; but the recruits ranked it third, below growth opportunities and paid personal/vacation time. In fact, 80% of young professionals placed a chance to move up in the firm as their most important consideration. Partners said they thought advancement opportunities would rank fourth, behind medical benefits and paid time off.
The AICPA incorporated the findings with recommendations for firms in a guide, Gaining a Strategic Advantage in Recruiting and Retention. PCPS members can obtain a free copy by going to www.aicpa.org/pcps . It is also available for $30 to other AICPA members and $37.50 for nonmembers at www.cpa2biz.com .