Innovation showcase: CPA employers on the cutting edge

Meet employers who are giving CPAs new ways to work.
By Lea Hart

Completely virtual workplaces. Flat hierarchies. Employees who set their own hours. Vacation stipends.

Silicon Valley? Not quite.

Even in the fairly traditional world of accounting, some employers of CPAs have adopted cutting-edge practices associated with startup culture. They're promoting transparency, knowledge sharing, employee ownership, and flexible working environments that far surpass typical notions of work/life balance. And they're doing so not just because they want to improve recruitment and retention (though that's often the result), but because it's part of their culture.

Meet seven employers that have radically rethought the ways they relate to their CPAs—and learn how their innovative practices make their organizations more purposeful and productive places to work.

Click on the images below to read about the employers who are reinventing the accounting workplace:

BNA: A completely flat hierarchy
BNA: A completely flat hierarchy
At first glance, you might take Rock Hill, S.C.-based CPA firm BNA for a tech startup.
IntrapriseTechKnowlogies: Employees set their hours
IntrapriseTechKnowlogies: Employees set their hours
Forty hours may be a standard work-week—but there's no such thing as a "standard" CPA.
High Rock Accounting: Vacation stipends
High Rock Accounting: Vacation stipends
Would you like $1,000 to go on vacation this year? It’s yours at High Rock Accounting, but there’s a catch.
Frank, Rimerman and Co.: A coaching culture
Frank, Rimerman and Co.: A coaching culture
At California firm Frank, Rimerman and Co., coaching permeates the entire culture.
ClearPath Accountants: Transparent financials
ClearPath Accountants: Transparent financials
Transparency and ownership are the bywords at Denver-area firm ClearPath Accountants.
GMLCPA: Cross-training
GMLCPA: Cross-training
CEO and founder Gabrielle Luoma, CPA, CGMA, cross-trains her staff so they understand both their own and their co-workers’ roles.
SoulCycle: An intentional focus on culture
SoulCycle: An intentional focus on culture
Weekly staff meetings and town hall-style meetings allow employees in the corporate office in New York City to ask honest questions and get a response.

About the author

Lea Hart is a Durham, N.C.-based freelance writer. Courtney L. Vien, an AICPA associate editor, contributed to the sections on BNA and ClearPath Accountants. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact her at or 919-402-4125.

AICPA resources



  • The Engaged Employee: 10 Initiatives for Successful Firms (#PPM1402P, paperback; #PPM1402E, ebook)
  • Management of an Accounting Practice on Track (#MAPTKD, online access)

CPE self-study

  • Organisational Culture (#165605, online access, #GT-EOM-PRM3, group training)

For more information or to make a purchase, go to or call the Institute at 888-777-7077.

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