Betsy's Pretty Good Blog

I'm puzzled. . . and so are my colleagues

June 24, 2013
confused signs pointing in different directions

One thing that universally puzzles State Society CEOs is the reluctance of CPA firms to significantly invest in personal development for their young staff. This is true even though firms consistently list “Finding qualified staff”, “Retaining qualified staff” and “Succession Planning” as top concerns.

View more survey results from CPA firms 

This is so out of sync with what talented young professionals want. Personal development is cited as one of the six professional motivators that are most important to them.

Traditional technical CPE is, of course, important but equally critical is a commitment to the personal development of young staff. Perhaps they would benefit from a series of sessions with a professional career coach? Or training in making impactful presentations? Or maybe you have a really talented young CPA who doesn’t quite get the concept of professional dress? How about an internal leadership book club?

Jennifer Wilson of Convergence Coaching has a great blog post, “Let’s Stop Paying Lip Service to People Development." where she focuses on firms’ reluctance to place a priority on people development skills when evaluating candidates for future partners.

A huge number of Boomers are leaving the profession who will have to be replaced. In addition, there is growth in the number of accounting jobs overall. If firms continue to ignore personal development, why do they think that current young CPAs will stay or that they’ll attract top talent from elsewhere?

Your thoughts?


Phyllis Burdette commented on Jul. 25, 2013:
Good comments, Betsy.

Comment on this post

* Indicates a required field.

Your name*:  

Your website URL: