Educational Competencies That Mid-Sized CPA Firms Value In Their Professional Accounting Staff

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Loren Margheim
Judith A. Hora
Diane Pattison


Educational Competencies, Mid-sized CPA Firms


This study examined the educational competencies mid-sized accounting firm partners value in their professional staff when making promotion decisions to senior, manager, and partner.  Mid-sized firms were defined in this study to include all of the non-Big 4 national firms, the large regional CPA firms, and several large local firms.  Over 1,380 partners received two mailings of a survey instrument and usable responses were received from 699 of those partners.  The paper summarizes the competencies the respondents indicated were important to be promoted in their firms.  In addition, the study summarizes demographic characteristics of those mid-sized accounting firm partners and the advantages they perceive of working for a mid-sized accounting firm.  Results indicate that technical accounting skills are very important to mid-sized firms, but that their relative importance decreases as individuals are considered for higher level positions.  On the other hand, the importance of communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills grows all the way through the partner promotion decision.


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