Friday, November 03, 2006

Boston's Landscape

Boston firms are in need of CPAs with a few years of experience under their belts, not only in taking on accounting chores, but also in managing staff. In Boston last week, David J. Clarkson, a CPA who is vice president of human resources for Vitale, Caturano & Co., told me "there are a lot of firms here, and we need people with six years of experience - say, the three-to-seven year people." The trick, he said, is finding accountants who can also be supervisors, especially in areas like tax, Sarbanes-Oxley, internal audit and technical risk. "It's hard to find good people who want to work in public accounting in those areas," Clarkson said. You can read my full story here.

I hope to write more about Vitale, Caturano. The place has an air about it that's not all calculated atmosphere. To hear Dave tell it, the firm will do pretty much anything reasonable to keep talented staff on board, and has a higher-than-average retention rate. It offers on-site yoga classes, parking, flex-time, free food ("food is very important to us," Dave said) and a waterfront location. One of the interesting points he made about the industry's overall approach to retention is that such things worked. He thinks they'll be around for a long time.

In fairness, I should point out Dave's observation that the firm's culture was a part of its founders' vision. It was about having fun, not "employee retention." The last time I was in an office like this, I was visiting Steve Jobs' old NeXT Computer as part of a contingent from Dow Jones.

Experience in Demand for Boston CPAs [JITM]
Vitale, Caturano

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