Friday, March 30, 2007

CPA Firms Among N.J.'s Best Places to Work

For those of you who don't live there, New Jersey gets a bad rap. It's not all the Turnpike and Newark Airport. People who've lived there have usually figured it out. (Though it's true what they say about the taxes. If a former CEO of Goldman Sachs can't figure them out, the Garden State's got bigger problems.)

That aside, NJBiz unveiled its annual list of best places to work, and a number of the honorees are accounting firms:

  • Amper, Politziner & Mattia
  • Deloitte & Touche USA LLP
  • J.H. Cohn LLP
  • Rothstein Kass
  • WithumSmith+Brown
  • Cowan, Gunteski & Co., P.A.
  • Crowe Chizek and Company LLC
  • Friedman LLP
  • Grant Thornton LLP
  • Sax Macy Fromm & Co., PC
  • Sobel & Co. LLC
  • Wilkin & Guttenplan, P.C.
See the whole list through the link below.

Best Places to Work New Jersey 2007 [NJBiz]

Feel Free to Send Stuff

We'd really like to do a better job of telling people what's going on at different firms and different markets around the country. So, if you hear of something you might be interesting to others out in the accounting and finance world, send it our way. If you want to keep yourself behind the scenes, we'll respect that - and won't tell a soul who we heard the news from. If you want your name emblazed on the glory of the Internet, we're alway happy to oblige. Send your tips to editor (at) Or, just post a comment below.

Been Here So Long...

Some good tips on CareerJournal for anyone who's spent most of their career at a single company, something that one recruiter calls "an absolute red flag." Sad but true - It's as much of a flag as listing, say, 10 jobs in 10 years on your resume. So, writes Dana Mattioli, consider these tips:

  1. Show progression.
  2. Show adaptability.
  3. Use numbers.
  4. Group skills together under subheadings.
  5. Bolster experience.

There are links to sample resumes and, of course, a few war stories to go along with them.

Five Resume Tips for When You Can List Only One Employer [CareerJournal]

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Outlook in Columbus

From Columbus Business First:

In a separate study, Robert Half found that 3 percent of the 200 chief financial officers interviewed in the Columbus region plan to hire accounting and finance professionals during the second quarter, while 1 percent anticipate reductions. The remaining 94 percent foresee no changes in their staffing levels.

During the first quarter, the survey found 6 percent of CFOs interviewed had said they expected to hire, while 1 percent anticipated reductions.

Survey: IT, accounting jobs scarce in 2Q [Columbus Business First]

How to Swap Your Career

Okay, let's admit it: Not everyone in accounting loves their job. (This being a career site, some people say I'm supposed to be enthusiastic all the time. Bah. Humbug.)

Does this strike a chord?

For most of his career, Tom White says he was "living in the world of could have been."

Over 23 years, Mr. White held senior management titles in audit and internal treasury operations at several big Canadian banks. In each of them, however, the problem was the same: "I hated what I was doing," Mr. White says.

"I would wake up in the morning not wanting to go to work. I found I wasn't getting intellectual challenge and there weren't really any opportunities to change or move higher."

He dreamed of a career with less bureaucracy, more autonomy and more opportunity to innovate. Though he kept telling himself he could have that dream job, he never took action to find it.

What did he do about it? Toronto's Globe and Mail says he invested in aptitude tests, hired a career coach and studied options in consulting, private equity and finance. Now he's, embarked on the path of finance manager for a mortgage insurance company. "He's looking forward to the challenge with fresh enthusiasm because it is a smaller organization that affords him the autonomy, ability to innovate and opportunities for advancement that he craves."

Wallace Immen's article explores how he got there - and how you might, too, if you're so inclined.

Waking up is hard to do when a job's unfit for you [Globe and Mail]

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Good Jobs for Career Changers

Money Magazine has unveiled what it calls the "best jobs for people looking to upgrade their careers." The list is focused on "second act" paths for career changers, parents returning to work, retiring military personnel and workers over 50. Accounting and financial analyst jobs are on the list. The whole package is here.

Safe From Outsourcing? Maybe Think Again

Economist Alan Blinder thinks the impact of free trade is about a lot more than moving customer service jobs to India or manufacturing to China. It could very well be all about you.

Today's Wall Street Journal details the evolution on Blinder's thinking on globalization and its impact on jobs. Blinder, say reporters David Wessel and Bob Davis, sees as many as 40 million jobs being at risk of moving offshore over the next 20 or so years - more than double the number of American workers involved in manufacturing today.

What kind of jobs are at the most risk? According to Blinder, it's those that don't require a lot of face-to-face contact. What's that mean for Accounting? It could mean many tax accounting positions or financial analyst jobs are at-risk of moving. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks on are Blinder's list of most vulnerable positions.

To be sure, Blinder's thinking is deeply rooted in theory. As Wessel and Davis write:

The original Industrial Revolution, the move from farm to factory, unquestionably boosted living standards, but triggered an enormous change in "how and where people lived, how they educated their children, the organization of businesses, the form and practices of governments." He says today's trickle of jobs overseas, where they are tethered to the U.S. by fiber-optic cables, is the beginning of a change of similar dimensions, and American society needs similarly far-reaching changes to cope. "I'm trying to convince a bunch of economists who are deeply skeptical and hard to convince," he says.

Blinder wants to see American students trained for jobs that are likely to remain in the U.S. and tax incentives developed to encourage employers to create them.

The Journal notes Blinder's thinking is far from mainstream - he's "in a minority among economists, most of whom emphasize the enormous gains from trade," the article says.

"He's dead wrong," says Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati, who will debate Mr. Blinder at Harvard in May over his assertions about the magnitude of job losses from trade. Mr. Bhagwati says that in highly skilled fields such as medicine, law and accounting, "If we do a real balance sheet, I have no doubt we're creating far more jobs than we're losing."

Pain From Free Trade Spurs Second Thoughts [WSJ - $]

Portrait of the Accountant as Regulator

Here's a profile by of the SEC's chief accountant, Conrad W. Hewitt, which appears in today's Washington Post. Hewitt, 70, says the position is providing him with a nice way to "cap his career."

The previous occupant of the chief accountant's office, Donald T. Nicolaisen, was a veteran partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers who made a name for himself by mastering accounting policies for sophisticated financial contracts known as derivatives. Nicolaisen had worked in the prestigious national office of his former accounting firm, where he fielded difficult technical and ethics questions. By contrast, Hewitt spent his last years at Ernst managing personnel and ensuring that clients were satisfied.

Dennis R. Beresford, a professor at the University of Georgia and one of Hewitt's first supervisors in the 1960s, said, "Lots of people can do accounting, but if you can't allocate your resources properly and keep clients reasonably happy with your services, it's hard to make any money."

A Businessman Who Keeps the Books [Washington Post]

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

C-Level CPAs Say Economy's Looking Up

CPAs who're also C level executives - meaning CEOs, CFOs and the like - are more optimistic about the economy than they've been in three years. The AICPA's Business and Industry Economic Outlook first quarter survey found that 68 percent of them believe their businesses will expand over the next year. Fifty five percent of them see themselves increasing headcount, and half said they firms will spend more on employee training and development. On the flip side, they're worried about employee benefit costs.

CPA Executives are Optimistic About Business Growth, AICPA Survey Reveals [PRNewswire]

Ah, The Support of Your Loved Ones

A great article in today's Wall Street Journal on the dangers of asking spouses or significant others for job advice:

Most of our career accomplishments wouldn't be possible without the love and support of our spouses. Neither would some office gaffes. The betrothed are often selectively informed, sometimes overestimate victories, and can be clueless to the office culture. Delivered with the best of intentions and honey-sweetie coddling, their advice reinforces loony behavior that a reality smack could have prevented.


Workplace signs of an in-home badviser are easy to mistake for run-of-the-mill office aggrandizement. Dead giveaways include sudden spikes in huffiness, britches-busting antics such as raising a hand for a job for which one is vastly unqualified, self-congratulation over old accomplishments and threats to quit. All are the results of incitements such as, "You march right in there" or the ever-popular, "Tell 'em to shove it!"

Our Better HalvesSometimes ExposeOur Worst Side [WSJ - $]

Friday, March 23, 2007

You're Not Job Hunting - You're Marketing

BusinessWeek interviews Rachelle (Shelley) Canter, author of the newly published Make the Right Career Move.

What else stands in people's way?

Too many people, especially people well-established in their careers, mistakenly view a job search as an opportunity to announce their availability when it's really about marketing themselves. A successful job search is a marketing challenge. And if you don't have a brand, you have nothing to market.

Can you define "brand" in the context of job search?

Whether you're starting out a career or have been in it for years, no one is the same chief marketing officer, nurse, litigator, or stock analyst you are. Your brand is a factual statement of your unique and valuable way of doing things. One way to define your brand is through the specific set of accomplishments in your résumé. Your goal is to present the strongest brand you can.

Three Obstacles to a Career Move [BusinessWeek]

PwC's Chair Talks to WSJ

PricewaterhouseCoopers disclosed its financial results the other day, the first time the U.S. branch of a Big Four firm has done so. Chairman Dennis Nally sat for an interview with The Wall Street Journal which, in addition to a meaty discussion about the disclosure, noted:

The son of a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, Mr. Nally was born in Washington, D.C., and went to college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, deciding on a career in accounting during his senior year. An avid boater, Mr. Nally keeps a 44-foot powerboat in Florida, which he calls his biggest extravagance.

Nally told the Journal that PwC distributed between $1 billion and $1.4 billion in profits among its 2,069 partners.

Accounting's Crisis Killer [WSJ - $]

Outsourcing = Age Discrimination?

When I asked JobsintheMoney users for their thoughts on outsourcing, I learned both outsourcing and age discrimination are on a lot of people's minds. The question was spurred by a poll we ran the week of March 13, which found nearly 53 percent of our users believe outsourcing threatens their jobs. About 29 percent said their positions weren't at-risk, and 18 percent said they weren't sure.

Many of messages we got were from people in their 50s or early 60s who seem to equate outsourcing with age discrimination. "I am so tired of hearing people in my age group denigrate themselves and think that employers are taking a 'chance' by hiring us," one person wrote. "What I see these days that has a 'college education' is almost amusing. Many … who consider themselves 'engineers' cannot write a grammatically correct 3 sentence email."

Read more responses through the link below.

Letters: Your Comments on Outsourcing [JITM]

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Making Your Resume Effective

Stefanie H. Spikell (a Deloitte alum) offers tips on creating an effective resume on the Big 4 Newsletter. Her advice goes from the obvious ("check for typos") to the more subtle but still important ("Personnel managers are most interested in your experience from the last 10 years, so focus on your most recent and most relevant career experience.") Her whole article is at the link below.

Resume Corner: The Best Resume Content [Big 4 Newsletter]

Pampered in Pennsylvania

Goldenberg Rosenthal, a firm in Jenkintown, Pa., is trying to ease the trials of its employees in the run-up to tax day, on the theory that firms who focus solely on their clients "are missing half of the equation," in the words HR Director Joanne Zeitz.

Nearly every night of the work week, the firm's in-house meeting coordinator and caterer prepares home-cooked meals, including such comfort staples as chocolate cake, for up to 70 hungry staffers. Saturday raffle drawings provide all GR staff with a chance to win gift cards to favorite retailers. Firm wide, a much-anticipated calculator challenge offers employees a chance to vie for the "Champion of the Adding Machine" trophy in addition to receiving a generous prize, and, within a few short days of the April 15 deadline passing, every employee is invited to enjoy lunch and a gift card to a spa or time on the links with prizes and refreshments sponsored by the firm.

Goldenberg Rosenthal has 21 partners and about 130 employees, organized by both service specialty and industry-specific practice groups. (This is all from a press release, and thanks to Jonathan Berr for sending this in.)

Quick, Solid Career Advice

Though Terri Dial is a banker - she's executive director of retail banking for Lloyds TSB and formerly was an executive at Wells Fargo - much of the career advice she gave during an eFinancialCareers event in London offers applies in our accounting world. She covers everything from politics to weighing corporate culture, and keeping all of it in a useful perspective. This item's a quick read and worth your time.

Career Advice from the Top [JITM]

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Singing On-Key

I've been getting a lot of e-mail lately from people who say they can't find this war for talent everyone's talking about. (More on that later - I'm going to post some of the letters.) Dona DeZube wrote a story for us on why some may not be landing jobs they're sure they're qualified for:

Knowing what you're seeking can help you recognize the right job. "Make a list of what you are looking for in a firm," says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, principal, Human Resource Solutions in Northampton, Mass. "Your list may include items like work-life balance, high profile clients, opportunities to mentor or be mentored, etc." Seek out companies that appear to fit your profile, rather than specific jobs. "Confirm this by reviewing a company's Web site, looking over its benefit package and asking people you know - who either work there or have left the firm - for an insider's view of the organization," she says.

One passage that didn't make the final edition, but is still interesting:

Even those with no prior experience can sometimes hit the wrong notes during a job search. “We do see students who graduate and expect to become the CFO in three months, or perhaps have the power to influence and change corporate culture within weeks of their hire,” acknowledges Jason Eckert, associate director of the Marquette University Career Services Center. “It could be partially due to generational difference. Perhaps parents or others are feeding them advice that they can have all that, or that’s how they’ve been raised.”

The whole article's at the link below.

The 'American Idol Factor' in Job Interviews [JITM]

Retire? When There's So Much to Do?

Carolyn Kepcher, she of Donald Trump's Apprentice fame, says baby boomers who want to keep on working are in a good position:

In its "2005 Future of the U.S. Labor Pool Survey," the Society for Human Resource Management reports that only a quarter of members surveyed believe that the flood of retiring baby boomers will be a problem to their organization. But 43% responded that it has the potential to become a problem.

And half of respondents said they are seeing new workers entering the workforce lacking overall professionalism, written communications skills, analytical skills or business knowledge. Let's not overlook the fact that the number of new employees entering the workforce each year is considerably less than the number leaving.


Many employers are doing whatever they can to tap into the knowledge and experience these workers can still bring to the table.

For boomers, that means a growing number of flexible, well-paid positions as consultants, mentors and part-time employees.

Couple that with the ongoing need for accounting and finance talent, and the 60-ish among us would seem to be in a good place.

More boomers staying in the rat race [NY Daily News]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

IRS Career Open House in N.Y.

A press release from the IRS:
Want to learn more about a career with the Internal Revenue Service Large and Mid-Size Business Division? IRS has many career paths for professionals including Revenue Agent, International Examiner, Financial Products Specialist, Computer Audit Specialist, Economist, Engineer, and Appraiser.

Interested persons may attend a Career Open House on April 24, 2007 at the IRS office on 290 Broadway between Duane and Reade Streets in Manhattan. Senior leaders from the Large and Mid-Size Business Division (LMSB), recruiters,
managers, and recent hires from the private sector will be on site, ready to talk to potential applicants and answer questions about working at the IRS.

Specific position requirements vary, but generally LMSB is looking for mid-career professionals with higher education, certification and experience in their sisciplines, good communication and office computer skills, and U.S. citizenship.

The IRS offers federal benefits beyond those in the private sector, including job stability - we are not going out of business, merging or consolidating. Enjoy a better quality of life with a 40-hour workweek, competitive salaries, portable retirement plan, and continuing education. The IRS is an equal opportunity employer.

For additional information on the Open House, please contact

Off-Topic: A Career Change You Don't Want

In case you've never heard of it, the Web site Wonkette is a blog covering politics, social shenanigans and other issues of importance in Washington, D.C. Among other things, that makes them more cynical than we are. But they pointed out the kind of job posting you'll never see here, along with wondering just who in DC would go to Careerbuilder for this kind of thing in the first place. Here's the ad, and Wonkette's missive is here.


Political family requires laundress for cleaning and ironing an immense wardrobe. All items require extra care and attention.

At least three years of experience in a similar title is required for this position. Applicants must be able to furnish excellent references and prove ability to care for designer clothing. All applicants must have a strong command of the English language and be legal to work for any employer in the United States.

For the record, pay is in the 40s.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Kerkering Barberio and Family Benefits

A glowing profile of the Florida firm Kerkering Barberio in the Bradenton Herald:

Kerkering Barberio also serves its employees, about two-thirds of whom are women, Nicholas said. The firm allows its employees to work flexible schedules and take time off to have children.

It's important to have that work-life balance and, as the company looks to the next 35 years, it will continue to evolve and move forward, Lane said.

"We probably will stick close to the area and bring on more services and people to our clients," he said. "We'll continue to add value to what our clients need from us."

League of their own [Bradenton Herald]

PWC Leaving Syracuse, Memphis

PricewaterhouseCoopers is closing its 86-person office in Syracuse, N.Y., and its 59-person office in Memphis as part of a national realignment of priorities. Employees will be offered either assignments in other local offices or severance packages, though details haven't been worked out yet. PWC says there will be "no disruption" to clients.

PricewaterhouseCoopers out [Memphis Commercial Appeal]
'Big Four' accounting firm closes office in Syracuse [Newsday]

Minority Student Program in Ohio

The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants is sponsoring a week-long program to encourage minority high school students to pursue careers in the field. The Accounting Careers Awareness Program will be held in Columbus from June 24 through the 28th.

Students interested in applying must submit an application, a 200-word essay and one letter of reference. Applications can be completed online at and must be submitted by April 6.

Accounting careers program aimed at minority students []

For Working Mothers

Among this year's list of Working Mother magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For are Accenture, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and RSM McGladrey. The magazine paid extra attention to corporate leave policies "because it's critical for a mother to be able to stay home as long as possible with her newborn without suffering professionally." The kind of benefits that caught the editors' attention: backup childcare, extended parenting networks, and parenting leaves for both mothers and fathers. See the whole list at [Working Mother]

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why Juggling's a Good Thing

When I started reading Penelope Trunk's article about "embracing instability" in your career, I thought she was a tad whacked. But she's not. What's she's doing is putting today's tendency to change jobs - or even careers - into a the logical perspective of this century. Her bottom line: The people who are most adept at dealing with transition are the people who will do best in their careers and in their lives.

In particular, this struck me:

Be comfortable with uncertainty. Eve Ensler, author of the play "The Vagina Monologues" and more recently the book "Necessary Targets," thinks one cause of insecurity in our lives is the expectation of being secure. "If you think you'll get to the point that you'll be secure, then you'll be chronically depressed," says Ensler.

Since we can never really be secure, we should instead learn to be comfortable with that. Getting good at dealing with a world that does not provide security is actually a more healthy way to live than trying to find that one, perfect path through life that leads to mythical security.

Ensler's ideas suggest that today's career paths, which wind and stop and turn and surprise us along the way, may be better for us once we get used to not knowing what's ahead. "When you start working with ambiguity and living with it initially, it's scary because there are no signposts. But eventually it seems to be a much more interesting way of living."

Given that CPAs tend to look over the fence at another way of life as the hours mount up, it's an interesting point of view.

The key is to embrace instability [Boston Globe]

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who's Not Getting a Job?

Two interesting comments to our JobsintheMoney story on demand for CPAs in Massachusetts (see it here):

Interesting to see this article. There are accountants out here willing to go to work. The problem is age discrimination, which, by the way, is against the law. Most, if not all, of this firms will hire only the 20 something crowd. I am a middle aged person who was a victim of a massive layoff from an IT company a few years ago and went to college during my unemployed time and pursued a B.S. in Accounting. Now, sadly, I have faced much discrimination when trying to pursue an entrly level staff accountant. A 'culture of youth' has been created in these companies to the point they will not hire anyone else unless it is a senior executive level. Until the profession changes it hiring practices, it will continue to suffer as displayed in this article. Age discrimination is alive and well in the accounting profession. So don't complain about "shortage of accountants" when there is plenty if you are willing to stop the silly
politically correct hiring practices.

And this one:

Recently, I've been reading a lot of articles on about the demand for CPAs or accountants. I've been trying to transition out of actuary work into accounting. I'm lacking the CPA certification by 1 exam and I have experience around tax matters, disclosures required by SEC ect. However, no opportunities have presented itself, so the demand I keep reading about I don't see it. So Mr. Berr maybe this demand is for experienced (e.g. Big 4) hires only. Just a thought.

I'd be curious to hear what others think. (I've my own opinions, of course, but I think the views of other CPAs - with or without jobs - would be far more interesting....) Post your comment below.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

At Home = Experience

Last week, Sue Shellenbarger of The Wall Street Journal tackled how you can transform efforts you've undertaken at home into experience a hiring manager might appreciate. The context is for people returning to the workforce after taking time off to raise children or spend serious time on other family issues. (Everyone says "people," but everyone also knows most of these people, for now anyway, are women.) Since attracting such folks is a priority of many of the larger accounting firms, it's helpful to know what works and what doesn't.

As tempting as it may be to talk about hard-won nurturing skills, most managers probably aren't ready for that. A mother might want to say, "Balancing the conflicting needs of a toddler and a teenager shows she's a good time manager," says Catherine Carbone Rogers, Des Moines, Wash., former president of Mothers & More, an advocacy group, and a former gap mom who has returned to work. "That may be true, but it's not going to carry a great deal of credibility with an employer."

The article might be on CareerJournal, too, but I found it on the paid WSJ site.

Turning Stay-at-Home SkillsInto Career-Track Assets [WSJ - $]

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Flip Side of High Demand

Compliance pressures boards, boards pressure chief financial officers, and chief financial officers find new jobs. That, apparently, is the chain of events rearing its head throughout corporate America. A survey from Tatum, LLC, says more than 2,300 CFOs will leave their jobs in the course of 2007. "Many CFOs are fired or resign not because they weren't a good match for the company when they were hired 20 months ago, but rather because the business has evolved so quickly that their capacity and capabilities are no longer an ideal match for the company," Richard D'Amaro, Tatum Chairman and chief executive, was quoted as saying by SmartPros.

Survey Predicts Record High CFO Departures in 2007 [SmartPros]

Friday, March 09, 2007

In Massachusetts, Small Firms Need Love, Too

Well, maybe not love, but they sure need more CPAs on staff. The pressure on Big Four firms trickles down in many ways:

"The marketplace is very challenging from an employer's standpoint," adds Barry Beck, a CPA with a practice in Woburn, Mass. "A kid coming out of school today almost knows nothing form a production standpoint … The on-the-job training that's needed is immense."

People with three to five years of experience are especially difficult to find because they're getting settled in their careers, says Kimberly Sackie, controller of Walter & Shuffain, a 45-person firm in Norwood, Mass. "We, like most accounting firms, could use staff at various levels right now," she says. Other firms are trying to keep their workers happy by instituting casual business dress and offering reduced hours when business is slow. Some, like Walter & Shuffain, provide meals and massages for people working late or weekends during the tax season.

In Mass., Small Firms Compete Hard for CPAs [JITM]

Thursday, March 08, 2007

If Looks Could...

From Eve Tahmincioglu's column on MSNBC. You pride yourself on competence, but when it comes to climbing the business ladder, looks count.

Based on our survey, men may be living in a state of delusion since appearance seems to play a big role in how subordinates perceive their bosses.

So women may have an upper hand because they realize looks sell, says Siegal, and “men don’t realize it’s an important dynamic.”

“You’d be a fool if you didn’t use your looks to your advantage and make the most with what you’ve got,” he notes. “Do not pretend it doesn’t matter. It’s a huge part of life in the 21st century.'"

Power of attraction rules in workplace [MSNBC]

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

You're A Social Animal

Here's an article for anyone feeling gray today: The Sioux City Journal profiles Linda Shoemaker, CPA, CMA, and a partner in firm of Nichols, Rise & Company.

OK, she admits, there are a few accountants who look like that pocket-protector-wearing Milton schlep in "Office Space." But they are the exceptions.

"Accountants have to be social," she said. "They have to be people persons because there's nothing that we do that doesn't interact with people. It doesn't matter whether you're in private industry or public accounting, you have to function with other people."

It's a basic profile piece, but if you're wondering how other accountants juggle the demands of partnership and families, it has some good observations.

Her husband Sid, an insurance agent in Sioux City, has the more flexible, part-time job as a kind of "Mister Mom," a role they agreed on when she jumped on the partner track. His job simply gives him the flexibility to stay home with the kids ... but with the "kids" in college, high school and middle school now, that takes less time these days.

Her children have accepted her career choice, and she attends as many of their events as she can.

"Their response to my career choice is just that they don't see me as much," Shoemaker said. "But I think they value my choices."

"From a woman's perspective, though, the accounting profession offers tremendous flexibility," she said.

On sailing the wide accountancy [Sioux City Journal]

J.H. Cohn's Headcount, Revenue Rises

New Jersey-based J.H. Cohn closed its fiscal 2007 books on January 31 with a revenue increase of 22 percent, to $175,271,000. But growth is about more than just money, remember:

J.H. Cohn added 16 partners and principals to the its executive leadership team in FY07, bringing the total number of J.H. Cohn partners and principals, as of February 1, 2007 to 107. With the addition of new hires at all levels and the result of an aggressive recruiting campaign, total headcount grew by more than 9 percent in FY07, to 741.

The firm's expanding into verticals such as health care and has 2,000 clients in New Jersey and New York.

J.H. Cohn Posts 22 Percent Revenue Growth for Fiscal 2007 [J.H. Cohn]

New York Mulls Endorsement Changes

The New York State Board for Public Accountancy's Education Committee is considering some changes in the way it handles licensure by endorsment, Myra Thomas tell us on JobsintheMoney.

Licensure by Endorsement for N.Y. CPAs [JITM]

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's the Talent Hunt That Keeps on Giving

Ron Blair of the recruiting firm Century Group sees demand for CPAs continuing through 2007. His reasons: more use of temporary professionals, increased bankruptcy filings, still more compliance demands, and more turnover because of the competition for talent. See his full list on AccountingWEB.

5 Reasons Why Demand for Accounting & Finance Pros Will Intensify [AccountingWEB]

Changing Times in New Jersey

Seeking to change with the times, Rutgers is thinking of changing some of its course requirements for professional accounting MBA candidates:

“Our philosophy is that a good accountant should also be a good businessperson. Just knowing accounting systems and processes is not enough nowadays,” says Dan Palmon, chair of accounting and information systems, Rutgers Business School in Newark and New Brunswick.

Raising Good Accountants One Course at a Time [BJBiz - $]

Monday, March 05, 2007

Grant Thornton Grows Workforce

Grant Thornton LLP - the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International - reported a 14 percent increase in its number of employees during 2006 and a 15 percent rise in the number of partners at the firm. The increases were reported along with a climb of 18.2 percent in revenue for the year. In the firm's earnings release, CEO Edward Nusbaum enthused about "continued outstanding independent client service, a vibrant and supportive workplace culture, and continued thought leadership to the profession."

The release also cited the firm's accomplishments in the workplace:

Working Mother 100 Best Companies – In making family-friendly policies the norm, including flextime, childcare and telecommuting, , Working Mother magazine recognizes Grant Thornton for creating a corporate culture that encourages the retention and advancement of women.

BusinessWeek 50 Best Places to Launch a Career – Landed the No. 34 spot on a list that identifies top employers for recent college graduates. Grant Thornton was joined by three other national accounting firms on the list, and in Chicago, Grant Thornton was ranked as the third best place to launch a career.

Best Places to Work – Grant Thornton local offices named by their local media outlets as best places to work:

- San Francisco
- Philadelphia
- New Jersey
- Wichita
- Charlotte
- Atlanta
- Honolulu
- South Florida

Companies That Care – For the second consecutive year, Grant Thornton was named to the Center for Companies That Care Honor Roll, which recognizes organizations that demonstrate an outstanding and measurable commitment to their communities, both within the workplace and beyond. Grant Thornton was one of 27 organizations chosen to receive this special honor and one of only three accounting firms named to the list.

Grant Thornton LLP 2006 revenues rise 18.2% to $940 million [Grant Thornton]

Bend Knees When Lifting

An interesting note in investor Warren Buffett's annual letter to shareholders:

Our federal return last year, we should add, ran to 9,386 pages. To handle this filing, state and foreign tax returns, a myriad of SEC requirements, and all of the other matters involved in running Berkshire, we have gone all the way up to 19 employees at World Headquarters.

Buffett's letter is legendary among investors for its plain-spokeness and common sense about a whole lot of things. If you like, read the latest letter

Friday, March 02, 2007

How Happy Are You? Really?

This from MSNBC: Americans aren't happy at work.

Overall, dissatisfaction has spread among all workers, regardless of age, income or residence. Twenty years ago, the first time the survey was conducted, 61 percent of all Americans said they were satisfied with their jobs, according to the representative survey of 5,000 U.S. households, said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center.

"Although a certain amount of dissatisfaction with one's job is to be expected, the breadth of dissatisfaction is somewhat unsettling, since it carries over from what attracts employees to a job to what keeps them motivated and productive on the job," Franco said.

Interestingly - but not really surprisingly - the people who are the most unhappy are the ones who make the least money.

Americans hate jobs more than ever [MSNBC]

More Than Numbers

I hear again and again that people need to communicate well if they're going to succeed in this business. On JobsintheMoney, Carol Lippert Gray provides some things to think about if you want to be a better writer.

A better what? A better writer. Why do you care? Because your boss, your clients and your colleagues are making judgments about based on how clear and concise you are in your reports, your memos and, yes, even your e-mails.

Maureen Tierney, an independent management consultant in New York and former associate dean of the business school at Fordham University, says poor writing - even in as informal a medium as e-mail - conveys a negative and unprofessional message about the sender.

Besides all that, taking the time to write well imposes a certain discipline when you're evaluating complex issues. It's time well-spent.

In Getting Ahead, Your Words Count [JITM]

Thursday, March 01, 2007

And I'd Like To Thank - Maybe Fire - My Publicist...

Poor PricewaterhouseCoopers. They get their annual plug at the Academy Awards and Slate Magazine prompty publishes a hatchet job detailing the financial scandals some of its clients have been involved in, going so far as to ask:

But if there were a problem with the votes, or if there were a security breach, could we rely on PwC to detect it?

Writer Daniel Gross goes on to catalogue goings-on at various clients, from Tyco to Yukos, before concluding:

Should all this disqualify PwC from being involved in an event so central to popular culture and the entertainment industry? No. One could assemble a similar catalog of doubts for any of the major accounting firms. (Although the firm's enormously cheesy corporate anthem should disqualify it from being involved in popular culture.) And everybody in Hollywood—agents, producers, studios, distributors—plays games with numbers. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed auditor is king.

He's trying to make a point about accounting, really, and just using Hollywood and PwC, as his hooks. It struck me as kind of a cheap shot, though.

Can PricewaterhouseCoopers be trusted to count the Academy Awards ballots? [Slate]