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An Analysis of the Relevancy of Women's Initiative Programs in Public Accounting

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Women have more opportunities to expand their career aspirations than ever before, so many view it as being acutely relevant. However, although women now account for more than half of the work force, there is still a considerable gap in

Women have more opportunities to expand their career aspirations than ever before, so many view it as being acutely relevant. However, although women now account for more than half of the work force, there is still a considerable gap in the representation of women in the top leadership positions within their organizations. This trend is especially prevalent in public accounting firms. Drilling down to the root cause of gender inequality in firm management reveals several key obstacles that women face including generational gender biases, inflexible work schedules, insufficient career development training, and limited visibility of other female leaders. The negative implications of uneven gender distribution in upper management leave a potential for firms to miss opportunities for diverse perspectives on innovations, solutions, and advancement in the industry. Furthermore, firms make tremendous investments on extensive training of their professionals throughout the entire length of their careers, so high turnover rates cause a significant loss to each firm's investment in their human capital. So, public accounting firms have made considerable investments to develop resources and programs in order to combat the issues that create gender inequality and uneven turnover. The thesis begins by reviewing the Ann Hopkins v. Price Waterhouse trail, which was a pivotal point in changing how public accounting firms treat and prevent sex discrimination within their organizations. The rest of the thesis analyzes the correlation between the barriers that are most frequently linked to hindering women's success in public accounting and the programs that firms have installed to address those barriers. It also addresses qualitative accounts from female CPAs on the actual effectiveness of their firm's programs on the longevity of their careers in public accounting, as well as perspectives from current Accountancy students on the relevancy of diversity and inclusion programs.

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2016-05

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Student Perception of Communication in Public Accounting

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As an accounting major, I am very interested in society's view of the accountant. The well-known stereotype of accountants is that they are cold, non-sociable, and boring. All types of accountants are often viewed doing bookkeeper work. In reality, different

As an accounting major, I am very interested in society's view of the accountant. The well-known stereotype of accountants is that they are cold, non-sociable, and boring. All types of accountants are often viewed doing bookkeeper work. In reality, different types of accountants all do various types of work. In public accounting specifically, not only are technical skills important, but communication skills, especially verbal, are extremely important. I wanted to research if accounting majors at Arizona State University perceived verbal communication skills as important to the public accounting profession. More specifically, I wanted to see if the perceived importance of these skills would increase as students progressed in school. I surveyed accounting majors and double majors from four different accounting course levels, which are taken in progressive order. Overall, the results were not as significant as I had expected. Across all course levels, students rated verbal communication skills highly. There was a slight increase in the average rating across the courses, but it dropped off at the highest course level. The results of this study may have been influenced by students' past experiences or the way the surveys were designed and/or administered. Despite the fact that the findings did not prove my hypothesis to the degree I had expected, the research and results can still be used to prove that verbal communication skills are a critical part of public accounting and should be integrated more into courses and clubs that accounting majors are involved in.

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Date Created
2014-12

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Best Value Accounting: Applying Information Measurement Theory to Public Accounting

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The author is an accounting major headed into the public accounting industry. As a tax intern his senior year, he was able to work in the thick of "busy season", when tax returns are due for submission and work is

The author is an accounting major headed into the public accounting industry. As a tax intern his senior year, he was able to work in the thick of "busy season", when tax returns are due for submission and work is very busy. The author tired of working long hours and continuous talking with his accounting friends how working on Saturdays and long weeknights was generally accepted. Best value principles from Dr. Dean Kashiwagi's Information Measurement Theory were applied to examine how to maximize efficiency in public accounting and reduce the workload. After reviewing how Information Measurement Theory applies to public accounting, the author deemed three possible solutions to improve the working conditions of public accountants. First, to decrease the work load during busy season, tax organizers need to be sent earlier and staff should be assigned to oversee this information gathering. Second, in order to better prepare new hires to become partners, the career path needs to be outlined on day one with a career guide. Finally, in order to more successfully on board new hires due to the steep learning in public accounting, firms should utilize buddy systems and encourage organic mentoring.

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2015-05