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Why Firms Must Advance Women

By Monika P. Miles, CPA, ASWA National President

The next generation of top accounting professionals will bear little resemblance to the male-dominated leadership ranks currently occupying corner offices, according to the recently released 2011 Accounting MOVE Project Executive Report (“2011 Executive Report”), which is available at Since over half of today’s accounting grads are women, public accounting firms must rapidly realign professional development programs to reflect the ambitions of these professionals. If they do not, firms simply cannot remain competitive and will not have enough partners for an orderly transition when baby boomers are ready to retire.

The American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) had the privilege of partnering with strategic communication firm Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA), Moss Adams, and Rothstein Kass to produce The 2011 Accounting MOVE Project Executive Report. The MOVE methodology pivots on four factors — money, opportunity, vital supports for work/life balance, and entrepreneurship — proven to advance women in the workplace.

Based on dozens of interviews, reviews of best practices at 25 firms, and statistical analysis, the report provides new and compelling reasons why career advancement for women of all ages must be actively cultivated in order for accounting firms to stay competitive. The report then provides useful recommendations and best practices to recruit, retain and promote women in accounting.

Read more about the focus of, research behind and highlights of this report at



How to Supersize a Happy Meal Firm Bio

By Scott H. Cytron, ABC

How do you make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Said another way, how can you transform the tried-and-true firm bio into something more than a ho-hum template piece of writing that resonates with clients and prospects?

A recent experience with a firm wanting me to rewrite bios for its partners got me thinking about all the creative ways to take a bio that is a Happy Meal, at best, and make it supersized. No matter what size firm you are … or what each person may do beyond the firm’s physical borders, here are a few tips:

  • Apply themes to our bios
  • Write bios as Q&As or complete the sentence
  • Get the managing partner’s buy-in
  • Don’t forget the goal

Read more about these four tips at


The Bleeding Edge

The Technology Audit

By Dave McClure

As technology is increasingly woven into the fabric of business management and operations, it becomes more necessary to evaluate technology utilization and prepare for management an assessment of the threats and opportunities available.

In the area of threats, there is the risk involved in an inadequate backup and document archiving system. Weak policies regarding employee use of company computers can leave the network vulnerable to viruses. Unauthorized use of software — especially unauthorized software installed by employees — could subject the company to thousands or even millions of dollars in fines for copyright infringement. And these are just the obvious threats.

Opportunities also abound, in reducing software licensing costs. In replacing expensive laptops with tablets or netbook computers. In consolidating printing operations. In productivity gains through additional training.

So what comprises a technology audit? There are seven basic steps:

  1. Conduct a security sweep of the network and every device attached to it.
  2. Audit the software in use by the company.
  3. Audit the hardware in use by the company.
  4. Audit the backup systems.
  5. Audit the document management system.
  6. Conduct a printer audit.
  7. Ensure the company has a strategic technology plan.

Read more about these seven steps at