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April 12, 2007


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Rick Telberg

Indeed! "the future we've worried about" may be here already.

Michelle Golden

Thanks for bringing more attention to this important issue, Rick, with your post here:


The salaries for starting CPAs are *so* low compared to law. This is surely one thing that students consider. A couple more years in school and their salaries easily start at double.

But I don't think that is the core of the problem.

Note that even those high law firm salaries aren't enough to "retain" people in law firms. The high attrition rate for young lawyers illustrates this.

The accounting profession is not far behind. With so many leaving, it's no wonder there is a shortage of "partner-material" people at the senior/manager level! In many cases, those with the most vision, the most potential for leadership, are the most proactive and have moved on.

From what young practitioners tell me, I suspect the problem lies with partnership model. It's just not enticing and satisfying enough to motivate the best and the brightest to stick around anymore.

What will firms do to make the firm (partnership) environment more appealing to future owners of the type they want?

I'm not hearing firm owners talk much about this. Mostly they are distraught over the problem and just keep hoping it will remedy itself.

If no solutions are applied, merger is the only option for the succession of many firms and with the number of firms available as merger candidates, it's a buyer's market. I suspect quite a few will just have to close their doors.

Sorry to sound doom & gloom, but profession, we have a problem!

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