INSIDE Public Accounting Names The 2019 Excellence in Firm Culture Winners

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) is honoring seven firms with its inaugural Excellence in Firm Culture award, based on the results of an assessment of 2,000 staff members at 21 firms.

The Excellence in Firm Culture award recognizes firms that have demonstrated excellence in 12 core qualities of culture collected by IPA partner CultureIQ, the corporate culture experts that helped IPA administer the 2019 Excellence in Firm Culture Assessment. IPA also considered the firms’ employee Net Promoter Scores in determining the winners.

Excellence in Firm Culture award winners achieved at least 75% of the total possible score in the combined 12 core culture qualities as well as a minimum of 75% of the total possible employee Net Promoter Score.

Four of the seven winners are located in the West:

  • Bland & Associates PC, Omaha, Neb.
  • Cooper Norman CPAs & Business Advisors, Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Richey May & Co. LLP, Englewood, Colo.
  • Stockman Kast Ryan & Co. LLP, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Sweeney Conrad PS, Bellevue, Wash.
  • WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick, N.J.
  • Williams Benator & Libby LLP, Atlanta

The 12 core qualities measured in the Culture Assessment: Agility; Alignment; Collaboration; Customer Centricity; Empowerment; Engagement; Growth Development; Innovation; Quality; Recognition and Rewards; Trust and Integrity, and Work-life Balance.

Across All 2,000 Participants:

  • Respondents scored Quality as the highest core quality with Collaboration as the second-highest core cultural quality.
  • Empowerment scored third to lowest, among the 12 core qualities. Equity and Non-Equity Partners on average scored above a 90 (of a possible 100), while the 3- to 5-year professional staff group on average scored below 70. Men were more positive about Empowerment. As firms get larger, the difference between the genders becomes profound. Women feel most empowered in the smallest firms and least empowered in the largest firms. Women are 11 percentage points behind men in the Empowerment ranking for firms of more than $30 million.
  • Eight in 10 respondents feel positively about Engagement within their firms.
  • The majority of respondents felt positive about Innovation within their firms.
  • Recognition and Rewards falls to the bottom of the core qualities of culture for these respondents. The two biggest disconnects are the perceptions between Equity Partners and Administrative / Support Staff and Equity Partners and Professional Staff.
  • Trust and Integrity scored high among these public accounting firms. As a group, respondents ranked Trust and Integrity 12 percentage points higher than the CultureIQ 2018 Financial Services Benchmark.
  • The holy grail of firm culture – Work Life Balance – is ranked consistently high among all demographics, with three in four respondents feeling positive about this quality in their firm. Again, as was seen in the Recognition and Rewards quality, the biggest disparities are seen between Equity Partners and Administrative / Support Staff and Equity Partners and Professional Staff.

To participate in the 2020 Excellence in Firm Culture Assessment, email IPA at


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