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How Your CPA Firm Can Attract Millennial Women

Has your firm found it difficult to attract and retain millennial women employees? There could be a reason for that. Millennial women have their own requirements which not all CPA firms are able to meet.

In a recent report based on a survey conducted by major consulting group PwC, titled “The Female Millennial: A New Era of Talent”, millennial women discussed their reasons for leaving a CPA firm that they were working with. 43 percent left the firm for a job that paid better – which is about the same reason as men or older women.

37 percent left the CPA firm because they found the work to be very hard and taxing, and it threw their personal life out of balance. They said that they wanted a job that provided them with greater flexibility.

36 percent of young women in their 20s and early 30s felt that there wasn’t a fair balance between the work they did, and the compensation received. Some of them have even complained about a glass ceiling, and how male employees get preferred by the management when it came to promotions and advancement at the firms.

32 percent of the women felt that there weren’t enough opportunities left for them for career progression. They said that they felt they were going nowhere at the firm despite their best efforts and so were forced to look elsewhere for a better opportunity.
28 percent felt that the work at their CPA firm was boring and not as interesting and meaningful as they would want it to be.

So what are millennial women looking for? What do they want in a CPA firm that they are considering joining? 

 53 percent of millennial women said that they were looking for opportunities for rapid career progression. Over 52 percent said that they wanted competitive wages and other financial incentives, which they felt were given to many make employees, but were denied to them for some reason.

35 percent of women said that they wanted more flexible working arrangements. This is especially true of young mothers, who need to spend more time with their growing children.  

33 percent of women wanted better packages for health care, pension and other financial benefits. For 27 percent of the millennial women in the survey, training and development programs were very important and they wanted the accounting firms to focus on that.

Women said that the gender politics in organizations is getting better and with the success of the feminist movement, conditions for women at the workplace have improved tremendously. Yet, they felt that things still could get better.

While the junior and middle-level staff in most accounting companies in the USA is comprised of a large number of women, when it comes to the senior management, it is dominated by men. Women now want a measure of equality in the upper echelons of management.

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How Accountants Can Help Clients Plan Their Finances After a Divorce

One of the biggest challenges faced by accountants is to help a client with their finances through their divorce proceedings. CPAs are always at a loss when it comes to offering financial advice or guidance to clients who are on the verge of divorce.

It’s very difficult, for example, to offer financial advice to a woman who has been divorced by her husband after 25 years of marriage and has no way of returning back to the workforce or earning an income after so many years as a homemaker.

As accountants, you will want the best for your clients, and you will want to avoid conflict of interest if you were advising both the husband and wife prior to the split. You may require a disclosure or a waiver. Divorce is always very complicated, with legal, emotional and financial ramifications. Let’s talk about the right way for CPAs to handle a divorce proceeding.

#1: Address the legal issues related to the divorce first. The first thing you should tell your client is to hire a lawyer, to handle the legal complexities related to the divorce. A lawyer’s help is needed if the estate is very complex. Discuss the pros and cons of hiring a divorce lawyer with your client and offer a recommendation.

#2: The next step is to handle the emotional issues pertaining to the divorce. Divorce is the most stressful event in any individual’s life. If your client has been struggling very badly with the divorce, ask him or her to seek counseling from a trained therapist. Offer a recommendation as well.

#3: Next, it’s time to address the financial issues related to the divorce. Your technical background as an accountant is very important here and it can make all the difference to how much your client will get following the divorce. How successful you are at getting an agreeable outcome will depend on the willingness of both sides to collaborate. If the other side to the dispute is being deceitful or withholding information, then you will have to take recourse to other means, such as hiring a forensic specialist or a private investigator.

Your role will consist of the following

Identifying all the assets – This could be cash and bank accounts, real estate and retirement accounts.

Mapping out the living expenses – You will have to map out the client’s living expenses by taking into consideration their one to three year history and then projecting those numbers into the future.
You will need to consider expenses such as having to buy a new residence, buying a new car or being able to fund for the children’s educational expenses. Also, you will need to consider the healthcare coverage and provide for any increase in insurance premiums. Finally, you will need to help your client set up an emergency fund.

Mapping out real estate - Finally, you will need to map out the real estate division. The specific issues related to the asset division are left to the client, but it’s your job to help them through the crisis and guide them with the right information.

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