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Plante & Moran Named Best Accounting Firm for Women

Southfield, Michigan, May 17, 2011 – Plante & Moran, PLLC has been named one of the Best Accounting Firms for Women by two professional accounting organizations.

One of the nation’s largest public accounting and business consulting firms, Plante & Moran was recognized for “top-notch programs” that “retain and advance women to partnership.” Winners of the award, which was given by the American Society of Women Accountants, or ASWA, and the American Women’s Society of Certified Public Accountants, or AWSCPA, were drawn from the firms that participated in the 2011 Accounting MOVE project.

Firms were ranked on the range, depth and success of programs and workplace culture proven to remove barriers to women’s success, especially at mid-level and above. The MOVE methodology pivots on four key factors – money, opportunity, entrepreneurship and vital supports for work/life – known to advance women in the workplace.

“We recognize the business imperative for developing policies and programs that encourage women to succeed as partners and are gratified to receive recognition from ASWA and AWSCPA for our efforts,” said Gordon Krater, managing partner for Plante & Moran. “We have made many strides in this area, from tailored work arrangements to flex time to mentoring programs.

“In addition, women at Plante & Moran are highly represented in leadership roles; more than half of our industry group leaders are women. We remain committed to making Plante & Moran a top choice for women accountants.”

According to research firm Wilson-Taylor Associates, which conducted the Accounting MOVE project, the Best Accounting Firms for Women demonstrated excellence and innovation in programming. Plante & Moran was singled out as one of the “best at retaining women in its pipeline” and a “winning track record in flexwork and inclusion” that will let it “reinvent how accounting firms identify and cultivate women.”

Plante & Moran offers a broad range of programs through the Personal Tightrope Action Committee, or PTA Committee, that benefit women on the way to partnership:

  • Expanded part-time work opportunities, including job sharing, telecommuting, compressed work weeks and other tailored work arrangements – long before they were popular in the business world
  • Non-traditional careers policy that guarantee staff members working a reduced or non-traditional schedule can still be on track for promotions and partnership
  • Formal mentoring program that partners senior-level female associates with partners to provide additional guidance, knowledge-building and perspective to support their path to partnership
  • PTA Handbook, an online “cookbook” of information for expectant parents that deals with both firm policies and other important “how tos” – such as finding qualified child care, tax considerations for employing domestic help, adding a dependent to insurance and related issues
  • PTA buddy program, which pairs expectant mothers with a staff member who has had a child while working at the firm and is familiar with its parenting policies and practices
  • Partner sabbaticals, which call for up to a month off every seven years to allow time for rest, relaxation and renewal

“More than half of the students graduating from accounting programs are women,” said Sue Perlin, a partner at Plante & Moran, Not-for-Profit practice group leader and past co-chair of the firm’s PTA Committee. “It is incumbent on us to ensure that the women who join us as staff have the flexibility and the tools needed to achieve work-life balance and to join the ranks of partnership.”

This is the second award that Plante & Moran has received this year for its women’s initiatives. In March, the Grand Rapids office of the firm was honored with a Huntington Pillar Award from the Women’s Resource Center for empowering women in their workforce with progressive policies and practices.

Key findings of the Accounting MOVE Project, which measures the status of women in the profession, included:

  • Millenials expect women to be business leaders and view flex scheduling and fair pay as family economic issues
  • Women are pulling in new clients through innovative business development programs
  • Firms that publicly communicate the results of their diversity programs rapidly gain authority with clients, employees and potential recruits

About Plante & Moran, PLLC

Plante & Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting, and wealth management services. Plante & Moran has a staff of more than 1,600 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India. Plante & Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work.

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