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advocacy community education
ver the next five to 15 years,
baby boomer CPA firm owners
will reach retirement age, yet
according to the 2008 American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA) Private Companies Practice
Section (PCPS) Succession Survey,
only 35 percent of multi-owner firms
and nine percent of sole proprietor firms
have planned for their firm succession.
More recently, the 2010 AICPA
Management of an Accounting Practice
(MAP) survey results reported that only
30 percent of the 117 firms participating
from the New England states had a
succession plan in place.
A recent succession planning survey of
CSCPA firm managing partners, gener-
al partners, or principals in public
accounting showed that Connecticut
CPAs are no exception.
A representative group of 194 mem-
bers of the CSCPA completed the
online survey in May 2011. Fifty-five
percent were sole proprietors and the
remaining 45 percent represented
multi-owner firms. The respondents
were 80 percent male and 20 percent
female and represented a broad
range of age groups from younger
than age 45 to older than age 70. All
the respondents from the multi-owner
firms indicated that one or more of the
partners in the firm were age 55 or
older. The majority of all respondents
indicated the ideal retirement age was
age 65 or older.
Lack of Succession Planning
The survey participants stipulated
whether they had a written succession
plan in place or no written succession
plan. If the member did not have a
plan, he or she identified the reasons
for the lack of planning. Of the 194 sur-
vey participants, 98 percent of the sole
proprietors and 59 percent of owners
from multi-owner firms did not have a
written succession plan in place. The
males were more likely than females to
have a written plan.
New Survey Shows Connecticut CPA Firm Owners
Struggling with Succession Planning
By Pamela Q. Weaver, DBA, CPA and Marie G. Kulesza, MSPA, CPA
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). (2008). The 2008 PCPS Succession Survey.
Retrieved from
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). (2010). 2010 PCPS/TSCPA National
Map Survey. Retrieved from
s u c c e s s i o n p l a n n i n g s p e c i a l s e c t i o n
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