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13
Connecticut CPA
g
November/December 2013
TABLE 1. Management - Weighted Rank in Total and By Industry
Weighted Rank
Skill
Total
Group
Local
Firm
Larger
Firm
Other
Industry
Problem solving
1
1
4
1
Critical/strategic thinking
2
2
2
2
Time management and organization
3
3
3
4
Memos and writing skills
4
4
1
5
Intermediate to advanced Excel skills
5
9
6
3
Business etiquette
6
5
5
7
Working in teams
7
19
7
6
Basic workpaper formatting and organization
8
7
8
11
Leadership
9
8
11
9
Ability to do basic tax research
10
6
13
15
Goal setting
11
10
14
8
Oral presentations
12
11
10
12
Basic Excel skills
13
12
12
10
Professional comm. software (i.e. Outlook)
14
14
9
13
Conflict resolution
15
15
15
14
Selling skills/rainmaking
16
13
17
19
Networking strategies
17
17
16
18
Cultural awareness
18
16
19
17
Database setup and database management
19
19
18
16
Video conference skills
20
20
20
20
TABLE 2. Young Professionals - Weighted Rank in Total and By Industry
Weighted Rank
Skill
Total
Group
Local
Firm
Larger
Firm
Other
Industry
Intermediate to advanced Excel skills
1
2
1
2
Basic workpaper formatting and organization
2
1
4
9
Critical/strategic thinking
3
4
5
1
Time management and organization
4
5
3
5
Memos and writing skills
5
9
2
7
Ability to do basic tax research
6
3
14
8
Problem solving
7
7
11
3
Networking strategies
8
6
12
11
Leadership
9
10
10
10
Selling skills/rainmaking
10
8
18
13
Database setup and database management
11
13
16
4
Business etiquette
12
12
7
20
Professional comm. software (i.e. Outlook)
13
14
13
19
Conflict resolution
14
15
9
12
Goal setting
15
11
17
6
Basic Excel skills
16
18
6
18
Oral presentations
17
16
8
15
Working in teams
18
17
15
16
Video conference skills
19
19
20
14
Cultural awareness
20
20
19
17
continued u
small) CPA firms, larger CPA firms (en-
compassing national/regional firms),
and other industry, which included
manufacturing, not-for-profit, insur-
ance, and other categories. Table 1
shows the weighted ranks for each skill
by industry for the managers' group.
The local CPA firms showed less
emphasis on intermediate to advanced
Excel skills and working in teams than
the other segments. The national/
regional firms indicated more focus on
professional communication software
(i.e. Outlook), and the other industry
category has less need to have the
ability to do basic tax research and
basic workpaper formatting and
organization, yet placed more value on
goal setting than the total group.
The consideration of industry is impor-
tant because accounting education
is often somewhat generic, and the
study provides evidence that not only
do the needs differ with the size of
accounting firm, but accountants who
work in other sectors have industry-
specific needs.
A similar analysis was done for the
young professionals group and the dif-
ferences among industries were some-
what more pronounced (see Table 2).
The group from the local firms valued
memos and writing skills less and the
ability to do basic tax research more
than the total group. The group from
the national/regional firms valued ba-
sic Excel skills, business etiquette, oral
presentations, and conflict resolution
higher than the total group, but the
ability to do basic tax research much
lower than both the local firms group
and the total group.
These differences likely reflect the more
specialized role for young professionals
in the larger firms and the fact that the
majority of the respondents from the
young professionals in the national/
regional firms held audit positions. The
other industry group indicated a greater
need for problem solving, database
setup and database management, and
goal setting, and less need for basic
workpaper formatting and organization
than the total group. However, it is
important to consider that the other
industry group of young professionals
represented only nine individuals.