Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Small Firms Satisfied with AICPA but Ask for More Attention

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Small Firms Satisfied with AICPA but Ask for More Attention

Article excerpt

A survey of 2,000 local and regional firms conducted by the private companies practice section (PCPS) of the American Institute of CPAs division for CPA firms found that small firms are satisfied overall with AICPA services but want more contact with its board of directors and more attention given to the needs of local firms. When given the opportunity to express their concerns to the AICPA board, 25% of the firms said they would tell the board the AICPA should stress the relevance of membership for CPAs in smaller firms. This concern was mentioned more than three times as often as any other member response.

The 2,000 firms polled were equally divided between PCPS member firms and nonmember firms and were scattered across the country. Size categories included sole practitioners, firms with fewer than six AICPA members and firms with six or more AICPA members. The average firm surveyed had one location with two partners. It employed seven, including five professionals, three of whom were CPAs.

Overcoming file recession

Despite the recession, 59% of the firms polled made no changes in staff size in the past year. Another 27% added to their staffs, with only 14% of the firms reporting layoffs.

Still, the firms were not without problems. When asked to list their three most pressing professional concerns, by far the most frequently mentioned difficulty was keeping up with new regulations, cited by 38% of those polled. Next in line was liability insurance costs, mentioned by 19% of the respondents, and changes and complexity in the tax code, noted by 18% of the small firms. Keeping up with new technology was a problem for 13% of those polled, while 12% ,thought it difficult to obtain and keep qualified staff.

Small Firms and file AICPA

Overall, the small firms were satisfied with AICPA programs and services. On a scale of 1 to 5, the average level of satisfaction of those polled was 3.35. Moreover, 24% of the respondents said their level of satisfaction had increased in the past three years, with another 52% indicating the same level of satisfaction. …

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