Excellence in Firm Culture Assessment

Excellence in Firm Culture Survey

The 2019 Excellence in Firm Culture Survey is closed. 

Contact culture@plattgroupllc.com if your firm is interested in the 2020 Excellence in Firm Culture Survey.


Question: When developing long-term strategies for recruitment, retention and remaining relevant, firms need to consider respondents’ suggestions on things they’d change if they became partner in their firm…

…Enhancing firm culture including communication and transparency, teamwork and team unity and collaboration.

…Improving people development, providing more learning opportunities, getting staff engaged in running the firm, providing training, mentoring, feedback, career counseling and showing more appreciation of staff.

…Involving team members in internal and client decisions as their biggest area for firm improvement and emerging leaders listed offering a mentoring program as their most significant area of firm weakness.

Source: The Road to Retention Report


The new IPA Firm Culture Assessment will identify the relative strength of your firm in 12 specific cultural qualities that are directly linked to achieving key business results. Don’t be fooled into thinking company culture is intangible or mysterious. With the right data – and the right tool to collect that data – your path ahead is clear.

The IPA Culture Assessment, unlike many best places to work surveys, only collects feedback from accounting firms, therefore, provides the participating firms with a much more robust and accurate picture of your culture, and how you stack up against your actual peers.

IPA’s partner in this cultural assessment, CultureIQ, has identified the following cultural qualities as THE key ingredients needed to accomplish the business objectives that firms seek.

The qualities include. . . Agility; Alignment; Collaboration; Customer Centricity; Empowerment; Engagement; Growth Development; Innovation; Quality; Recognition Rewards; Trust Integrity and Work-life Balance.



As an independent leader in public accounting firm benchmarking, the annual benchmarking and rankings of the largest firms in North America has a 30+ year history of providing the profession with one of the most up-to-date and accurate rankings and financial and operational data. For more than 30 years, firms have relied on IPA for the data to take their firms to the next level.

What firm demographics will be captured? Who qualifies for the assessment? Is the assessment anonymous? What is the Excellence in Firm Culture Award? Find out the answers to these questions and see samples of the reports in the Culture Assessment Brochure.



Staff turnover rates of 12.9% – with one in five being over 20% at the largest firms – continue to challenge the recruiting teams at firms of all sizes.

Billing rates are increasing at just 4.0 to 4.5%, while staff shortages are causing firms to provide merit increases of 6.0 to 7.0% an unsustainable model.

Average professional staff compensation rose 2.5% to $81,068, up from $79,125 in 2017.

The percentage of all firms indicating the path to (equity) partnership is 10 years or less is at 15.7% this year. At firms above $75 million, the percentage is 5.6%.

Retirement obligations increased to 2.2% of total net revenue (up from 1.9% in 2014) and moved from 1.8% to 1.9% for the above $75 million firms.

Personnel costs as a percentage of net revenue continue to increase, averaging 50.5% for firms above $30 million. That same group was at 48.7% last year. All firms now average 48.4% of revenue, up from 46.6% last year.

The 0- to 2-year experienced staff in the largest firms, above $75 million, now average $60,981. Across all revenue bands, this group averages $54,330.

Source: 2018 INSIDE Public Accounting National Benchmarking Report

Included In Your Assessment…

  • Core Qualities Summary
  • Favorability Reports, containing: Firmwide, Departmental and Gender breakout scores
  • The Demographic Score Grids, containing firmwide scores presented in an all-in-one report
  • Employee Net Promoter Score Report
  • Complimentary benchmarking report of all participating firms in aggregate
  • A chance to be recognized with the Excellence in Firm Culture award