Jean Caragher asks: Is the Accounting Profession Setting the Bar Too Low?

She finds an interesting detail in Business Week's "Best Place to Launch a Career"

At her blog, "What I've Learned So Far," Jean writes:

The Big 4 firms hold the top four spots: Deloitte (1), E&Y (2), PWC (3) and KPMG (4). Grant Thornton (51) and RSM McGladrey (66) also make the list. Kudos to the accounting profession! However, when asked to identify the most desirable trait in new employees the responses were either "College GPA" or "College Major." Are we setting the bar too low? Companies like General Mills, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott, and CIGNA are looking for leadership; Booz Allen Hamilton, Merck, and Walt Disney are looking for communication; and, Wells Fargo, Progressive, Amazon.com, and Prudential are looking for analytical skills. Think of the competitive advantage you could create by expecting more from your recruits than a college degree!

Jean reminds us, "It's not all about the benefits. It's about the people."

One Response to “Jean Caragher asks: Is the Accounting Profession Setting the Bar Too Low?”

  1. Shane Eloe

    Did they come up with GPA and Major right after the pulse and breathing check? I think this lack of discretion in hiring speaks volumes about the high rate of turnover that has been taken as a given in public accounting as those fit for public accounting are weeded from those that are not. If more discretion was used on the front end, firms could hire less and retain more. When you let everyone in the door, you have to kick a lot out later.

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