Practice Management

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Knowledge is Power

Animated people completing a large DEI Accounting Firm Survey|Animated people completing a large DEI Accounting Firm Survey

As part of the AAM DEI committee and original co-chair of the initiating task force, I’ve been a part of many conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion over the last two years. It is encouraging to see how some firms are embracing the idea of expanding their culture to be more inclusive, whether by tiptoeing in or jumping headfirst. We recognize that a DEI accounting firm survey could be a valuable resource for firms.

One area, however, that has hindered progress at some firms is the lack of accounting-specific data on the topic. There is TONS of information about how DEI initiatives have a positive impact on businesses in general, much of which I use in presentations. But when it comes to data specifically about accounting firms, the research is simply not out there. And we all know how much partners want to know what other firms are doing before committing to anything new, right?

AAM, ClearlyRated, and bbr companies are collaborating to create, deliver, analyze and report on a survey for accounting marketers that will be released on March 8. The survey aims to uncover the current state of DEI in the accounting industry, look at the status and budget of DEI programs, analyze employee perceptions of their firm’s DEI progress, and explore the greater impact these programs are having on public accounting firm innovation and strategy.

Because this survey is targeting accounting marketers, it will also look at the intersection of DEI and marketing, who is responsible for efforts within firms, and areas where improvement can be made.

While we can’t cover everything in one survey and keep it a reasonable length, we are excited about how this is coming together. Once the survey is closed, we will create a report on the findings that will be shared with the AAM membership as well as the profession as a whole. Our goal is for this to serve as a benchmark on DEI within the accounting profession so we will have actual numbers that can be used and improved upon going forward.

I encourage you to take the time to fill out the survey when it arrives in your inbox and encourage others to do the same. The larger our sample size, the more accurate the data will reflect the current DEI situation in the accounting profession and give us those numbers we have been wanting to see for years. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions at all and thank you in advance for your honest input.

If you would like to learn about defining DEI, you can view an interview with AAM here.  Additionally, a new resource that is becoming available to AAM members is the AAM DEI Toolkit. The toolkit will be launched by the AAM DEI Committee on Mar 17, 2022 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm (ET). Register to attend the DEI toolkit training here.

About Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk

With 25 years of marketing experience, Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk helps professional services firms develop unique strategic marketing that will help them reach their growth and awareness goals. This can take many forms including serving as a fractional or part-time CMO, creating strategic marketing plans for the firm as a whole and the niches it serves, helping hire and manage internal marketing teams and much more.

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