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Three Accounting Firms Named “Best Companies” by Fortune

Despite new challenges and rocky roads this past year, three accounting firms are recognized in Fortune magazine's “Best Companies to Work For” list, released this week.

Michigan and Ohio-based Plante & Moran placed eleventh (11). New York-based firms Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche placed 68th and 75th, respectively.

“National business scandals made 2002 a tough year psychologically for CPAs,” said Plante & Moran Managing Partner Bill Hermann. The firm is recognized for a variety of workplace policies and practices, including its corporate climate that celebrates both teamwork and individual progress; a low-turnover rate; and flexible scheduling and non-traditional career paths.

While Ernst & Young jumped significantly from last year's 87th placement, Deloitte watched its placement on the list plummet from 35 last year to 75 this year, no doubt attributed to the significant 30 percent staff decrease. Comparatively, Ernst & Young increased its staff by four percent.

How are companies maintaining employee satisfaction? Rather than cut benefits during tough times, top employers are adding perks, says Fortune.

For instance, during this past year, Ernst & Young increased the amount of vacation time to a minimum of three weeks for all employees, added additional holidays to the firm's calendar, and increased the number of personal days for all employees. Deloitte & Touche took a different (but no less employee-friendly) approach, allowing employees to take 30-plus days off at 20% of pay during slow times.

Two-thirds of the ranking is based on randomly selected employee responses to the Great Place to Work Trust Index, a survey instrument by the Great Places to Work Institute that measures the quality of workplace culture.

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