Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Tim Lindquist




Unfortunately, the industry of public accounting has been plagued with a high turnover rate. Recent studies show that around fifteen percent of staff leave the industry each year with a large portion of these professionals only having spent between three and five years in the profession (Platt Consulting Group, 2013). This problem leads to a constant demand for new hires in public accounting firms, especially recent college graduates entering the job market. As a result, the recruiting process has become the primary way of attracting these new hires in order to continue to replace staff moving to new positions outside of public accounting and to grow the industry.

Students seem to identify with a particular CPA firm at some point during the recruiting process. Not surprisingly, these firms are constantly wondering why recruits choose to identify and accept employment offers from one firm over another. In order to address this need, this research is aimed at offering public accounting firms ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their recruiting process. This will allow the firms to increase the number of qualified applicants, focus more efforts on the most qualified applicants, and increase these applicants’ propensity to accept an employment offer with a certain firm.

With this motivation in mind, this survey study analyzes how varied aspects of recruitment affect an applicant’s decision to accept a full-time employment offer from a particular public accounting firm. Specifically, the theory of organizational identification as a subcategory of social identification will be used to interpret survey data in order to determine the most influential factors impacting an applicant’s choice of one of these firms. These results will provide insight for public accounting firms regarding implications of organizational identification to help them better manage the recruitment process. Firms can utilize findings from this research to develop more effective recruiting and increase applicants’ propensity to accept an employment offer from their organization.

Year of Submission



Department of Accounting

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (61 pages)



File Format


Included in

Accounting Commons