MIA: Partner Bios on Accounting Firm Sites?

I just gave a talk at the Chicago chapter of the Accounting Marketing Association and noticed an unusual thing. The presentation was on "Web Marketing That Really Works" and in my research had discovered that few accounting firms put their partner bios online.

Research shows that 96% of accounting firms have Web sites, so I was mystified why this key information was left offline. This is true for the major accounting firms like RSM McGladrey, www.rsmmcgladrey.com. With more than 600 offices in 70 countries, it's nearly impossible to find a partner bio online. Oh sure, if you deliberately conduct a search for "partner bios" on the Web site, you'll get a link to Leadership Bios and waaaay down on the page, some bios of individual partners. But there are no links to bios in "About Us," or any other logical place.

I'm not just picking on McGladrey. Take a look at the Clifton Gunderson site at www.cliftoncpa.com. There is no link to partner bios on the home page, nor in "About CG." And this is for the 12th largest CPA and consulting firm in the country, with offices in 14 states and Washington, DC.

There are many more examples.

I asked the audience of accounting marketers why this was so. One marketer said her firm didn't list partners because they were afraid that headhunters would cherrypick their talent. I asked her if she really believed that. She said "no." She's right, this argument is pure horse puckey.

I think it's crazy for accounting firms not to make partner bios easy to find. After all, clients hire individuals. Corporations don't hire accounting firms, the connection comes in a person-to-person connection. So why not put the faces of the people online?

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