Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Accounting (ACCT)

First Advisor

Carol Graham, Ph.D.


The ability of a company to form an effective client in accounting is one of the most crucial aspects of the accounting business. There are a lot of accounting firms across the nation; however only four big firms do the majority of the corporate accounting. The four firms are PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, and KPMG, are not set apart by the work, since they have the same knowledge and can complete the same tasks as smaller firms. Rather, their ability to develop strong relationships with the clients they serve is what sets them apart. These relationships are essential because if happy, the client will stay with the firm. However, if the relationship is not developed, it is easy for the client to find another firm to represent them. With a system of creating effective client relationships, a firm can both gain new clients and continuously retain the clients.

The best approach to enacting a model for effective client relationships involves a streamlined, trickle-down approach. The first responsibility of top executives is to consider the firm, clearly define corporate culture and overall goals for the firm regarding client relationships. Once established, the information is then passed on to the rest of the employees to fully understand the goals and objectives of the system. All members of the firm will then undergo various training and development workshops, behavioral and personality assessments, and other forms of development. It is crucial to fully analyze the employees to completely understand their strengths and weaknesses and how best to utilize them in team environments and in client interactions.

As a result of this approach to building effective client relationships, firm unity, and team dynamics the strength of client relationships will all become more developed. Employees will be better-off because they will be working in teams that best suit their strengths and preferences. In addition, they will have a clear understanding of the firm's goals, and objectives in daily work. The needs of the clients will be met more efficiently because employees will know how to interact with different clients in diverse situations, and clients will feel comfortable in the relationship with the firm to express needs, concerns, and areas that they are pleased with. The information will then become well known among other corporations, allowing the firm to gain and retain more clients.