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September 22, 2023

Should CPA Firms Allow Employees to Wear Shorts? A Brief Debate


When the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA) relaxed its dress code last May to allow employees to wear shorts on Fridays, employees welcomed the change, but many haven't taken advantage of the new rule yet, according to chief operating officer Maureen Dingus.

"I think the staff was excited to be able to wear jeans, and they are happy to have the option of wearing shorts, though they haven't embraced it so far," she said. That may be because the policy is so new. The association recently switched from a business-casual dress code to a "dress-for-your-day" policy that lets employees choose attire that's appropriate to what they're doing during the workday.

While the shorts option is not officially written into the association's dress code, shorts are acceptable attire on Fridays, as long as they are knee-length, clean, presentable, and pressed.

I can't even with this. Are CPA firms not familiar with the travesty that is cargo shorts? Do they not think that some Kev or Brian isn't going to roll into the office wearing Nike gyms shorts that are two sizes too big?

Shorts are acceptable professional attire for athletes. Tennis, basketball, soccer, etc. They are also acceptable for those whose livelihood naturally allows for casual dress. I'm talking about artists, writers, musicians and the like. Also for certain professions, shorts only make sense. I'm thinking lifeguards here.

If you work in professional services, don't wear shorts to work. Ever.

In Santa Monica, Calif., public accounting firm Gumbiner Savett Inc. recently relaxed its dress code and has changed from casual-Friday attire to casual every day, according to Irene Valverde, human resources and marketing director.

"We allow our staff to wear jeans, khakis and capri-length pants as long as they are neat and clean," she said. "We haven't had any requests to wear shorts yet, but maybe shorts on Friday would be the next logical step."

No, it is NOT the next logical step. I get that casual dress is acceptable at accounting firms now and I'm totally okay with it but save your shorts for the weekends, people. Is that so much to ask?

In short, no it is not. Thank you.


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