Auditor professional performance and the mentor relationship within the public accounting firm
Formal mentoring programmes have developed in public accounting firms in order to gain career development and organizational advantages and, although there is substantial literature concerning problems with formal mentoring programmes, there are few studies which actually have compared the mentoring process at firms with a programme with those using an informal process. Compares mentoring activities at each level in two accounting firms, one using a formal mentoring programme and the other an informal approach, to see how they differ. Qualitatively, no significant differences were found between the two approaches on the perceived influence for career development. Differences were found, though, regarding the respondents' personal development and the numbers of mentor relationships between the two types of approaches. Concludes that personal development tended to be rated higher under the informal than the formal approach at the critical staff and senior levels. Regarding numbers of mentor relationships, the results indicate that the significant differences were related to rank.