This paper examines whether supervisors in nontraditional accounting services (vs. supervisors in financial auditing and tax services) are more likely to acquire transformational leadership skills, and, whether such skills impact subordinates' role clarity and role outcomes. Transformational leadership coincides with the AICPA's Vision Project's definition of leadership skills: the ability to influence, inspire, and motivate others to achieve results. The paper uses role theory to articulate specific links between transformational leader behavior, role clarity, and role outcomes (job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job performance). Data was obtained through a mail survey to 1,150 AICPA members, with 416 usable responses obtained. Participants who primarily worked in the functional area of information system assurance and business consulting (ISA/BC) perceived that their supervisors demonstrated higher levels of transformational leadership, compared to participants from two other service areas (financial auditing and tax services). Transformational leadership was directly and positively associated with role clarity, job satisfaction and affective organizational commitment, and indirectly associated with job performance, across all three functional areas. The current study serves as a baseline, demonstrating transformational leadership is more likely to occur in public accounting functions that are less standard‐intensive. However, future research must determine whether transformational leadership in nontraditional services translates into economic gain, i.e., into increased revenues and an expanded client base.

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