The paper explores the nature of professional intellect and the requirements for managing it, an area acknowledged as being under-researched. Five case studies in the professional accounting services sector were conducted and the findings were used to identify the structure and evolution towards a knowledge-based accounting practice using Venkatraman’s (1995) model of the virtual organisation. The majority of firms, with one exception, were in the first stage of evolution (extension of Business Process Re-engineering) for all three virtual dimensions, competence leverage, work configuration and market experience. The issues confronting professional accounting practices in moving to the stages of recreating the organisation and recreating value were identified as the need to maximise creative forms of professional intellect, making knowledge management a professional discipline and changing current organisational culture.