Thanks to the economic bust, the staffing crisis for CPA firms seems to have evaporated.
So here’s the question: Does creating a "Great Place to Work" still mean anything these days?
Richard G. Rinehart
Grant Partners LLC
Without a doubt, the concept of "a great place to work" means something in the CPA profession.
The current economic crisis will pass and young recruits will be looking for great firms once again. While employee loyalty is not what it used to be and young accountants may not believe that the goal of every public accountant should be to become a partner in the firm, a great work environment, with great people, great benefits and an understanding of what makes the current generation love their work is as strong as ever.
Firms that understand their employees needs, wants and desires know how to create an environment that works.
- flexible hours,
- firm-wide social events,
- fun in the workplace,
- casual dress,
- opportunities for interaction between partners, senior staff and younger staff,
- collaboration on client engagements and
- working directly with partners.
Young people today are extremely self-confident and self-assured. They don't buy the pay-your-dues pecking order that has existed in the profession for so long. They don't have time to wait their turn and expect to be included in increasingly complex and interesting work.
Firms that can give them what they want are by definition "great places to work." I think if a firm can create the right environment, the younger generation coming into the profession will work as hard and be as productive as those who came before them.
Editor's note: Grant Partners provides change management and leadership facilitation services. Rich Rinehart started his CPA career at Arthur Andersen in San Francisco; then launched a local firm, Zainer Rinehart Clarke, and grew it to 35 people in Santa Rosa, Calif.; and was a consulting partner at Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman in Denver, Colo. "All of them," he says, "were 'great places to work' and still are."