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Welcome to 20 Days to a Better Firm!

This series of short articles, which will run from now into the middle of November, will share strategies on recruiting, retention and growth from the members of Accounting Today’s 2016 Best Firms to Work For list of the 100 small, midsized and large firms with the best workplaces in the country.

With the accounting profession continuing to face a major staffing shortage, finding and keeping talented accountants of all ages is a priority, and firms across the country are working on it night and day.

That brings us to our first tip for making your firm a better workplace: Make sure you’re doing the things everyone else is doing. There is a large core of best practices that most, if not all, of our Best Firms are pursuing to be a great workplace – and if you’re not offering something similar, prospective employees won’t give you a second look.

As a place to start, consider the following list: If your firm isn’t doing all of these to one degree or another, you need to start implementing them immediately.

  • Make sure your compensation is in line with what’s being offered in the profession as a whole, and in your geographic area.
  • Commit to work-life balance and flexibility in scheduling.
  • Create frequent opportunities for social interaction, with firm outings, fun events in-house, and more.
  • Keep your technology is up to do date, with dual monitors (if not more), mobile capabilities, cloud-based tools, and the latest hardware.
  • Communicate regularly and openly with staff.
  • Create robust channels for employees to give you feedback -- and then listen to it.
  • Give young staff mentors.
  • Support your employees’ professional development.
  • Feed your staff regularly! Meals during tax season, free snacks (not always the healthiest ones, either)
  • Care about their physical and mental wellbeing, with wellness programs, gym memberships and the like.
  • Offer health care and other HR benefits.

Over the next 19 days, we’ll be sharing ideas to make your firm more effective in all these areas – and to go beyond them to help you create the best firm you can.

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