CPAs and CPA candidates who are starting careers in public accounting often struggle with the decision of whether a small, medium or large firm is the right fit for them. Each size of firm has distinct advantages and ultimately it should come down to which size and culture best fits a candidates personality and lifestyle. As a partner in a small firm, I am a little biased on this topic. But nonetheless, I would like to share some thoughts on why small firms are TERRIFIC.
Team environment – in a small firm such as Kfi, all employees work closely together in a team setting day in and day out. We all know each other well – both on a professional and personal level. We support each other in everything we do and go out of our way to spend quality time together in and out of the office. We believe that team building is critical to the success of our practice and have climbed 14ers together, skied together, participated in running races and 24 hour running events together and head to the park to throw the baseball around at lunch time any chance we get.
Educational opportunities – although small firms do not have the structured, regimented training programs that larger firms have, we have the flexibility to meet our CPE and training requirements through course work that interests us. For example, I personally get a great deal of enjoyment out of education that is related to fraud, business ethics and IT auditing and this makes up a large amount of my CPE credit hours. At a small firm, you can really tailor your training to suit your personality and interests.
Recreational opportunities – at Kfi and many other small firms, team members are encouraged and even reimbursed financially for participating in recreational activities outside of the office such as running or other athletic events, gym memberships, ski passes and golf. We understand that happy auditors are productive, efficient and effective auditors and strive to make sure everyone has the time they need to participate in the activities outside of work that make them happy.
Relationships with clients – we constantly seek out opportunities to help our clients and add as much value to them through the audit process as possible. We have built valuable and lasting relationships with our clients over the years by demonstrating to them that they are important to us. This makes our fieldwork at client offices much more enjoyable.
Ideas are welcome – at Kfi, everyone’s voice counts and we rely on team member ideas to constantly improve. Everyone knows that their input is welcomed and appreciated and it is rewarding to see your ideas put into action. Small firms are nimble enough to do this and when a good idea is presented, there is no red tape to go through and good ideas can be implemented immediately.
Family atmosphere – because the team works so closely together at a small firm, there is truly a family atmosphere. We all have each other’s back and support each other day in and day out.
Involvement in community – at Kfi, we take community service very seriously and generally organize and host at least one community service event per month. This is a great opportunity for young professionals to learn about the importance of service and helping those in need. It is a character-building opportunity that is not often available and encouraged at larger firms.
Culture – all of the points above culminate in a culture that is accepting and supportive of every team member. The happiness and health of the team is a very high priority at Kfi. Some days are very challenging, but most of the time we enjoy coming to work and have fun while we are there.
At the end of the day, working for a small CPA firm can truly be TERRIFIC!