Blog Archive

Monday, October 27, 2008

San Diego McGladrey Women Create Habitat for Change

There’s more to summer than accumulating melanomas and frequent-flyer miles. Philanthropy is on the rise and a few of our employees in the San Diego office have enough brownie points to make a baker’s dozen. After being on the waiting list to volunteer for the San Diego Chapter of Habitat for Humanity for over a year, Callie U., Stephanie R., and Valerie G. received word they would soon be trading in their calculators for tool belts and skill saws.

As a firm, McGladrey firm prides itself on its high level of commitment to the financial welfare of our clients, but many of our people are also passionate about extending a hand to those in the community who are not as fortunate. It is this same zeal and dedication which Habitat for Humanity and McGladrey share that seemed so well matched and ultimately led to a few days work in El Cajon this August.

Thanks to a generous donation by NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson and his foundation, Habitat broke ground last August on the first of four homes to be built on Avocado Street. The McDaniel’s, for whom the house we worked on was being built, were there working along side the skilled, and not-so-skilled, as part of the criteria necessary to receive this subsidized home. The McGladrey women were among the-not-so-skilled; however, you can imagine the follies, and there were many, which took place over the course of that hot Saturday.

The two most agile of the three were Stephanie and Callie, who were perched up on the roof, tarring, laying roofing tiles and hammering on siding. As for Valerie, since it was her second weekend working on that particular house, and evidently armed with the immense expertise that short stint provided, she was put in charge of tiling the bathroom. Her assigned assistant, a woman she had never met and who shall remain nameless, said to her upon starting the job, “Oh boy, there’s a lot of measuring for this, huh? I hope you know how to sew.” After that nonsensical remark, Valerie tuned her and all other similar commentary to her peripheral and used only her brawn for assistance. Most of the volunteers did not have the qualifications to be doing some of the things they were doing, but their hearts were in the right place. That’s their stance in the event the new homeowner wants to know why there are seventy-nine nails at the bottom of the upstairs toilet.

Stephanie summed it up for everyone when she said, "It feels so good to work so hard that your old body is sore, blistered, burned (her backside) and sunburned (her back) but to know that work was for someone else and all these unrelated lives came together for a few hours to build something for someone you will never see again."

But when did lending your hand to your fellow man become so very popular? In fact, it's so popular that it sometimes means waiting and waiting in order to find a cause with capacity. The Corporation for National and Community Service estimates that 61 million Americans volunteered in 2007, contributing 8.1 billion hours of service. That many helping hands has had a gridlock effect on the volunteer circuit. Statistically, those of us not able to forfeit our tax deductible dollars to the local tug-at-your-heart-strings society seem to have resolved themselves to driving a Bobcat while sweating through their tank tops in order to satisfy that inner call to serve. These days, whether you donate to the Red Cross or help build a refuge for starving Nicaraguan orphans, wanting to get involved will put you in a line not so different from that at your local Costco gas pump.

Right now, times are tough. Our regularly scheduled programming is being interrupted by little more than an infomercial for our “economic security”. Helping to build a home for someone will not keep us from the doldrums of financial uncertainty. But there are people out there whose very livelihood is being threatened today and they are asking questions about tomorrow. Like they say, actions speak louder than words, and if swinging a hammer in 98 degree weather doesn’t seem like an answer to some of these boggling questions about our nation’s ability to come out of a crisis, I don’t know what will.

It’s clear our McGladrey women felt lucky that summer day in August, and, well, at the risk of sounding trite and sentimental, warm and fuzzy inside. For more information on how you too can perspire for a cause, visit your local habitat agency.

If you’d like to opportunity to work alongside hero’s like Valerie, Stephanie and Callie, then be sure to check out our open needs at

Thursday, October 23, 2008

McGladrey's Big Week at Pinehurst

This week marked the National Championship round of the 2nd annual PGA McGladrey Team Championship, held again at the historic Pinehurst Resort. Among the regional qualifiers in this year's event, the Nebraska team, which included two McGladrey employees, were among this year's competitors. Ultimately, the exciting three round event culminated on Wednesday with a 3-stroke victory by the Northern Texas section team who finished at an impressive 36-under par. Congratulations to the Northern Texas team on their victory!

The week also marked two other major announcements:

1) McGladrey announced earlier this week a new partnership with the Special Olympics, and ultimately raised over $27,000 for the organization:

The new partnership will support Special Olympics athletes by providing financial support and opportunities for them to enhance their golf game by participating in certain PGA McGladrey Team Championship events throughout the country. The partnership also provides a national charitable organization for RSM McGladrey and creates opportunities for employees and clients to get more involved with the Championship through volunteerism.

2) The grand prize winner of the "Who's Behind Your Success?" contest was announced today. Congratulations to Taylor Anderson, a junior at The George Washington University, who submitted the inspiring, and ultimately the winning essay. Taylor, we hope you enjoy your day with Natalie Gulbis, and thanks again to you and the thousands of others for your essay submittals.

In addition to the external contest, we held an internal contest for our employees, offering them an opportunity to submit their own essay. The grand prize for the internal contest was a free trip to this week's National Championship at Pinehurst. Congratulations also go to Kris H. from our Des Moines, IA office as this year's big winner. In addition to the trip, Kris also got to meet Team McGladrey PGA pros Chris DiMarco and Zach Johnson.

The PGA McGladrey Team Championship was a huge success once again this year, offering thousands of amateur golfers to compete across the country in a truly unique event. This year's event was made even better by the addition of our internal essay winner Kris, our two employees on the Nebraska team, and our new affiliation with the Special Olympics. If you are a golfer yourself, have not participated in this event yet, and think that you might be up to the challenge, be sure to register for next year's tournament to be a part of the action!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Best Accounting Firms? McGladrey is one

On the heels of the recognition McGladrey recently received from Business Week as a "Best Place to Launch a Career" comes another kudos. This week, Accounting Today, the premier news vehicle for the tax and accounting professions, and Best Companies Group, announced their first ever list of "Best Accounting Firms to Work For."

McGladrey was 3rd largest firm listed out of 15 firms recognized in the large company category (greater than 250 employees), There are a total of 60 firms recognized. This recognition is extra special as the application consisted of two parts, one of which included our own employees completing a survey about the employee experience at McGladrey. The second part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. McGladrey has been quite focused this past year on employee engagement, so the Accounting Today recognition is further proof that those efforts are paying dividends. An actual ranking of the Best Accounting Firms list is expected to be released in early January, 2009.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Podcast - What NOT To Do In An Interview

There's alot of advice out there on what to do to prepare for an interview. We thought it might be both informative and entertaining to offer interview preparation advice from the another angle, what NOT to do in an interview. Along with some light-hearted examples of how not to behave and respond to questions in an interview setting, we offer you some good alternatives for what you SHOULD do in the same situation.

The podcast 'cast' includes Todd as the 'Narrator', myself as the 'Interviewee', and Tiffany, a HR Manager in our Minneapolis location, as the 'Interviewer'. Enjoy!

Example Interview Podcast.mp3

Monday, October 13, 2008

What's Your Dream?

I am not an avid reader. Being a pretty self-aware person, I know this about myself. I also know that this trait (or flaw, depending on how you see it) isn’t likely to change. So, it’s always a challenge when a friend or colleague plunks down the latest bestseller and insists that it will change my life. It’s not that I don’t want to continually be a better person and professional, it’s just that, all excuses aside, I’m not passionate about reading.

So, when one of my best friends brought me “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, I admit that I wasn’t completely overjoyed. However, I had watched the now famed Last Lecture, (given by Randy Pausch) online. Having remembered how powerful it is and the profound nature of Randy’s message, I was compelled to give this book a chance. Also, the fact that it was a short, seemingly quick-read helped!

I was able to finish the book on a long flight I recently took and found that I was riveted to the pages, not stopping for the entire flight. Few books have been able to hold my attention for hours on end and solidify a very important principle of life, to have dreams. I know, “how cliché” you might say. And, perhaps you’re right. But, I’ve always found that the most successful people, in business and life, seem to share one common element. It isn’t “tenacity” or “assertiveness” or any other personality “power trait” I could throw in here. It’s that successful people dare to dream, despite the obstacles, and they create a future for themselves sometimes without any semblance for how that dream will become reality. But, they start with a dream…

What’s your dream?

Congrats to Zach on Another Victory

Congratulations once again to Team McGladrey PGA professional, Zach Johnson, on winning the Valero Texas Open yesterday. Zach had a phenomenal weekend, shooting 62 on Saturday and a 64 yesterday for the 2-stroke win.

We are always proud of our Team McGladrey golfers, and we love nothing more than to celebrate our teammates' success at Success starts here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where in the World is McGladrey?

Where in the world is McGladrey? In almost 100 locations in 20+ states actually. In some cases, we are located in the middle of major business districts of cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco. In some cases we are in the suburbs, such as Blue Bell, PA; Gaithersburg, MD; Schaumburg, IL; and Irvine, CA. And in some cases, we are located within a short walk of great restaurants and shopping, including Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Vienna, VA; Dallas, TX and Kansas City, MO.

To help you 'visualize' where our locations are, we created the Custom Google Map that you see below. Zoom into each of the locations in 'Satellite' view to get a closer look at where we are located. Use the 'street view' to get a sense of the surrounding area. Click on 'Get Directions' to see how far you live (or would like to live) from our offices. Click 'View in Google Earth' to get a hyper-dynamic view of where we are and what surrounds us (I love in Google Earth how you can 'jump' from the front door of our New York office the front door of the Pasadena office in a matter of seconds!)

Where you work is an increasingly important aspect of anyone's job today. Location has an impact on your lifestyle, your day-to-day schedule, and your gas tank. Check out our locations in the map below for where McGladrey is in relation to YOU!

View Larger Map

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

From one firm to experience moving to McGladrey

***This post was contributed by one of the Upper Midwest Economic Unit's (UMEU) newest Senior Associates on the Health Care Not for Profit (HCNP) team in Minneapolis, Ryan.***

I came from a small accounting firm to the HCNP audit group on July 21.

I have been here two months and these are my experiences so far:

It was challenging the first few weeks, trying to become familiar with software that I hadn’t used before, audit procedures that are a little different than what I’m used to, commuting downtown, and just trying to stay busy.

Everything has gone pretty well since then though. I’m looking forward to upcoming educational opportunities that will help with the software and procedures and everyone has been very helpful demonstrating these things and explaining how many other things are done here. I hop on a park and ride bus whenever possible to ease the stress of the commute. Also, I’ve been able to stay busier at work with many people needing help on audit projects and my calendar is filling up with projects as well.

The people here are great. Everybody has been very kind and welcoming, everyone is always willing to help, and I like that people don’t gossip behind each other’s backs which is a problem I’ve witnessed in most other work places.

I’ve already had opportunities to take part in many fun activities. I watched the annual eating contest, went to the overnight cabin outing, and the summer picnic outing.

The schedule flexibility has been great too. Half day Fridays for the summer were very convenient. Also, I was scheduled to be on an audit that didn’t work well with my personal schedule. There was no problem getting switched to another audit that worked better and everybody was very understanding of the switch.

Overall, the job change has been great and I look forward to my career growing with McGladrey.

***Note from Jay***

Ryan's team is growing rapidly and they are always on the lookout for new high performers to join them. If you're interested, check out some of the open positions below:

HCNP Senior Associate

HCNP Manager

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Women RISE and SHINE in Southern, CA

In 2001, when Karen Jong first considered joining RSM McGladrey, she was resolute about not wanting to move from being a partner with PwC's tax practice, into a another partner role with McGladrey. This was primarily due to her unwavering commitment to her family and wanting to stay balanced on all fronts. During Karen's recruitment process, RSM McGladrey knew Karen was an exceptionally talented tax professional who would bring a tremendous amount of growth and success to our tax practice. We listened carefully to Karen’s objectives and our solution was simple. RSM McGladrey has a highly recognized Work/Life Balance Program that allows for talented professionals, like Karen, to excel in their careers, all the while maintaining that ever so delicate balance of work and family. RSM McGladrey has been honored as one of Working Mother's '100 Best Companies'. We proposed that Karen join our practice as a Director and talked with her about our Work/Life Balance Program. It was a deal. Karen joined the firm in 2001 and has not looked back. After experiencing tremendous success as a Director with our Southern, CA tax practice, Karen was approached in 2006 about becoming a Partner. A role she was sure she didn’t want to take on, but, again, due to the success of our Work/Life Balance Program, RSM McGladrey made it possible for Karen to rise to a partner role while still fulfilling her family responsibilities. As a result of our Work/Life Balance Program, superstars like Karen can truly have it all.

Of course, Karen didn’t just stop at making partner. In January of 2008, Karen was promoted to the SALT Tax Practice Lead. Karen was clearly on the road to optimal success because in May of 2008, Karen was promoted to the Tax Practice Lead Partner for the Southern, CA economic unit. Not bad for someone who didn’t want to even think about being a partner. But it get’s even better.

On September 19, 2008, Karen Jong was chosen as an Honoree for the Ninth Annual Women in Business Awards as Corporate Woman of the Year. Mind you this is not the only award where Karen has received for her outstanding leadership skills. In early 2008 Karen received an the Partner/Managing Director of the Year Runner-Up Award. I'm sure if we check the mantle at her home we'll probably find that Queen Elizabeth II made Karen an MBE (Member of the British Empire) too. Karen seems to be piling these awards up like jellybeans in a jar.

The award was presented by Senator Jack Scott, Assemblymember Paul Krekorian and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino at the annual awards luncheon, where Carla Christofferson and Kathy Goodman, owners of the Los Angeles Sparks WNBA basketball team, gave the keynote address. Each year, the three area legislators honor businesswomen who have contributed to the economic growth and well-being of Southern California. How exciting that our own Tax Practice Lead Partner is among those being honored. Clearly this is a well-deserved award, which was given in honor of her “significant accomplishments in business as well as her outstanding commitment to our community.”

Speaking of commitment to community; in addition to her tireless efforts at work, Karen is also on the Executive Committee for the Tournament of Roses. In her spare time, Karen is also a Girl Scout Leader. Clearly the young ladies in Karen's troop have a great mentor to look up to.

Karen Jong is highly regarded and sought after both within the RSM McGladrey environment as well as externally. Our clients have high praise for the work Karen has done. Karen has not only reached heights even she didn’t think were possible, but she shines as a formidable leader and example within our practice. I personally, consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to work together with Karen on our tax recruitment needs.

If you or someone you know would like to work alongside the talents of Karen and others like her at RSM McGladrey then please review our current open tax needs and apply online. Mention this blog post and we’ll be sure you get to meet Karen as well.

Tax Director - Irvine, CA
Tax Manager - Irvine, CA
Tax Supervisor - Irvine, CA
PCS Tax Director - Irvine, CA
R&D Director - Irvine or Pasadena, CA

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Golf plus Success equals Inspiration

As a follow up to the post Who's Behind Your Success, the finalists were announced recently for the nationwide essay contest with the grand prize of a day with Natalie Gulbis in her hometown of Las Vegas. You can view and vote for your favorite story by visiting the Natalie Contest site. These stories are truly inspirational, so I encourage you to check them out and vote today!