Blog Archive

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Help is not a four-letter word

Written by Jay Olson
Regional Talent Acquisition Leader
Minneapolis, MN

When was the last time you asked for help?  Better yet, when was the last time you asked for help and the person you asked said, “no.”?  As I play through that scenario in my mind I honestly can’t think of the last time someone was unwilling to help me if I asked them.  That’s not to say they were able to help me right away or even as effectively as I would have hoped, but they did say “yes.”  And when all was said and done what I set out to accomplish was probably completed.

So why is it that sometimes it feels like asking for help is seen a sign of failure or something that magnifies your inability?  It’s odd, isn’t it?  So many people are willing/able to help, yet we don’t ask for it because we think it’s a bad thing.  Funny how something that is viewed as being so bad often leads to so much good.

I’m convinced that asking for help, especially as people enter the work force, is a skill that many have to actually learn.  You start your new job and the last thing you want is to be seen as someone who doesn’t have it all figured out.  I can’t blame you…it’s competitive out there! But here’s the thing; you don’t.  Nobody does.  That’s the beauty of asking for help.  You have the opportunity to always be learning something new.  So the next time that same issue rolls around or better yet, someone asks you for some help, you’re now able to provide it because you made yourself vulnerable and asked.  I don’t know many people that like to admit when they don’t know something, but those that do seem to always be the most intelligent people I interact with.

Being vulnerable to others isn’t easy, but speaking from experience I can tell you that it is far more rewarding when you are.  It’s like when you decide to actually admit when you’re wrong.  It probably isn’t fun to do, but I think most people would actually respect it because it allows the situation to be fixed or moved past more quickly.  So the next time you have a question or need some help just remember that nobody expects you to know it all.  That’s the beauty of all the people around you; you have a virtually endless supply of help nearby.  The only question is are you willing to ask for it?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

McGladrey Employees Work Abroad in Australia

Is working abroad on your to-do list? McGladrey has a secondment program which is a short-term assignment where an employee works with a member firm of RSM International. Short-term secondments generally last for 3 - 6 months and are during the member firm’s busy season. The primary purposes of a secondment are to help augment the firm’s busy season when they need to ramp up resources, and to provide exposure to international business standards for our employees.

Long-term secondments may range from 12 – 24 months, and provide an opportunity for the secondee to become fully immersed in the member firm, their business processes, the culture of the country, and to gain valuable international experience that can benefit McGladrey clients upon their return.

With either type of secondment, interested individuals generally need to be at least a senior within McGladrey and secondments are limited in nature.

Meet Holly Klotz and Elisa Johnson.

They are senior associates currently involved in McGladrey’s secondment program who share insights from down under as secondees working at RSM Bird Cameron in Perth, Australia.

McGladrey: Where in Perth is the RSM Bird Cameron office located?

Holly: The RSM Bird Cameron office in Perth, Western Australia, is located downtown in the central business district and about one block off of the Swan River. The office is an eight-story building with RSM occupying most of it. The audit team alone has approximately 25 to 30 employees with four audit partners. 

Elisa: The downtown skyline actually looks similar to the Minneapolis skyline.

McGladrey: What are your current responsibilities in your secondment role?

Elisa: I assist on assurance engagements.

Holly: I currently function as a supporting staff on the engagements I am scheduled on. During my first week in Perth I worked on a non-profit organization with another staff member where we worked collectively as in-charge. I recently traveled approximately two hours south of Perth to a town called Bunbury where we stayed for two nights. I am looking forward to doing some more travel for clients outside of Perth during my secondment.

McGladrey: Describe your average day and how it differs from your workday stateside.

Holly: In Perth, Australia:
  • Arrive at client around 8:30 a.m. as that is the start of business hours
  • Eat lunch with the team around 12:30 p.m. (most people bring their lunch)
  • Scheduled at a client anywhere from two or three days up to a few weeks. There is no standard block of time that is spent at a client. Usually have a few days here and there in the office to wrap things up.
  • In order to download new client files and do time/expense entry, I have to go into the office
  • No live syncing of client files as Lotus Notes is used and there is limited use of CasewWare,  which also does not sync, but rather sections of the file are “checked out” and updated to the master file later
In Des Moines, Iowa:
  • Arrive at a client as early as 7 a.m. assuming we can get in
  • Eat lunch with the team around 11:30 a.m. (most of the time we go out for lunch)
  • Scheduled at clients in one week blocks of time up to multiple weeks. During busy season the only time spent in the office is usually on Saturdays.
  • Have full access to all work functions remotely via VPN including syncing client files
Elisa: We generally get to the client between 8:30–9 a.m. and then work until 6–7 p.m. The interaction with the client is very similar to Minneapolis.  And the members of the teams who I have been working with have similar personalities to those I work with on the Minneapolis CRE team.  We get along well, get the audit done and enjoy working with each other. 

McGladrey: What surprised you the most on your first day in the office?

Elisa: The partner who we report to is very involved in the details of our secondment, which I wasn’t expecting. He met with us individually and asked us about our office, hours generally worked during busy season and experience. He then provided some insight into the audit team, the clients they work on and what the expectations would be. He also took time out of his day to personally take us to get cell phones, etc. He has been great to work with!

Holly: How genuinely welcoming and helpful everyone is. The general attitude in the office is very upbeat and supportive of everyone else. They seem to be a very close-knit team.

McGladrey: What are you most excited about with regard to this role?

Holly: There are several items I am excited about in the upcoming weeks:
  • Being able to experience different industries than what we have in Des Moines. For example, there is a significant client base in mining and exploration.
  • Understanding in greater detail the differences in audit strategies and accounting principles between Australian GAAP/IFRS versus U.S. GAAP and auditing standards. During my initial week I had many discussions regarding these differences challenging me to think broader conceptually about auditing and accounting approaches.
  • Getting to work with several different people both at RSM Bird Cameron and also at their clients to learn about their culture and lifestyle.
Elisa: I am excited to learn about different industries, auditing techniques/styles, and reporting.  I am also excited to get adapted to Australian culture.

McGladrey: What are your biggest accomplishments since arriving in Perth?

Elisa: My biggest accomplishments are learning the different techniques used in auditing.  While the methods used are similar to what we use, they are also different. I have been working on clients in different industries and listed on the Australian stock exchange, whereas in the U.S. I work on privately owned or private equity group clients, primarily in the construction, real estate and distribution industries. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

McGladrey Employees Compete to be Zach Johnson's Caddie

McGladrey is hosting two new contests for this year’s McGladrey Classic, the PGA Tour event played on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Gold Club in Saint Simons Island, Ga. Caddie for Love is wrapping up, with only 5 external finalists left in the running to be Davis Love III’s caddie at the event (vote here).

In our offices there is additional buzz going around for the internal contest “Caddie Quest.” One lucky employee of McGladrey will win the opportunity to caddie for Zach Johnson at the McGladrey Classic this October. (Another fun perk of life at McGladrey!) Each contestant wrote a convincing essay for the chance to caddie for Zach. Our five finalists have each submitted a video demonstrating why they are the right person to help Zach experience the “Power of Being Understood” – our corporate advertising campaign.

The winner will be announced September 15th, along with the winner of Caddie for Love.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

McGladrey recognized as one of “Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For”

Written by Dan Persico
Talent Acquisition Leader
Chicago, IL

I’d like to share some great news.  McGladrey has been selected as one of “Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” for the sixth year in a row.  The awards competition and selection process provides us with the opportunity to gain recognition, showcase our best practices, and demonstrate why McGladrey is an exceptional place to work.

I had the honor of representing McGladrey at this year’s award luncheon where I was provided the opportunity to network with Human Resource leaders from the other recognized Chicago area companies. 

It was a fun and educational day.  I had a chance to get reacquainted with former colleagues, make some new friends, attend informative panel discussions, meet a few local media celebrities, and most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to talk about McGladrey — the things we do well, our people promise, why we are an employer of choice, and all the other reasons that make us deserving of this award for 6 years running.

I hope you take this chance to check out and apply to one of the best and brightest companies in the area at

Dan Persico, fourth from the left, represented McGladrey at the awards reception.

Monday, August 15, 2011

McGladrey's Pathways Program in New York

Written by Kim McLaughlin
Talent Acquisition Manager
New Jersey
I recently spent three days in the “Big Apple” mixing it up with some of our future talent during the New York office’s Pathways program.  Pathways is a 3-day opportunity for intern and associate candidates to experience McGladrey—what our office life is like and what it’s like to work with our clients and our people.
44 students from almost 20 different universities packed into our midtown office boardroom for a warm welcome and introduction to McGladrey with office managing partner, Don Lipari.  Participants asked all kinds of insightful questions and received lots of colorful answers from Don’s 29 year career at McGladrey.  The day also involved small group discussions over lunch with our current summer interns and other McGladrey professionals.  I had the pleasure of dining with 4 participants and loved the open chat we shared about work-life flexibility, mobility within McGladrey and working with clients.  The day wrapped up with a panel of employees who shared their personal stories and insights into the career paths at McGladrey.  Oh, and an ice cream social was the “cherry on top” of this fast-paced and informative first day.
Day 2 found us meeting up in front of our office at 46th and 6th bright and early to board a bus for Battery Park.   We were off to visit a client—the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation.  After a brief ferry ride with a pit stop to wave to Lady Liberty, we arrived at the Immigration Museum at Ellis Island and had some time to explore this historic and moving site before meeting up with the Foundation’s controller and former McGladrey auditor, Elad Rosen.  Elad shared his experiences on working at McGladrey and his time working “on the client side.”  Participants learned how he partners with the engagement team members and Elad answered quite a handful of questions from the group.  Our visit concluded with a brief play about Emma Lazarus and her memorable poem which graces the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal, “…Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
After our client visit, the day concluded with some education on preparing for the CPA exam and a scavenger hunt around the New York office to get more of a hands-on look at our environment.  Participants ended day 2 with some instructions about the interviews they would have on Day 3 as well as the community service activity at the Museum of Natural History that would complete their Pathways experience.
For me, my experience ended on Day 2 with an energizing walk back to Penn Station and a great sense of inspiration about the future talent we expect to come on board at McGladrey.  What a great way to Experience McGladrey!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The McGladrey Classic is Right Around the Corner - Vote for Davis Love III's Caddie


The McGladrey Classic is on our minds – because it is only two months away! The McGladrey Classic is a PGA TOUR event played on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in Saint Simons Island, Ga. The tournament is hosted by the Davis Love Foundation, which was established by PGA Professional Davis Love III for the purpose of contributing to the well-being and progress of society by supporting both national and community-based programs that focus on children and their families. The McGladrey Classic is named for title sponsor McGladrey who is proud to support the Special Olympics and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Georgia through the tournament.

This year McGladrey announced Caddie for Love, a national contest that will give one lucky golf enthusiast a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go inside the ropes with Team McGladrey Member Davis Love III (1997 PGA Champion and captain of the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team) during The McGladrey Classic this October. Nearly 3,000 fans have entered for a chance to win.

Contestants were asked to submit a photo and tell us why they should be chosen as Davis Love III’s caddie. A combination of public voting and a panel of judges helped us narrow down all submissions to 20 semifinalists. These semifinalists were asked to create a video, and we invited you to view and vote for your favorite video. 

See the videos on the View Contestants page and then cast your VOTE! The deadline for voting is August 26th.

Final judging will be decided by McGladrey and Davis Love III and announced September 15, 2011.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finding my Place at McGladrey

Written by Jason Cannon
Des Moines, Iowa
Tax Associate

I started my career at McGladrey as a member of our Performance Improvement consulting group in September 2009.  Over the course of my first 18 months with the firm, I worked with individuals across all functions (audit, tax, and consulting), and began developing good relationships with some of the audit and tax leaders in my office (Des Moines, Iowa).  I was fortunate enough to get to know Jim Beal, one of our tax managing directors, and worked for him on several projects.  Over time, Jim became someone that I could go to for advice and guidance in my career, and this only further confirmed that McGladrey was the best for me.

This spring, I began really thinking about my long term career goals and realized that getting to know clients on a personal level was what made me most happy in my job.  I wanted to pursue a career where I could grow relationships with the same clients over many years in order to become more of a trusted business advisor.  My position as a performance improvement consultant was great - I felt that I was being successful in my job, I was working on interesting projects, and was being exposed to more variety of business situations than I had ever expected to – but I realized that to satisfy my long term goals, I needed to pursue more consistent types of work with a more consistent client base. 

I decided to take ownership of these goals and talked with Jim Beal and our office managing partner, Rod Foster, about my dilemma.  It would have been very easy for Jim and Rod to give me a packaged answer and move on, but they didn’t.  Instead, they coached me and suggested that I consider working toward my CPA and then I could join our tax department in Des Moines.  Soon after my conversations with Jim and Rod, I decided to take their advice and really pursue a transfer. 

The transfer itself was a fairly straight forward process.  I had a few conversations with the leaders that I worked with and got the necessary approvals, and I have now been with the tax department in Des Moines for about three months.  I felt welcomed to the team from day one and can’t say enough about the people I work with.  The quality of professionals we have at McGladrey is both humbling and inspiring and I’m learning so much in my new role. 

I now see a much more satisfying long term career path at McGladrey, and am grateful for the opportunities that have been provided to me.  I’m so glad I spoke up about my interests, because that’s really all it took.