Blog Archive

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Proud to be an auditor

by Joe Adams, Managing Partner and CEO of RSM US LLP

My audit career began as a freshman at DePaul University in Chicago when I selected accounting as my major. I chose it because my brother was an accountant. Little did I know then the profound impact that choice would have on my life and my career.

In fact, after I took my first couple of auditing classes, I was pretty sure audit wasn’t for me. While I did well, I was really more interested in the operational side of the business. So much so that I stayed on for an MBA after getting my undergraduate degree in accounting.

But as you’re building a career, you’re also building a life. When I graduated with my MBA, I had a young family to support, so I began a career as an auditor because it would provide me with good experience and a solid income. I joined RSM (which was then known as McGladrey) with the promise of transferring to consulting after I had a couple of years of experience under my belt.

What I learned in those first few years, however, is that there is no better way to learn about business than to be an auditor. In addition to learning auditing skills, I had tremendous opportunities to interact with business leaders and owners. I took every chance I had to talk to leaders and understand how they were successful. At the same time, my business acumen was growing as a result of my work on audits. I learned about financial statements, inventory, transactions and more. And I became very aware of the impact my work had on building confidence in the users of financial statements, which is the very foundation of our economy and of good business decisions. After those initial years, I decided to stay in audit because I was enjoying it and learning so much about business in general. It was a far better education than if I had immediately stepped into business operations.

I also found the CPA firm environment to be a great place to learn and grow. I am a competitive person who likes to make a difference. Beginning fairly early in my career, I started bringing ideas to my partners for things we could improve. They didn’t all get approved, but many did, and I was quickly able to stand out as a result of my proactive approach. In fact, when I made manager, one of our leaders jokingly told me, “We had to promote you so you could be one of us.” Throughout my career, I have had tremendous opportunities to understand and impact our firm’s business – from being personnel partner responsible for people management to leading operations for a major region to now leading all of RSM here in the U.S.

And I don’t believe my experience is unique. I believe it is available to anyone who chooses the profession, chooses to excel and is willing to take steps to make their firm, the users of financial statements and the profession better. I honestly don’t know of another career where you can make such a big impact on the capital markets, the businesses you work with, your colleagues and your firm.

I am proud of the work our firm and our profession does to build confidence in our capital markets. I am proud of how I have personally helped business owners and shareholders of all types make confident decisions as a result of the work my teams and I have done auditing their financial statements. I am proud of the impact I have been able to make at RSM. And I am proud of the way I have been able to support and provide for my family as a result of my choice to be an auditor. I can’t imagine a more rewarding career.

That’s why I am #auditorproud.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pursue a passion: One person can make a big difference

Tyler Cronk, Supervisor
Minneapolis, MN
Being a night owl can change lives. Just ask Supervisor Tyler Cronk, Minneapolis, whose nocturnal habits led to an adventure that would forever change his life—and the lives of others.

Up late watching TV one night in August 2014, Tyler saw a CNN Heroes segment about Doc Hendley, founder of Wine To Water, an organization dedicated to providing clean water worldwide in sustainable and repeatable ways. As he watched, Tyler was struck by the difference just one person could make.

"I first noticed what a great storyteller Doc Hendley was, and then I became fascinated by his story," said Tyler. "He had been working as a bartender when he learned about a group of people in Darfur without access to clean water. So he threw a party at his bar, and attempted to donate the proceeds to an organization he thought could help. The organization actually gave the money back and suggested that he could do a better job than they could in working to solve the issue."

It was at that point that Hendley had an epiphany. He moved to Africa to learn how to purify water and set up an organization that could give people access to clean water, and started Wine To Water, a non-profit that has provided clean water to more than 400,000 people in 24 countries since 2009.

"I thought, here's a guy who was working as a bartender and then went on to make a huge difference," Tyler recalled. "I asked myself what I was now going to do to make an impact."

Just a week before, Tyler had heard about RSM's Pursue Your Passion opportunity. Through Pursue Your Passion, three recipients would each receive $2,500 and five additional PTO days to realize their dream.

"I thought, no way, this is more than a coincidence," he said. "And, I decided that if our firm was going so far as to say, this is important enough that we will back you, I needed to put down my deposit with Wine To Water and apply for the program."

Bringing water to those in need
As one of three Pursue Your Passion winners, Tyler went to Nepal with a Wine To Water team in September 2015. The area had poor access to water, and a 7.8 earthquake in April 2015, and its subsequent aftershocks, had damaged the area's aquifers and infrastructure even more, leaving many without clean water.

Wine To Water provided financial support for the region immediately following the earthquake and sent water filters, chlorine tablets and sanitation products to clean the water supply. And it was up to Tyler's team to ensure the filters were being used properly. While that task at first didn't sound important or exciting, it turned out that, in many cases, villagers weren't using the filters correctly, if at all, instead relying on rations of one liter of water per person per week for drinking and bathing.

"The problem was that the villagers didn't trust the guy who was dropping off the filters," said Tyler. "And since unclean water can lead to disease and death, the villagers weren't taking any chances. So, we showed them how to use the filters correctly and how to clean them properly. And, when they didn't trust us, we drank the water ourselves to show them it was safe." Doing so meant the difference between good health and illness or even death for many.

"Using the filters provides the villagers with access to an unlimited, continuous water stream from a spring," said Tyler. "The feeling of helping to make that available to them is something I'll never forget."

Tyler's team also built a rainwater harvest system for a school and helped dig out a school and homes destroyed by the earthquake. Since many people build their homes on top of their businesses—sometimes four stories stacked above a small main floor—the destruction and death tolls following the earthquake were significant, and rebuilding is still an arduous process.

"These people are trying to earn money to put food on the table, living day-to-day. So it's difficult for them to work on their damaged or destroyed homes on top of that," he said. "In one case, we were working with a local team for two to three hours before we realized that what we were digging out was the home of a man working alongside us. That was very emotional. To top it off, it was monsoon season, so we had to end our work early, leaving the man and his home behind. That was our group's low point. The next day, a few of us snuck back to finish the job for him."

A different outlook
Tyler's time pursuing his passion changed his perspective about life—and about work.

"I had heard of Kathmandu and Nepal. But I never associated it with people who don't have clean water, or understood all of the challenges and inconveniences that presents for them," he said. "Having clean drinking water is an even more immediate need than food and housing. If you go a few days without water, that's a big problem. Doc Hendley has a quote about his inability to eradicate the water crisis on his own. He says his work is a drop in the bucket. But if he hadn't started Wine To Water, we'd be nowhere. Hundreds of thousands of people are affected by the water crisis, and I'm happy to have made a contribution toward solving it."

Tyler says the trip also helped him get his own priorities in order.

"I met people from all walks of life, including the wonderful and grateful people of Nepal. It gave me new things to think about and talk about," he said. "Plus, it gave me a lot of time to think about my own life. I looked at how I spend my time and realized my 'priorities' and actions were out of alignment."

For Tyler, a program like Pursue Your Passion builds personal integrity as well as employee loyalty.

"My friends and family said they had never heard of a company doing something like this—something that doesn't directly contribute to the bottom line," he said. "It shows that my firm understands people have things they want to do outside of work. And just because you earn a salary and have PTO, it doesn't make it easy to do those things. This program made it possible. And providing an avenue for an employee to become a better person is a remarkable thing."

Tyler, center, with other members of the Wine To Water team.

Tyler and a Wine To Water teammate with students at a
school where the team built a rainwater harvest system.

Monday, October 26, 2015

McGladrey is now RSM

The power of being understood®
Audit - Tax - Consulting
Today is a big day. Today, McGladrey changes its name to RSM US LLP, uniting with our fellow member firms in the RSM International network under a common brand – RSM.

Our name change celebrates the solid foundation we’ve carefully built in the U.S. over nearly 90 years, while reinforcing our global strength and the broad reach of services we provide to entrepreneurial, growing organizations around the world.

From Cedar Rapids to Beijing, and every office in between, we celebrate this exciting day with our more than 37,000 colleagues in 110 countries.

The RSM brand reaffirms our commitment to delivering the power of being understood® to our clients and our people. Because when our clients and our people feel truly understood, they can move forward with confidence.

Learn more on our website,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 ASCEND Conference - Personal Perspective

Hemant Shah
Assurance Sr Manager
McLean, VA
I am waiting. Waiting for my Acela Express train to take me back home to Virginia. While I wait for my gate to be announced, I am trying to reflect on the last four days at the Ascend conference.
Ascend is the largest pan-Asian organization with 60,000 people, 34 student chapters and 17 professional chapters located in both the United States and Canada. The organization had its 8th Annual National Convention and celebrated its 10 year anniversary this year. This year’s theme was, “Agile, Innovative, Bold.”

I was among the 50 fortunate McGladrey employees sponsored to attend the convention and represent our firm. I was able to broaden my perspective, personally and professionally, meet great leaders from all walks of life and connect with fellow McGladrey employees who share the same passion as me - representing our individual culture and heritage.

McGladrey has recently launched the Culture, Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) program, led by Richard Caturano and Tracey Walker. There are various Employee Network Groups (ENG) that have been formed under the CDI umbrella, one of them being the Asian ENG led by our fearless leader, Alfred Ko.

McGladrey leaders Richard Caturano, Tracey Walker, Hussain Hasan, Brett Friedman and Karen Jong were all at the conference. Meeting them made it obvious to me, a new employee who has been with McGladrey for less than a year, that the firm is committed to this new initiative. It is here to stay, it is not going anywhere. Apart from the huge capital investment the firm is making, it is also encouraging to see firm leaders invest their time and experience to mentor the ENG leaders and groom them to be tomorrow’s leaders. For me personally, this was a humbling experience, to see our firm leaders really support us, lead by action, see them “hang-out” with us during the convention and singing karaoke to their favorite tunes as part of team bonding.

Let me share this leadership in action story with you all. It’s five minutes before Ascend’s 10-Year Anniversary Benefit & Awards Dinner Gala. Everyone is waiting outside for the doors to open. As soon as it opens people rush to find a seat and a table. It was like people rushing into stores on a Black Friday Sale! I was late to the “sale” and didn’t get a seat. Richard Caturano saw that I didn’t have a seat and offered me his seat. I insisted that he sit and that I would find another seat somewhere, but he insisted that I take his seat, telling me not to worry, that he will find another seat. I caved in.

Fast forward to the end of the dinner gala. We all gather again and I inquire about the seat situation. I learn that he stood with two other McGladrey employees for a good part of the dinner until the hotel staff organized new tables for the standing crowd at the very back of the room. Did he have to do that for me? Don’t leaders usually sit in the front? What a powerful action. What a humbling experience. A small gesture, but so powerful. Is this McGladrey? Are those our leaders? Is this the power of being understood? You be the judge.

Let me share a selfless act story with you. Before the convention started, McGladrey had a kick-off dinner for all McGladrey attendees. We are walking from our hotel to the restaurant and this man is following us with a nice DSLR camera taking shots of us walking to the restaurant and then at the restaurant during our event. He was working so professionally. I was so impressed. I thought, “Wow, McGladrey hired a photographer to cover the whole Ascend event.” This person is following us  through day two now and so I inquire to know more about this gentlemen. He is sweet, nice and courteous. When I learned his identity, my jaw dropped. He was Karen Jong’s husband, Bak. He was not hired by McGladrey to cover anything. In fact, he is not even a professional photographer. He is not getting paid for it. He is not attending the Ascend convention. He is just accompanying his wife on this trip. He would come in on events where needed and then disappear. Now think about it, why did he have to do so? Is this the McGladrey Family? Again, I will have you be the judge.

The convention invited well recognized senior executives who spoke on various topics with a common theme of being Agile, Innovative and Bold. I learned a lot from these sessions, on how to be a great leader, how to overcome my weakness, how to be true to myself and be authentic. But, I learned more from my fellow McGladrey employees in action. It is commonly said, action speaks louder than words, and to me, action did speak.

Check out this video from McGladrey’s CDI group at ALPFA and Ascend this year!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Why I Chose McGladrey

Mollie Heins, HR Generalist
Minneapolis, MN
I first heard of McGladrey while in college. I was living in Fargo, ND at the time, attending NDSU where I earned my bachelor’s degree in business management with a focus in Human Resources. A friend from college had accepted an accounting internship at McGladrey. I was so proud of her we had to go out and celebrate over dinner at the Olive Garden, our favorite restaurant. As I helped her pack for her big move to Minneapolis, I knew I wanted to do the same… and made the move in 2011.

A few years, and a few job experiences later, I was looking to grow my career in Human Resources and saw an opening at McGladrey - since I remembered the name, I was sure to applied right away. What attracted me most to McGladrey was their focus on career growth, global presence, and core business values.

I was ecstatic when I got the call from the recruiter to speak about the HR Generalist position. Our conversation solidified the fact that I knew McGladrey was the company for me. I was incredibly interested in the work I would be performing, the opportunities for growth, and a culture supporting positive work-life balance. The interview process went smoothly, and I appreciated the chance to meet multiple people on the team I would be working with.

After just 3 weeks on the job, I know why so many employees enjoy working here. I’m impressed by the commitment to community stewardship and the genuine welcomes I get from everyone on the team. I know they are supporting me in my growth success in the company. I’m so proud to be a part of McGladrey’s growth, and support all employees with their HR needs!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Getting To Know All About You - Taking A Deep Dive With One Of Florida's Best And Brightest

By Jill Redavid-Talent Acquisition
Interview with David Luker, Risk Advisory Services Manager, Melbourne, FL

Meet David Luker, CPA.  He is a Construction Risk Advisory Services Manager in our Melbourne office.  David is a graduate of Auburn University (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting), and has already achieved a great amount of success in his young career, including becoming a 2014 40 Under 40 honoree.  Read below to learn more about David personally and professionally...

How did your career with McGladrey begin?
I was actually doing audit and tax for an alliance firm in Alabama (Jackson Thornton) when I decided I was done being cold for 4 months out of the year (haha). My dad is the managing partner of an Atlanta based alliance firm and knew Deb Lockwood (McGladrey Partner) very well. He put me in touch with Deb and when I found out McGladrey was in the beginning stages of developing a construction consulting practice at a location next to the beach (Melbourne), I couldn’t pass up investigating the opportunity. I interviewed with several people from the Melbourne office and came on board in June of 2011.

Favorite thing about McGladrey?
Collaboration between service lines. Since I got here I’ve seen significant improvement in the way we cross-sell and engage multiple LOBs with our existing clients and prospects. Information is power and the improvement in communication I’ve seen in my short time here between offices and LOBs is exciting!

Please describe your job in 4 sentences or less: 
Our team provides risk management consulting to owners and contractors involved in major construction. We are experts in the primary processes and controls that drive a successful construction project. Through extensive collaboration with our clients, we work to provide meaningful, efficient and truly implementable action plans to help mitigate the risks of major construction.

Why do you love the construction industry?
The people. The individuals responsible for managing construction work tend to be very down to earth people that want tangible results. They don’t like “fluff”, and they won’t put up with you long if you don’t add value to their processes. Also, the tangible nature of the work is very rewarding. When you can finish a project and actually see the completed project there is a sense of satisfaction that you rarely get in our industry.

Explain the culture in the Melbourne office:
The Melbourne office is a little family (haha)… many of the core employees here have worked together for 8+ years and have been through various renditions of “McGladrey” all the way from small acquired partnerships, to American Express, to HR Block and finally McGladrey.

Describe your management style:
I think of myself as more of a life coach than a manager… My management style for actual project work is pretty hands off. I put in lots of time up front to make sure the team knows what is expected and then I follow up semi-regularly to make sure things stay on track. I make the life coach comment because I think there is so much more that we can help our younger / newer professionals with beyond “work stuff” that if you are doing it right, you end up being a mentor by default.

What is your favorite thing about living in Melbourne:
1st -The waves…. 2nd-The fishing… 3rd-Retired neighbors

If you could trade lives with another coworker for one week, who would it be and why?
Kathy Thomas-Beck for sure. Kathy and I have a few clients together and my desk is right outside of her office, so I get a good bit of exposure to her and the details of her job. I am incredibly interested in the overall management of our firm, it’s structure and how we grow… Kathy’s position affords her the opportunity to drive the firm’s overall direction…. and I would LOVE to get a taste of that for a week!

What is your most memorable McGladrey moment?
Not sure. I’ve had lots of them I guess… winning a new client when you’ve been heavily involved in the pursuit is a good one. Getting promoted is always fun!

What is your 5 year plan?
I’d like to win a few big construction internal audit projects… I’d like to be promoted to Director… and I’d like to go on a surf trip to the Mentawias (Indonesian Islands)

Advice you would give a college freshman who is considering consulting:
GO FOR IT! Audit and tax give you a great foundation for consulting, but don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do consulting right out of school. It’s a great way to get plugged into a bunch of different industries and a bunch of different clients in a short amount of time.

Tell me about a typical weekend for you:
Take the fishing rods out at dawn and catch some pompano. Take the wife and the dogs out to the beach in the afternoon so I can catch some waves. Grill the fish I caught that morning for dinner. Repeat on Sunday!

Left shoe on first or right shoe? 
Right. Everything right first. I’m the most un-ambidextrous person in the world.

If you win the lottery, who is the first person you would call?
Dad. He is my most trusted advisor.

First thing you buy would be?
Plane ticket to Tahiti. There is a wave there I’ve been dying to surf for a few years now.

What is your perfect pizza?
Thin crust meat lovers.

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
A protein bar. I’m obsessed with them… I’ve had one for breakfast every morning for the last 10 years!

Favorite sports teams:
My dad played for the University of Georgia and my little sister was their cheerleading captain and coach for a few years… so I’d have to say the Bulldogs despite my attending Auburn.

Who is your hero?
Dad. As you can tell by the fact that he has been included in several of my answers above, the guy is a legend and everything I aspire to be.

If you had to be trapped in a tv show for a month, what would you choose?
I haven’t had cable TV for almost 7 years now, so I’m not up to date on the current stuff… but I’d probably say something from Shark week. I’d rather be in the water than anywhere in the world, so I think that fits.

Theme song of your life: 
Allman Brothers – “Ramblin Man”

Monday, May 11, 2015

3 Quick Questions: Perspective From Each LOB in Baltimore

by Julie Reahl, Talent Acquisition Sourcing Specialist, Baltimore, MD

TAX: Alex Akhaminov, Tax Manager
1. Why did you choose McGladrey? 
I chose McGladrey because it was a bigger office with a large tax practice. Also, I knew I would be working with good clients and good people. I knew a few people who already worked here, so I got to ask them what McGladrey was all about.
2. What makes you stay at McGladrey?
I work with a great group of people!
3. What is unique about Baltimore’s Tax group?
We are a group of normal people. We are not “nerds,” and we can talk about stuff other than work!

ASSURANCE: Peter Zanger, Senior Manager 
1. Why did you choose McGladrey?
The opportunity to work with entrepreneurial middle market companies where I can meaningfully assist them with solving their business challenges as opposed to only providing compliance solutions.
2. What makes you stay at McGladrey?
The opportunity to grow and learn with the firm and our clients at a rapid pace.
3. What is unique about Baltimore’s Assurance group?
Team strength and connectivity inside and outside of work.

CONSULTING: Tom Carr, Senior Associate
1. Why did you choose McGladrey?
I choose McGladrey because I was looking for something very specific, and the job description here was exactly what I was looking for.
2. What makes you stay at McGladrey?
I like what I do, and I have been given a lot of opportunity to succeed in my first year. I have been able to take what I learned from my last job (working at a hedge fund), and combine that with the new skills here. Also, I get to take the water taxi to work every day!
3. What is unique about Baltimore’s Consulting group?
We are the only consulting team in Baltimore that comes into the office every day; we go to the client site once a week.

1. Why did you choose McGladrey?
I identified with the firm’s core values, and liked the idea of being an advisor to the middle market. I also felt like I was able to make a difference based on the size and scale of the organization.
2. What makes you stay at McGladrey?
The ability to create and execute strategy. Also, I have the influence to develop others, and McGladrey offers white space to develop business acumen and skills.
3. What is unique about Baltimore’s HR group?
We have a tremendous amount of respect which allows us to collaborate at a higher level.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Laughing While You Work

Meghan Houston
Talent Acquisition Specialist
McLean, VA
What makes your firm different? I hear this question every day when I am speaking with candidates about different job opportunities with McGladrey. Whether the individual is interested in Audit, Tax, or Consulting (our three Lines of Business) my answer is always the same: it’s the people.

In fact, when I had five offers on the table nearly three years ago, I chose McGladrey for this specific reason. I knew I wanted to do recruiting, and I knew what I did not want. I did not want a chaotic environment with toxic energy. Anyone that has been in that situation knows when you don’t like where you work, that energy will bleed into all facets of your life. After I hung up with the Recruiting Director (who is now one of my mentors) I knew I wanted to work with this person, and their team. When I started with the firm I was responsible for every line of business for the entire Southeast region. I sit in our DC Metro office and began covering every office from Baltimore to Miami.  As a result, there was tremendous exposure; I met a lot of different people in a lot of different places. The common denominator with everyone is that regardless of title, line of business or office everyone has a great attitude. In the middle of every conversation, I find myself laughing with the team or individual.  I have worked with Associates from Campus Recruiting efforts, Managers and Directors to help me understand a role on a deeper level with debrief calls, and Senior Associates with basic questions of “can you walk me through an Audit?”. I even sat in on an actual client engagement with a Consulting group as they presented their findings to a client; what could be more hands on than that?  This past December I attended an event with an Audit Partner and by the end of the night we were making jokes about middle children (we both come from large families of 7 or more children). There is always a connection to be had and what I’ve found is, everyone here is prone to a giggle here and there.

I’m not saying every day is rainbows and butterflies, of course during busy season it is a stressful time, and with any Consulting Practice there are ebbs and flows. However, even during the hectic times when one would say it is chaotic, I have found that everyone might laugh instead of explode in a fit a anger. Public Accounting  is a competitive industry, and it is how you deal with the stress that shows your true colors and character. For me, that is what makes McGladrey different, and the most successful middle-market firm (we are ranked #1 after all). Perhaps that is our secret to success: we all know when to have a good laugh.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm Not Just Doing My Job...

Ashley Lawler
Talent Acquisition Manager
Stamford, CT
I'm a Recruiter. Have been for some time. Been at McGladrey for 3 years now, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around that because it's kind of flown by. I began here as a Sourcer, having taken time off to raise a family, and little did I know when I accepted the offer that I would soon know the difference between Internal and External Audit, c-corps vs s-corps, and exactly how many credits someone needs to sit for the CPA exam. To say I've learned a lot from the candidates with whom I speak would be quite an understatement - I still learn every day. Just today I spoke with a lovely woman who taught me all about FINRA exams. Adding this to the "cool-stuff-I-never-knew-I-wanted-to-know" file.

Now, I work hard, we all do, but it has been a fun ride since I was a Sourcer in 2012. Not long after I started with McGladrey I was promoted to a Senior Recruiter, and last year I became a Manager. There is so much opportunity here in every area and sometimes I still pinch myself, wondering how I got so lucky.

But let's face it - I'm paid to sell McGladrey, I'm a Recruiter, remember? Every day I have conversations with accounting professionals who have either applied to my open jobs and therefore are looking for a new home for one reason or another, or who I have directly sought out because I was given their name by a happy employee, saw their profile on LinkedIn or have networked with, and I want to make each conversation a good one, hearing about someone's career goals, experience and sharing with them how they can make a true impact here. I like to think that I'm a genuine person first and a recruiter second, but with so many conversations each day, week, month, year - I sometimes wonder if I'm putting the recruiter hat on first. Frankly, I don't have enough time in the day or space in my brain to not be forthright with what we're looking for and who we are trying to attract to help grow this thing and neither do the folks I speak with, but I guess anyone could say that.

But last night, an old friend told me she had applied to an open position we have and that she was interviewing today in one of our offices. She's from the Big 4 and naturally, she asked me a thousand questions and was looking for my honest, friend-to-friend perspective on whether or not McGladrey was a good place to work. I told her that culture is of utmost importance to us here. I told her that the fact that we are consistently on the Working Mother's 100 Best Companies To Work For isn't just lip service (haven't missed a school event or a 6pm baseball game yet where my son is the starting pitcher!). I told her that the Partners' doors are always open, both figuratively and literally. I told her all about the growth that we are experiencing and how we like to build our team with people who have a vision and want to make a real contribution to a team, rather than just go to work each day, and that they're truly appreciated for those efforts. We talked for nearly an hour.

I don't know if I can explain the feeling I had after we hung up, but let me try. Elation. Pride. Gratitude. I was so excited to reconfirm that I'm with the best firm for me, and that I am not just "doing my job" when I am sharing McGladrey's finer points with prospective candidates, but rather I'm able to share with many why it's easy to come to work each day. It was pretty awesome.

My friend did come in to interview today and we had coffee afterwards (actually she had a raspberry crumble and black tea and I had a lemonade, but now I'm getting too specific). She told me how impressed she was with our firm, our vision, our culture and our real commitment to our people and our clients, and that she was crossing her fingers that she gets the job.... I am too!

Monday, April 27, 2015

April New Hire Spotlight

Welcome to all McGladrey new hires in the month of April!

Central Region
Name: Joe Wessbecker
Position: Manager, State and Local Tax
Office Location: Minneapolis, MN
Bio: Joe specializes in State Income Tax consulting, including audit and controversy representation, research and planning, refund reviews, nexus studies and voluntary disclosure agreements. Joe has a J.D., Law, from University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, WI, and a B.A. in Accounting, from Augsburg College. He is a CPA, MN and a licensed attorney in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere in Montana - skiing in the winter, camping and motorcycling mountain roads in the summer and fall.
Fun facts about your family: My wife is also a tax lawyer!
Career aspirations and goals: To help grow McGladrey's Minneapolis SALT practice by developing associates and seniors. To build the #1 SALT controversy team in our market, and to take advantage of all the firm's training, teaching and mentoring opportunities.

Name: Gregory Schuelke
Position: Director, Forensic & Dispute Advisory
Office Location: Houston, TX
Bio: Gregory brings over 25 seasoned years of providing financial damage modeling and expert witness services to local and international law firms, corporations and insurance companies. He also brings to McGladrey his many years of providing forensic accounting services to the construction, petrochemical, refining, energy, manufacturing, retain, hospitality and food processing industries.
Professional affiliations: Greg is currently active in the Texas Society of CPAs where he serves as a director, and active with the local chapter of CPAs where he has served as committee chair and continues to serve on several sub-committees for the Litigation and Valuation Services Committee.

Northeast Region
Name: Georgie Morris
Position: Senior Associate, Risk Advisory Security & Privacy
Office Location: New York, NY
Bio: Georgie comes to us as a Fortune 500 client-serving technology consultant, with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Cum Laude) from New York University in Social Cultural Analysis and minor in Web Programming and Applications.
What do you like to do in your free time? As a New York native, I enjoy running and attending arts performances!
Career aspirations and goals: I'm looking forward to making an impact on our professional services offered in the Tri-State area and Northeast Region. 

Southeast Region
Name: Andrew Harding
Position: Senior Associate, Healthcare Financial Advisory
Office Location: Charlotte, NC
Bio: Andrew is originally from Bethesda, MD and received his Bachelor of Economics from Brigham Young University. Prior to joining McGladrey, he had extensive experience optimizing and improving the efficiency of the revenue cycle, as well as training and rollout of healthcare IT tools. Andrew brings a keen focus on leveraging data to identify leakage and develop sustainable project plans to reduce the negative impact.
What do you like to do in your free time? In my spare time, I enjoy golf, lacrosse, skiing, hiking and travel. My wife and I just moved to Charlotte from Colorado last weekend! She will be attending Queens University in the nursing program.

Name: Bill Kaik
Position: Manager, Technology Management Consulting - Business Applications
Office Location: Charlotte, NC
Bio: Bill joins us supporting the Business Applications groups primarily in the Dynamics CRM space. He first started withing with Dynamics CRM 11 years ago at an ETL company where he gained extensive knowledge around data integrations/data migrations with many disparate systems. In the last five years, he has focused work primarily around banking, wealth management and nonprofit organizations.
What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy spending time with my two children. Bentley is four and Kensley just turned one last week. Our favorite place to vacation is Walt Disney World. Our daughter who just turned one has already been three times!
What would people find surprising about you? I own a Bounce House business on the weekends. We have about 25 inflatables which keeps my weekends pretty packed!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - Matthew Durette

Matthew Durette
Tax Associate
Phoenix, AZ
We are delighted to announce that Matthew Durette, tax associate in Phoenix, was recently named by the AICPA as a winner of the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award.

Bryan Zall, office managing partner for the Phoenix office said, "We are thrilled with Matt's accomplishment to earn the Elijah Watt Sells CPA examination award and recognition! We are looking forward to working with matt as he continues his career development in our Phoenix office! Congratulations, Matt."

In prepping for the CPA exam, "there is a term commonly used which is 'quality time'" Matt said. "Throughout the months I was preparing for the exams, I tried to treat all my time as quality time - meaning that I would try to make every minute productive. One the drive to and from work, I would recount the material I had recently studied. During lunch, I would break out the textbook or flashcards. If I had a few spare minutes, I would write out one of the mnemonics from a recent lecture. I found that there is a lot of potential quality time throughout the day, and I believe it was the use of this time that led to my success on the exams."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - Lora Dust

Lora Dust
Assurance Associate
Chicago, IL
Lora Beth Dust, an associate in our Chicago office, was recently named a 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award winner by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

"This is a very special award," says Great Lakes regional managing partner, Donna Sciarappa. "Lora's accomplishment is indicative of the high-achieving employee I'm sure she will be at McGladrey for years to come."

Lora said, it never occurred to her that she would accomplish something so rare and receive this kind of recognition. Her only motivation was to take all four parts of the exam between graduation from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in May 2014 and the beginning of her new career with McGladrey in October 2014.

"I studied for the exam like it was a full-time job," said Lora. "Although it was hard some days, I stayed focused and driven to meet my goal of getting the exams taken, passed and behind me."

Lora used a structured study plan and CPA exam classes to ensure she was fully prepared for each part of the exam. She also stressed that her primary study goal was to make sure she understood what she was learning. "If I got something wrong on a practice test, I took the time to understand why it was wrong and how to correct it for the next time," said Lora.

"It doesn't surprise me that Lora was so dedicated to studying for the CPA exams," said Chicago assurance partner, Tom Shaw. "She works on many of my accounts and it's obvious the same effort and diligence she put into taking the exams has translated into her work on the team and with each engagement."

Finding out that she was one of 60 people who had won the Elijah Watt Sells Award was a shock. Lora wasn't even aware of the award until mid-way through her exams when a former professor brought it to her attention.

Although very excited and honored about the award, Lora said she is mostly relieved to be done with the exams and moving forward in her career with McGladrey. Congratulations to Lora and all of the McGladrey 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award winners!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - Mark Connolly

Mark Connolly
Assurance Associate
New Haven, CT
New Haven, Conn., assurance associate Mark Connolly is one of four McGladrey employees recently awarded the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

"We are all very proud of Mark and his accomplishment," said Connecticut office managing partner Tony Ceci. "Clearly his hard work and passion paid off and will be part of a winning formula for his success in the future."

Mark join McGladrey in 2013, after a year as an XBRL research assistant at the Financial Accounting Standards Board. He graduated from University of Connecticut in 2011 with degrees in accounting, economics and resource economics. He said he heard of the award when another UConn graduate earned it in 2011. Although he was aware of the award, his primary goal was simply to pass all sections of the exam the first time.

"Congratulations to Mark for achieving this outstanding distinction as one of the top performers in the country," said northeast regional assurance leader Joel Shamon. "Mark has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and expertise, which is consistent with the vision and values we deliver to our clients throughout the year."

Mark's advice for other associates who will take the CPA exam is to do it as early in your career as possible, when you have the most time available to study. In addition, communicate to your team that you are preparing for the exam. In Mark's case, he kept his team informed, and his team supported him throughout the process by ensuring he had the time to study and take the exam.

Then, once you have the time to study, Mark said sometimes the hardest part is just starting. "You need the discipline to begin studying and to create a routine, because it is too easy to procrastinate and put it off," said Mark. "Set the right expectations for yourself and then hold yourself accountable."

Now that the exam is over, Mark is looking forward to getting back to his passion for kayaking and camping, and hopes to take a summer trip down Maine's Allagash River.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - John Buntz

John Buntz
Assurance Associate
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore assurance associate John Buntz is one of four McGladrey employees recently awarded the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

"Congratulations to John on this great accomplishment," said southeast regional assurance leader Craig Radke. "This honor is a result of commitment and effort toward learning that will follow him throughout his career and we are truly proud to have John as a member of our team."

John graduated from Salisbury University in Maryland in 2014 with dual degrees in accounting and corporate finance. While at school, he completed an externship in 2012 and an internship in 2013 at McGladrey. After graduating, he took the Becker fast pass course, which is a concentrated version of the traditional Becker course, to prepare for the CPA exam. He took the final section of the CPA exam at the end of August and join McGladrey as an associate in October 2014.

"John has been an outstanding addition to McGladrey and the Baltimore office," said Baltimore office managing partner Marty Brunk. "We are very proud of his accomplishment and recognize that he has a great future ahead of him."

Although John was aware of the Elijah Watt Sells Award, he wasn't necessarily expecting to win it - he just wanted to do well on the exam. His advice for other associates who will take the CPA exam is to develop and stick to a study plan, take the exam before you start working, if possible, and make sure you take a break every day to relax.

"I went to the gym every day," said John. "And while I was studying and taking the exam, it was baseball season; so I made sure to take breaks to watch the Baltimore Orioles."

Now that the exam is over, John is looking forward to the 2015 baseball season and to spending more time playing with his roommate's black lab.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award

Congratulations to four McGladrey associates who were recently awarded the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

These McGladrey associates were four of the 60 award recipients:
  • John Buntz, Baltimore
  • Mark Connolly, New Haven
  • Lora Dust, Chicago
  • Matthew Durette, Phoenix
To earn the Elijah Watt Sells Award, recipients must pass all four sections of the exam on the first try within the same year with a cumulative average score above 95.5 on all four sections. More than 91,000 candidates sat for the exam in 2014.

"Congratulations to John, Mark, Lora and Matthew on their extraordinary accomplishment," said Jim Morton, national assurance leader. "These individuals have clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to competence, which is one of the building blocks that inspires confidence in our profession. We sincerely thank them for their exemplary dedication to learning."

This week, we will be highlighting one Elijah Watt Sells recipient each day! Whether you're a graduating student looking for advice on taking the CPA, or an experienced accountant wanting to congratulate a fellow CPA, their stories provide insight and encouragement for everyone! Look for their stories to come this week!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Life After Busy Season

Nicole Neglia
Recruiting Specialist
New York, NY

It’s April 15th and you’ve made it!  Another busy season in the books and the only thing you want to think about is what you’re going to do with all that extra time – spend time with friends and family that thought you fell off the face of the earth.  Maybe go on vacation.  Or even have a staycation and just enjoy the spring weather.  Whatever the case may be, the last thing you want to think about is your next move, right?  Wrong!  Most people feel that they have the luxury of waiting until the fall to start their job search.  This can backfire for a few reasons:

- Your competition is thinking the same thing and your chances of landing that dream job decrease dramatically (as do the amounts of offers).

- Companies that wait to hire in the fall are already behind the 8 ball because not only do they have to staff the winter engagements but they also have to replace all those people that left over the summer – and that means extra hours for everyone if they don’t fill those jobs. We are in it for the long haul to ensure a less hectic busy season for everyone.

-You don’t have to rush if you start now! Things move quickly in the fall and many people feel that they have to make hurried decisions because of the approaching busy season.  Not the case if you start early.

Yes it seems daunting to have to deal with after you just worked your butt off.  But in the end you’ll be happy you made the move now rather than worrying in October that you waited too long.

So check out our jobs and get your search started before the guy sitting next to you takes the job you want.

2015 Trailblazer Award Recipient

Kara Trahan
Assurance Manager
Oklahoma City, OK
Assurance manager, Kara Trahan has been recognized by the Oklahoma Society of CPAs (OSCPA) as a recipient of the 2015 "Trailblazer" award. The OSCPA Trailblazers program pays tribute to the professional dedication, innovation and community commitment of new OSCPA members who are under the age of 40 or who have five or fewer years of CPA experience.

"Kara is an outstanding professional who is an excellent leader within the profession and the community. She has definitely earned this opportunity to be recognized as one of the leading new CPA's in Oklahoma," said Mike Gibson, assurance lead partner.

Kara is a certified public accountant and began her career with Cole + Reed in 2009 prior to its merger with McGladrey on December 1, 2014. Kara has focused her career in providing assurance services to manufacturing and distribution, governmental, not-for-profit and benefit plan clients. She works closely with clients and staff to ensure each audit is performed in accordance with industry standards.

Kara is heavily active in the local community and is a volunteer for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Chapter of the Salvation Army. She has also been a participant in the Oklahoma City Regatta and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

Monday, April 13, 2015

First Busy Season

by Munir Ahamed, Assurance Associate
Chicago, Illinois

You can mentally prepare all you want. You can ask all your friends already in public accounting. You can ask every experienced associate you meet at new hire orientation. But there is no better teacher than experience. This definitely applies to the question, "so what is busy season really like?"

During new hire orientation, the common consensus seemed to be "it all depends on what clients you're on". This definitely wound up being true, however at the time it didn't help much for what lie ahead. I was also told that your first busy season would "not be that crazy". With all this vague advice, I went into January with a positive attitude ready for whatever was thrown my way. I mean, this was what I went to school for, what all those nights in the library while friends were out partying were for. I would say my first busy season was definitely a big learning experience. There were many ups, a few downs, a lot of stress, jokes with team members, and new relationships formed with clients and coworkers.

I was on two main clients for this busy season. One was the for the entire month of February and one for the entire month of March. I was able to experience and put my feet in the water with many different sections of the audit by being on the same client for entire months at a time. I really got a feel for the client's business and all that was going on. One of the biggest takeaways from this busy season is the importance of having a good relationship with your clients. Working on a client for a month straight allowed me to really get to know the controllers and staff accountants. A couple of weeks into each client, we had reached a level of comfort to where we were able to joke around about non-work related things. This builds a level of trust and comfort where both you and the client feel approachable. Being around for a month was definitely beneficial for that.

I would be lying if I said I was never stressed out during these past few months. The hours were manageable. You go into this profession expecting the longer work days. It really was "not that crazy", as I was told. I'm sure going forward, as responsibilities increase and I become more familiar with the procedures, hours will go up.

All in all, I enjoyed my first busy season and learned a lot about the financial services industry from my two main clients. Busy season advice I plan to give when asked in these next coming months from new hires would include, "just have a positive attitude and you'll be fine." They'll realize everything else best once they're actually in the field.

Friday, April 10, 2015

AICPA Recognizes Four from McGladrey with 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award

McGladrey is pleased to announce that four of its employees were recently named by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) as winners of its 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award.

According to the AICPA’s news release, the award is bestowed upon candidates who have obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination, passed all four sections of the exam on their first attempt and completed testing in 2014. A total of 91,384 individuals sat for the exam in 2014, with only 60 of them meeting the criteria to receive the Elijah Watt Sells Award.

The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established by the AIPCA in 1923 to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA Examination. Sells, one of the first CPAs in the U.S., was active in the establishment of the AICPA, and played a key role in advancing professional education within the profession.

“We are very proud of our McGladrey teammates who were recognized by the AICPA as winners of the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award,” said Katie Lamkin, human resources leader for McGladrey. “Our employees consistently provide our clients with top-notch service, and we are pleased to see these four receive such an honor within the industry.”

Congratulations to McGladrey’s award recipients:
John Karl Buntz – A graduate of Salisbury University with a B.S. in accounting and a B.S. in corporate finance, Buntz is based out of McGladrey’s Baltimore office.
Mark Connolly – A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in economics, B.S. in accounting and a B.S. in resource economics, Connolly is based out of McGladrey’s New Haven, CT office.
Matthew Robert Durette – A graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of accountancy and a Master of taxation, Durette is based out of McGladrey’s Arizona office.
Lora Beth Dust – A graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a B.S. in accountancy, Dust is based out of McGladrey’s headquarters office in Chicago.

About the AICPA
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 400,000 members in 145 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. Though a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which sets a new standard for global recognition of management accounting.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Durham, NC and Ewing, N.J.

About McGladrey
McGladrey LLP is the leading U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, with nearly 8,000 professionals and associates in 80 cities nationwide. McGladrey is a licensed CPA firm, and serves clients around the world through RSM International, a global network of independent accounting, tax and consulting firms. For more information join our Facebook fan page at McGladrey News, follow us on Twitter @McGladrey, and connect with us on LinkedIn, and/or on YouTube.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Busy Season Fun!

by Katie Hull, Campus Talent Acquisition Associate
Kansas City, Missouri

The McGladrey Davenport, Iowa office is having some fun this busy season! This past month, during Take-A-Break, employees were challenged with a Lego project. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast... we threw in a twist! Teams were broke up into 6 players, half the team was in one room with a completed Lego project - the other half in another room with just the Lego pieces. One team member was appointed as the Go Between Runner who had to relay instructions from the team with the completed object to the builders with the pieces. The team that finished reconstructing the object first was the winning team!

The winning team was the Young Professionals! Congrats Chelsey Wrage (Assurance Associate), Amber Johnson (Sr. Tax Associate), Meghan Frazier (Tax CSR), Trudi Saarivirta (Sr. Admin Assistant), Seth Whan (Tax Intern), and Kyler Menster (Tax Intern).

Monday, March 30, 2015

McGladrey and the Three Bears

Grace Green
Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist
Northeast Region (NY & CT)
One of the things that attracted me to McGladrey was the size of the firm. We are the 5th largest accounting firm in the United States, and also have a large global presence as a result of our international affiliations.

When coming to McGladrey from other accounting firms, I always tell candidates my Goldilocks' theory on how McGladrey is "just right":

We aren't "too big"... Many employees of larger firms feel as if they are just another cog in the machine, without any real ability to affect change. Perhaps you don't feel connected to your team because you have been stuck on a client for the last few months and aren't meeting others in the office?

We aren't "too small"... Where you might have cash flow issues, lack of resources or suffer from a branding perspective.

Personally, I feel that McGladrey's size is "just right". Because of this, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to create change, be in the driver seat of our own careers, and to make a real, tangible difference.

Creating change
If you're "too big" there are many obstacles to maneuver when attempting to bring your ideas to fruition. These businesses are so large that they require rigid structures, policies and procedures that do not offer the average employee the ability to have their voice heard.

If you're "too small" you may lack the resources (manpower/cash flow) to implement these ideas and plans that can positively impact your organization.

This is why I feel McGladrey's "just right" size is the perfect fit for me. It gives the employees the flexibility that many other organizations do not. This allows for exciting workplace innovation where our leaders are open to change and new ways to improve the business.

For example, we are able to conduct surveys and have brainstorming meetings on how we can learn to improve. These meetings have led to changes around the office. In NYC, we now have Starbucks machines, free soda, and a busy season calendar full of fun things to do such as a Wii and arcade, yoga/stretch rooms, healthy snacks, among other things.

Driver seat of your career
If you're "too big" it is easy to get lost in the crowd. There tends to be a very competitive culture for promotions and growth opportunities. It can also be very hard to switch lines of business, where you may be more inclined to leave and start fresh at a new firm.

If you're "too small" there may be lack of growth opportunities unless someone resigns. It can also lead to lack of exposure to certain industries and/or clients.

McGladrey's "just right" size gives you more responsibilities sooner, which allows for growth. Employees are sometimes expected to learn and train on the job, which at first can be intense, but ultimately increases their skill level.

To make a difference
At the end of the day, McGladrey is a family... we attend each others weddings and birthdays, support each other no matter what, some of us go on vacations together, and some of us are even roommates. We have summer BBQ events, volunteer days, a firmwide giving program Birdies Fore Love, and we sponsor a PGA Tour golf tournament to raise money for children and family charities. We are making a difference one day at a time!

It's "just right" here at McGladrey! Come join us and see for yourself!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Practice Spotlight: Forensics and Litigation Support

by Kristi Saeger, Talent Acquisition, Philadelphia

Gregory Cowhey, Principal
In April 2014, McGladrey was excited to announce the addition of a local Forensics and Litigation Support consulting practice in the Greater Philadelphia region. The practice is led by Principal, Gregory Cowhey, ASA CBA, and is based out of the newly renovated City Center office. Gregory came to McGladrey as a subject matter expert in the field of forensic accounting, business/intangible asset appraisal, economic damages and litigation support. Since joining, Gregory has built a team of six practitioners, ranging from intern to experienced manager-level.

Commenting on the experience since joining McGladrey, Gregory noted, "Thankfully, we have been extremely busy since joining McGladrey and we find that our team approach and the McGladrey brand has been well received in the local legal community, even after a short period of time. We judiciously recruit talented professionals that bring a myriad of skills and life experiences to allow for a well-reasoned analysis of often quite complex financial/economic problems. Most importantly, our team functions well together as one to bring about a group effort for best-in-class expert services."

The most tenured team member, experienced associate Meagan Farrow, JD, says, "We all come from different professional backgrounds...tangible asset valuation, a military veteran who was deployed overseas, an attorney, a forensic accountant, an insurance expert, as well as a recent finance and accounting graduate." While looking through the extensive list of files on her desk, she adds, "The subject matter of our caseload varies significantly from one case to another, so having different strengths allows us to support each other." The hire of Jenn Pollard, senior associate, rounds the team out with the addition of Big 4 experience. Her ability to transition transferrable skills as a tangible asset value consultant to McGladrey's financial forensics practice has been a valuable asset to the team.

Team members: Jamie DePetris, Meagan Farrow and
Jeff Baresciano congregate to discuss recent case work
Known around the office as the "fun team", this tight-knit group takes a break from daily work to ensure they get outside of the office. They've been known to plan exciting outings such as trips to the bowling alley, Super Bowl gatherings, or attending the local Young Professionals Networking events. Associate Nick DiGalbo jokes, "A lot of people around the office think our team is a strong-knit group team because of our weekly lunches and occasional bowling excursions. But what truly makes this group special is the readiness and eagerness to help one another. Each case we receive is a team effort from start to finish."  

One of the most noteworthy aspects of this practice area, along with all other lines of business at McGladrey, is the opportunity for consultants of all levels to gain the opportunity to work alongside their team leads - managers, directors, and partners/principals. As a campus hire and entry-level intern, accounting major Jamie DePetris is grateful to have been given the chance to work directly with Gregory, along with both supervisor, Ryan Haag, and manager, Jeff Baresciano. "[This position] offers experience in an area of business that encourages the use of analytical skill, while utilizing the foundation of knowledge gained in college. Each engagement is a unique situation that presents a learning opportunity through the ability to observe from start to finish," she says. "With the field of forensic accounting on the rise, this position could develop into a tremendous opportunity for career growth in the future."

Together, the practice has successfully serviced a number of clients of varying needs in the past ten months. McGladrey Consulting looks forward to further expansion in the Pennsylvania marketplace through the Financial Forensics practice and the acquisition of Fesnak, LLP in 2015.

Are you interested in joining the McGladrey team? To see opportunities in the Philadelphia market, click here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cedar Rapids’ Employee honored with Tribute to Women of Achievement Award

Carley Umstead, a senior manager in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has been recognized by Waypoint Services as a 2015 Tribute to Women of Achievement honoree.

Umstead was named to the 'Women of Achievement in Leadership' category, and award for women who have accomplishments that go beyond a single company or organization, and favorably contribute knowledge or benefit an entire industry, professional or field.

"It takes people working together to make a measurable impact on our community," said Umstead, who adds she wants to be a part of the up-and-coming group that will continue to carry the torch for the community which she believes "takes care of its own".

Umstead is the board treasurer for Kids First Law Center and is also a member of 100+ Women Who Care. From 2012 to 2014, Umstead was the board treasurer of Miracles in Motion. In addition to being a volunteer board member and officer, she devoted over 500 volunteer hours to the organization performing grant writing, personnel management, bookkeeping, and tax compliance services.

While having a young family at home, Umstead stays committed to being a volunteer in the community. The organizations she works with serve local children facing challenged or conflict. Her efforts are based on the idea of paying it forward to help children and families succeed.

Over the last 33 years, Waypoint Services has honored women that keep the community vibrant and give courage and hope to others to make a difference. Waypoint serves women, children and families who are homeless, nearly homeless or victims/survivors of domestic violence by providing hope, courage, and empowerment through their critical services programs.

To learn more about Waypoint Services, or to get involved visit their website.

International transfer the realization of a lifelong dream for employee

Kathy Maher estimates she's traveled to 15 or 16 countries. Her favorite destination? "Probably Switzerland," she says. "We did some hang gliding, hiking and canyoning - a lot of adventurous stuff when we were there." Her biggest adventure, however, is about to begin.

As an assurance manager in McGladrey's Madison, Wisconsin office, Kathy is finalizing plans for an international transfer to Melbourne, Australia in June. She will transfer to RSM Bird Cameron in Australia's second-largest city. It's the culmination of a lifelong dream for the St. Louis native.

Seeds planted by New Zealand experience
Before joining McGladrey in 2013, Kathy did a four-month secondment in New Zealand as part of her work for a St. Louis-based regional firm. The experience whet her appetite for more international experiences.

"I liked living in a place that is very different from the U.S. and just absorbing the local culture," she recalls. "It was good to broaden my personal and professional horizons."

While a future longer-term international experience remained in her radar, a family medical challenge brought new urgency to her goal. "My mom was diagnosed with cancer, and it got me thinking about how little time we all have," she says. "And so I figured, why wait?"

Support "Beyond my greatest expectations"
With an English-speaking destination in mind, Kathy focused her attention on Australia and RSM Bird Cameron.

"So many people have been so supportive of me in this," Kathy says. "It was beyond my greatest expectations." She singled out Wisconsin managing partner Shawn Carney and her career advisor, partner Lisa Hanmer, for their support.

"I told them how important this was to me and how much I wanted to stay in the McGladrey family," Kathy recalls. "They were among the people who worked so hard to get me connected to the right people."

Senior International HR Generalist, Lisa McGinty says, while transfers like Kathy are not possible for every employee in every instance, the firm is committed to the development of its employees.

"Supporting our employees' professional goals is a priority for McGladrey," Lisa says. "Whenever it's feasible, as it was in this case for Kathy, we'll do what we can to help them pursue those goals and take ownership of their future."

Global perspective among transfer's benefits
So in addition to planning an April wedding, Kathy is preparing to leave for Australia in mid-May. "I'm really excited about having this experience with my fiancée," Kathy says, noting doctors were able to remove the cancer from her mother, who is doing well. "I think it will make our relationship stronger."

Professionally, Kathy sees many benefits for herself and McGladrey as part of her Australian adventure. "I'm excited to learn more about the global companies that we're seeing more and more of at McGladrey," she says. "And establishing relationships with our affiliate firms is vital to the firm's future, so I'm eager to meet new people as part of my work there."

Kathy's transfer is for four years, and she believes at the conclusion she will be a better, more effective member of the McGladrey family. "I think this will make me a better manager, and hopefully, partner someday," she concludes. "I'm going to get experiences under my bely that will benefit me the rest of my career."

Monday, March 9, 2015

Charlotte Office Named United Way Spirit of North Carolina Award Winner

Laura Megahee, tax services senior manager, has led the Charlotte, North Carolina office's United Way campaign for the past four years. Over the years, she and many others involved in the campaign have worked hard to come up with new ideas and ways to engage and encourage McGladrey's Charlotte office to participate. This year, the office is being recognized for their efforts and all of the hours, energy, and money they have donated, by being named one of the United Way's Spirit of North Carolina award winners. In 2014, the Charlotte United Way campaign raised $47,369.

Laura attributes this year’s award winning success to a focused plan of continuously improving their campaign every year. The campaign team, with support from the Charlotte partners, recognizes successful tactics from years past and continues to use them to drive participation. Classic campaign elements include an office-wide jeans month for reaching the office goal and a friendly fundraising competition between lines of business. Employees know these activities associated with the yearly United Way campaign and look forward to them each year.

In addition to continuing campaign favorites, Laura tried something new to bolster participation and improve the team’s impact in 2014. Laura used McGladrey’s national volunteer day as a way to show Charlotte employees how participation in the United Way campaign impacts their local community. Volunteers spent the day serving local branches of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, which is an organization that receives support through the United Way. The volunteer event also coincided with North Carolina’s CPA Day of Service, a day in which CPAs across the state give back locally and highlight how CPAs are a vital part of both the financial and social fabric of North Carolina’s communities.

"By planning the volunteer day with an organization that receives United Way funds, we were able to experience exactly how our contributions affect the community," said Laura. "It was an eye-opening experience for many of our employees and I think it really made a difference in the desire to participate in the United Way campaign this year."

Not only did volunteers get hands on experience providing clubs with much needed fresh paint and participating in field day activities with local children from the clubs, but they also heard spokespeople from the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club talk about their organization, their mission, and, in particular, how the United Way supports them in meeting their goals.

Laura's hard work paid off compared to 2013, total employee giving increased 13 percent, leadership giving increased 16 percent, and the number of leaders who donated increased 22 percent in 2014. All of this prompted the United Way representative for the Charlotte office to nominate them for the Spirit of North Carolina award. After the nomination, Laura submitted an application and then received the good news that they won. On February 13, Laura and Mark Kral, Charlotte office managing partner, were able to attend the award ceremony to accept the award on behalf of the Charlotte office and everyone who participated in the 2014 campaign. 

Congratulations Charlotte for making a difference in so many lives!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Celebrating Women’s History Month and Diversity

Note to our readers: Some of the content in this blog update contains information from McGladrey: Beyond the Balance Sheet, Second Edition (1926-2013) by Kathleen Gilbert and Dan Deuel.

March 2-8 is designated as 2015 National Women's History Week. This annual recognition of women's accomplishments always occurs during the first week of March. This years' theme, "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives," presents an opportunity to weave women's stories - individually and collectively - into the essential fabric of our nation's history, and into the history of McGladrey.
Diane McNulty was an unusual sight around McGladrey, Hansen and Dunn's Mason City, IA office when she was hired in August 1966. She was a women, and she did accounting work. It wasn't unusual for women to work for accounting firms - or for McGladrey - in those days, even going back to McGladrey's founding in 1928. But at that time, most women worked as secretaries, receptionists and in other administrative jobs that women were largely confined to in American business before the 1960s. Only few worked as professionals, and even then, those in the accounting industry worked mostly as bookkeepers or paraprofessionals. None were CPAs.
Diane McNulty - Mason City Tax Partner

McNulty earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Drake University (where she was the only female accounting major in her class). She worked in private accounting for two years before joining McGladrey. Yet in the early years, she was expected to not only be an accountant, but also do what was considered the "women's work" - answering phones and making coffee - again, a common practice in accounting firms and Corporate America during that time. Then she took the CPA exam in 1968...and passed it the first time. She was one of only five women in the state of Iowa who held the certificate and license that worked in the profession. My, how the profession has changed!

For the most part, McNulty said her trailblazing was not difficult. "Mason City was a pretty laid-back office," she said. "Being a woman and a CPA might have been [more challenging] in a bigger office, but I had good working relationships with everyone. The clients didn't mind, either. Once they realized I could do the work, the fact that I was a woman didn't bother them."

When McNulty became a partner in 1976, she was the first woman voted to be a partner in McGladrey's history. "As far as blazing a path, I always tried to do my best job and do what I loved to do; the fact that they continued to name women partners to the firm speaks for itself," she said.

Diane McNulty was a partner at McGladrey until she retired in 2011. But McGladrey has never retired its focus on diversity and inclusion. In fact, in 2013, the firm named Richard Caturano, former chairman of the AICPA, as its leader of culture, diversity and inclusion (CDI). Various women-focused and other special interest groups continue to promote those efforts across the firm's 80 offices nationwide today. You can learn more about McGladrey's CDI efforts on our website.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

McGladrey Earns a Top 10 Spot in the LA Market

Maybe it's the sunshine. Or maybe it's just the payoff to a lot of hard work. In any case, McGladrey continues to thrive in Los Angeles and make significant progress toward the firm's location strategy change mission.

The Los Angeles Business Journal recently released its list of the largest accounting firms in the city. McGladrey's LA office broke into the Top 10, moving up form No. 12 to No. 9.

Office Managing Partner Joe Mazza says the LA office's rapid growth is confirmation that the firm's strategy is working in California. "We've put numerous programs in place this past year to position us to be the first-choice advisor to middle-market leaders in Los Angeles. I think we are seeing the results," he says.

The Los Angeles Business Journal also named the McGladrey office as one of its Best Places to Work for two years running (2013 and 2014) (related article). The office's main industries include industrial products, consumer products, financial services, financial institutions, health care and private equity groups.

Regional Managing Partner Don Natenstedt added that McGladrey has exciting plans for supporting growth in LA and all of California. "We've introduced a number of new activities to support the talent and client experience," he says. "We believe our partners, like Joe, are a key to our exciting environment. The leadership team is having tons of fun along the way."

If you're interested in learning more about the opportunities that exist in McGladrey's Los Angeles practice, click here.