Blog Archive

Friday, February 26, 2016

RSM and me...

As a recruiter, I have the opportunity to not just fill open positions, but to help others make a change in their lives as they take the next step within their career.  I had the opportunity to connect with Lisa Miller while conducting a search for our Phoenix office, which eventually turned into a hire. But for Lisa, it was a new chapter within her own path.  Hear from Lisa first-hand about her journey with RSM...

RSM and me…
Lisa Miller, CPA
Client Service Representative
Phoenix, AZ
I feel so lucky to have joined RSM.  It was somewhat of a fluke that I even put in an application.  I was rejoining the workforce after being a work-at-home mom for over 15 years.  I was mainly going through Monster and other placement services.  I occasionally checked Craigslist and the local newspaper.  When I saw a listing on Craigslist for McGladrey (at the time), I was surprised and excited.  You see, in 1998 when I graduated with my Master’s degree, McGladrey & Pullen was on my short list.  I ended up going to work at my first choice, which didn’t work out, partially because I decided to start a family.

I set up a phone interview (how easy is that?!), which I felt went very well.  I really hit it off with the interviewer.  I was so excited when I got a call back for an in-person interview.  Again, I really hit it off with my interviewers.  After my interview, I felt very confident that I was going to get an offer.  I just felt a really strong rapport with all three people I got to know during the process.  These first two contacts were representative of my whole experience at RSM.  I feel like I have joined a team of good people, that care about each other, that care about the company, and that care about our clients.  Everybody has been extremely welcoming and helpful.  I’ve been encouraged to aim high, and have been given the tools I feel will make my goals achievable.  Thank you, RSM, for a great opportunity!  I look forward to a long, rewarding relationship.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

RSM Management Consulting - The Right Career Path

Elia Blankenship
Senior Associate - Management Consulting
Los Angeles, CA
I joined RSM in February 2015, after being in private industry for two decades.  I had been a Banker for the majority of my professional career.  I was the VP of Operations managing various back-office support teams when I had the realization that something was missing.  I had been in the same position for several years and was successful but I sensed that something was missing professionally.  I had invested time and money in my professional pursuit but my aspirations were limited to the opportunities available in my current environment and personally I was seeking variety, opportunities to be innovative, and challenging assignments.

The missing piece was answered in a career opening posted from RSM.  RSM posted a position as a Financial Institution (FI) Consultant in the Technology Management Consulting (TMC) division that resonated with my experience and career aspirations.  As excited as I was about the prospect of becoming a Consultant, I had doubts about making a mid-career change from private industry to a Public Accountancy firm and becoming a Consultant.  Those feelings of doubt were quickly dissolved with the engagements that I was involved in.  Each engagement was unique with banks, credit unions or private industry hiring us to assist them with solving strategic barriers, process challenges, technology concerns and so forth.  The variety was exactly what I was looking for and extremely rewarding.  The best part of working as a Consultant is working in teams composed of Consultant’s that bring decades of experience, industry knowledge, and support to each assignment.

It’s been a year since I joined the firm and have found my mid-career change to a Public Accountancy firm and as a Consultant to be very rewarding.  As a Consultant in the FI TMC division, I continue to have the opportunity to be innovative, strategic, and be part of a team that provides banking management stakeholders with meaningful solutions to meet their strategic objectives and goals.  I have realized that my transition to RSM has reinvigorated my career aspirations and continues to spark a desire to continue to grow in my field.  I can state without bias that I have found that staying true to my banking roots and working with an organization that emulates my own personal values has made my career transition a worthwhile journey.

Monday, February 22, 2016

RSM And Your Social Life

Joey Desiderio
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Phoenix, AZ
As a recruiter, one of the most important questions I am charged with answering on a daily basis is: “Why choose RSM?” The answer can be taken in many different directions because quite simply, there is more than one answer. In this post, I will discuss how RSM encourages a fun social life while still meeting our client’s needs.

Everyone equates public accounting to long hours and no social life. Well, that just simply isn’t the case. While we do have to meet our clients expectations during busy season, we make an effort to ensure that our people are still living healthy, productive lives. For example, our San Diego office regularly hosts yoga classes in the evenings for people in the office. Similarly, our New York office hosted a spin class during busy season.

Another great example is how our Bay Area offices have created a social club wherein they meet for events both during the week and on the weekends. These events include hiking, happy hours, laser tag, and more! Happy people do better work and as a result, we make sure to keep our people happy.

This is just a small example of how we keep both our people and our clients happy. If you join RSM, you will quickly see why the picture above is becoming a thing of the past!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valuation is an art, not a science

Koji Bratcher, ASA
Business Valuation Supervisor
Los Angeles, CA
“Valuation is an art, not a science” is a phrase commonly used within the valuation community to describe its somewhat imprecise nature.  One of the reasons I was drawn to, and continue to be intrigued by, the business valuation profession is the fact that it requires quite a bit of judgment and subjective analysis on the part of the appraiser.  While the process tends to be similar when valuing any company – talk to management and learn about the business, conduct market and industry research, decide on methodology and perform calculations, and, finally, conclude on value and perform tests of reasonableness – each step requires some level of thought from the appraiser.  Furthermore, the valuation community’s collective thinking is constantly evolving, which often results in diverging opinions among appraisers.  This evolution, coupled with the fact that business valuation requires substantial subjectivity, keeps things interesting in the day-to-day work and overall profession (and provides some level of comfort that I won’t be easily replaced by a computer algorithm in the near future).

I made the switch to RSM in Los Angeles in August 2015 from a very small boutique valuation firm in South Florida.  In all, there were four professionals at my old firm, which required autonomy on the part of the analysts.  Working in a small firm, I enjoyed having the responsibility of working on assignments on my own and the flexibility to use progressive valuation techniques. One of the leading fears I had when contemplating the move from a small, flexible firm to a large, public accounting firm was being put in a box and restricted to analytical techniques that are only approved by firm leadership.  Fortunately, those fears haven’t come to fruition, as RSM’s valuation team has been open to expanding our firm-wide “valuation toolbox.”  Although I have found there to be more procedural “red tape” (to be expected at a large firm), nothing has restricted any “out-of-the-box” thinking (in fact, this has been encouraged).

For me, one of the biggest differences between working at a small firm and RSM has been the shift from a mostly analytical role to a managerial position.  This has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my move to RSM, as I truly have enjoyed training and teaching staff (and learning from them as well!).  I am, at heart, a “valuation nerd” and savor discussions about valuation theory and “what makes sense” (even over drinks at happy hour). Thus far, I have been nothing short of impressed and humbled by the knowledge and talent of the individuals I have met at RSM (from the intern level through partners).  My many conversations with other RSM professionals (even non-valuation people) have pushed me to revisit my thought processes, which has helped me to better see the “big picture” and further grow as an appraiser.

Overall, the move to RSM has been very positive for me and I am happy to help the firm deliver "the power of being understood!"