Blog Archive

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

San Diego's Employee Activity Committee

The sunny seventy degree weather isn’t the only amazing part of working in RSM’s San Diego office, it’s also the positive corporate culture. One of the major contributors to this is the office’s Employee Activity Committee, aka the EAC. One of the EAC’s members, Marta Bertsos, shared this about the committee’s purpose, “I believe the mission of the EAC is to promote a more positive, energetic and cohesive office culture and to unify the lines of business. We strive to build and maintain employee morale by showing appreciation through hosting fun, unique office events. At the end of the day, the employees and culture are most important and I believe the San Diego office has a culture that is seldom experienced in other corporate environments.”

So what does the EAC do exactly to promote this culture? The EAC always listens to employees and understands what they want from the company they work for. They hold monthly meetings to discuss office news and events. Recently, employees discussed wanting healthier snacks in the office during busy season so the EAC purchased a Ninja for the office kitchen and provides all the supplies to make smoothies anytime! They are always hosting happy hours in the office and offsite particularly for holidays and to blow off steam during the busy season. Additional events are held during the busy season to keep the stress at a minimum including Trivia and Poker nights. The EAC makes sure there are plenty of opportunities to give back and are planning a night to cook dinner at the local Ronald McDonald house and looking to potentially partner with Habitat for Humanity in some projects. They also plan and host the annual Christmas Party which was held downtown at the Hard Rock Hotel this year with plenty of food, drinks, and dancing. Overall, the EAC makes RSM an even better place to work!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My First Busy Season...

As a campus recruiter, one of the most important questions I am charged with answering from students on a daily basis is: “How should I prepare for my first busy season at RSM?” The answer can be taken in many different directions because quite simply, there is more than one answer. In this post, one of new our Tax Associates from the San Francisco office, Frank Hernandez, discusses what has helped him during his first busy season.

Frank Hernandez
Tax Associate
San Francisco, CA
You vivaciously throw your graduation cap into the air and excitedly look to the next chapter of your professional career.  You enthusiastically look to all the positive changes you worked diligently toward achieving through college – congratulations by the way!  Of course now, you being you, take a deep breath of excitement, and begin to plan for your succession to RSM - the world renowned, public accounting firm that aligns its overarching values of understanding with your own.  So should you do anything to prepare for your first day, first year?  Well of course you should, and what better way to learn about the transition, than through reading about similar experiences of others.  One important caveat before we begin though: Always know and understand your unique talent, values, and purpose when reading into any advice.  Always improve your strengths, and give yourself the opportunity to refine any uncertain areas.  Simply stated, understand that you were hired for your professional brand, your values, and your goals, not simply your wit.  If you maintain good leverage on these topics, you will be successful. 

So what do I mean by "professional brand"?  Professional brand involves understanding your personal values, ethics, and attitudes.  For example, the reason I truly wanted to work with RSM was the alignment of their overall business model with that of my own.  Specifically, the culture of transparency, strong ethical foundation, and communicative understanding at various levels aligned with my values.  RSM has a business model that aligns with what I believe in, and that’s important in terms of my satisfaction and happiness.  My advice here, is to learn why “you” want to work at RSM - or any place for that matter, and spend the time to analyze the work, environment, and company culture in which you’ll be working in.  Make sure it aligns!

Building on the former, be open to all tasks at the start of your career.  This is the only way you can learn to discover different areas of expertise within your field.  If you’re unwilling to perform certain functions, you’re limiting your opportunity for growth in terms of technical skills, meeting and collaborating with more people, and you’re ultimately niche-ing yourself to early.  Be open to all tasks, and with time, you can learn what, and what you don’t like.

Like most accountants, we all have an innate competitiveness to be the best.  In school, our grades were the reflection of our success, and this culmination of work-ethic was rewarded with a career of choice.  Accordingly, we are proud of our accomplishments, and yet, we must be aware that excessive pride is counterproductive.  More objectively stated, ask questions when you’re unsure, make sure you are always challenging yourself to learn more, and make sure you are willing to teach others when you do know.  You are working with a team, and your team with you.  Being ok with being incorrect minimizes your stress, makes you and your team more effective, and is a sign of confidence in yourself and your skills.  Ultimately, learn to speak up, praise your peers, and build camaraderie at the group level.  This will give your team – RSM - the competitive edge needed.  Moreover, look at feedback as positive reinforcement.  Why?  Because it gives you points to improve upon.  Remember, only you have the choice to make such positive feedback a negative.

The following are some important general recommendations that will assist you in being successful.  The first, do not procrastinate on beginning your CPA license study, always build your communication skills, and make time for a hobby that is completely different from work. 

During my first couple of months of my full time career, I had a difficult time adjusting work/life balance.  However, I took the time to try a variety of different learning styles and schedules - and yes, I beat myself up over the setbacks.  Don’t beat yourself up!  Rather, learn from what isn’t working for you and adapt changes until you find the correct balance.  For me, the strategy that is working best is to study from 6-8am, Monday through Friday, and 6-11am Saturday and Sunday.  To lessen the burden, learn to balance schedule with a non-work hobby.  For me, that hobby is going to the gym at least 4 times a week.  The point is that you should form a work-life balance, so that you are happy with your career and your personal life.  Remember, to be satisfied, you must balance professional with personal goals!  And yes, simultaneously beginning your career while studying for the CPA license is tough, but manageable with patience and positive attitude. 

Best of luck in your career!

Friday, March 4, 2016

What brought me to RSM...?

Simon Campbell
Talent Acquisition Senior Associate
Boston, MA
What brought me to & keeps me at RSM? Two words: personal connections.

Our business & personal lives have become increasingly remote: Skype, conference calls, Facebook, IM conversations. These tools have increased our productivity exponentially & cut down on the hassles of traveling. Yet, there’s a final bridge that technology often can’t cross for us: helping to develop deep, meaningful relationships with our colleagues.

What drew me to RSM was the chance to develop these meaningful relationships – I had spent my career in environments working remotely and while I certainly was able to develop strong connections I felt something was lacking. Since my first day here at RSM I have been able to meet with, work alongside, and support my clients (RMS’s internal lines of business, in my case) in a live environment.

The connections go beyond simply working face-to-face. My peers, mentors, and manager have all taken an interest in not only my success here at RSM, but also my continued personal & professional growth.

Here at RSM, we are truly invested in our employees & maintaining these personal relationships is key to both the firm & our own growth.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

RSM vs Big 4

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 why you should choose RSM over a “Big 4” firm.

Our goal is to be the first-choice advisor in the middle market. We are the #5 accounting firm in the US and that is where we want to be. It is not our goal to become one of the “Big 4” as we service companies in the $50-$500M range. This means that you will be on shorter engagements and will gain extensive knowledge with various industries.

In terms of compensation, we are in line with other accounting firms. There are few exceptions where they pay more than we do and in most cases, there is no difference. However, the path to partner is much clearer with RSM than it is with larger firms. We truly foster a productive environment where we aim to help one another on engagements, as well as advance each other’s careers.

You will also gain a greater range of experience with us as our engagements are not nearly as long or large. As a result, you will have more exposure to various aspects of an engagement rather than being stuck doing one specific job the entire time. Furthermore, you will have extensive access to “C-Level” executives as a true first-choice advisor.

These are just some of the reasons why you should choose RSM over a large firm. At the end of the day, it is our people that truly set us apart and make us great!