What are some of the best accounting firms to work for?

Accounting Today knows. Over the summer, the publication announced the best small, mid-sized, and large accounting firms to work for. Now, culled from more than 250 entrants, the lists have been compiled in a special supplement appropriately entitled, “Best Firms to Work For 2020.”

The 100 firms (based on size) are as small as Measured Results CPAs 16 employees to Kearney & Co.’s 677 and hail from all parts of the nation. Yet what they all have in common is they’ve learned how to adapt and even thrive in a business environment unlike any other.

Some, like New Jersey’s WilkenGuttenplan (ranked 17th among mid-sized firms) already had a remote culture. Transitioning their 124 employees to full-time remote work was “seamless,” the firm said. The firm holds online social hours and coffee breaks and encourages all communication among the staff be by video.

Others had to learn how to work remotely. The No. 1 ranking mid-sized firm, Martin Starnes & Associates in North Carolina, said that since going fully remote, they’ve adapted to remote hiring and onboarding and helped their clients with limited computer skills become more fluent. “We have new ways to communicate and get what we need from our clients.”

These “best firms” all had to confront the kind of work-life balance and other issues that have always existed, but which the COVID pandemic suddenly brought front and center.

“Today’s workforce compels us to think about things like alternative work arrangements, diversity, technology, and job satisfaction,” Rockville, Maryland’s E. Cohen & Co. told Accounting Today. The firm says it’s “met this challenge head on by creating a positive work environment.” That it has indeed is borne out by the firm’s low, 6% turnover.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash


#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Desena 

Welcome back to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on our powerhouse agency team.   

We met up with Samantha Desena, Recruiter at Green Key on the Accounting and Finance team. Samantha started her career at Green Key almost 2 years ago, when she transitioned to agency recruiting.  

How did you get started in recruiting?  

I started off my recruiting career as an internal recruiter within the finance field and I was solely recruiting for one job all the time. I loved interacting with people in that capacity and being able to help them find a new career but after a while I started feeling siloed and the day to day became very mundane. So, I started looking into agency recruiting, and I found out that it’s kind of this whole other world where there are different jobs that you’re working on at once and they could all be completely different. So that’s kind of how I fell into agency recruiting and joined Green Key. When I started here, they were opening the Morristown NJ office, so I jumped on that, and I got in contact with Pat Friel. This is my first agency experience and I love it. It’s ever changing, always interesting, never boring. I feel like every week is a different challenge. I’m really happy I found agency recruiting.  

What do you find the most rewarding about your work? 

The most rewarding thing about the work I do is interacting with people and just being able to take people where they’re at and help them get on a path to where they want to be. Whether they’re in public accounting or they’re in an industry role and really want to be a controller down the line or really want to get into a fund, we can be the career advisor that shows them what the path will need to look like to get to their end goal.  

2024 marks 20 years of Green Key, how would you describe your experience since starting your career with the team? 

It’s interesting to be on a team where everybody’s at a different point in their recruiting career and their time with Green Key. We have people who’ve been at Green Key for all of 20 years. We have people who have been at Green Key for 1-3 years and everyone comes from such different backgrounds. We have a ton of people on our team who started as accountants or CPA’s then you have people like me who are two years into the working world and have a communications degree. It is awesome to have the same opportunity regardless of my educational background. It’s a role that comes down to your drive and your personal goals. I think that’s super cool.  

Are there any challenges you foresee for candidates in the year ahead and what advice would you give to them to navigate the challenges?  

I would just tell them that if they were considering leaving their current job, they should reach out to us before putting in their notice so that way we can help them set up a game plan to find their next opportunity. It is hard to stay in a job that you are unhappy or mistreated in but it is even harder to find the job you really want when unemployed. We see really good candidates struggling with this and it can be discouraging for them. So, hold off and get in contact with a recruiter and talk about what your timeline is and we will help you find something new ASAP. 

What are you and your team’s goals for 2024? 

Our goals as recruiters are to bring in new business but also to continue building the relationships we have with our clients and candidates. And as a team in NJ, I think a goal we have is to grow our office. When I started, we were about 3 people in NJ and now we are 6! It would be cool for us to grow the office as big as some of our other offices like in Pittsburgh or NYC.