By Matt Quon.
Midsize or large firm—and which one? Those were the questions that kept coming up about six years ago when I went through the recruiting process. Accounting firms at the networking events I attended all promoted the same things: learning and support, challenging work, company culture and work-life balance. But I wanted to join one that aligned with me in each of those areas.
To get the most out of your articling experience and launch a fulfilling career, picking the right firm is crucial. Here’s why a midsize operation, specifically Walsh King, was the best fit for me.
Learning and support
Like any articling student, I looked for an environment where I was always learning and could acquire a broad range of technical skills. Walsh King delivered by providing a wealth of assurance and tax experience. While articling, I worked on several large audits and was part of the T3 trust and T1 personal tax teams. This experience helped me with my CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) studies because it closely aligned with the program.
Client interaction and business knowledge
Walsh King specializes in accounting and advisory services for privately owned entities, so all staff get the opportunity to work directly with business owners and/or their key personnel. These people are successful, passionate entrepreneurs and great sources of knowledge. Having access to such a clientele at Walsh King was a big draw for me.
During my university studies, I had decided that I wanted to develop overall business knowledge in addition to technical accounting and tax skills. Thanks to the time spent working with our clients, I’ve accomplished both. Besides learning more about the various industries that clients operate in, I understand how they’ve been able to run and grow their businesses.
Support and feedback
The firm offers excellent support to its staff. During my time at Walsh King, I’ve received sound mentorship and feedback. The partners and managers care about our career paths and want to ensure that we’re well-rounded professionals who achieve our full potential.
Because Walsh King is dedicated to serving private company clients, there are many opportunities to work on special projects. The projects that I’ve been involved in focused on business advisory and left me feeling rewarded that we were able to find the right solutions for our clients.
The work environment at Walsh King is friendly, respectful and cooperative. Everyone prides themselves on being approachable, and the firm encourages staff, at all stages of their careers, to share their ideas and opinions.
One of my favourite things about working at Walsh King is that in a firm of our size, it’s easy to build meaningful professional and personal relationships. We often have fun staff events—many of them organized by our articling students—that are great for team bonding.
During tax and audit busy seasons, long and stressful hours are unavoidable. But the partners and managers always try to find new ways to help us cope – from lunches, dinners and other activities to snacks (healthy and not so healthy) and raffle prizes.
Outside of the busy season and a few rushed project deadlines, I’ve had no problem maintaining a balanced lifestyle at Walsh King. The firm promotes keeping work in perspective and values time away from the office.
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