December 14, 2018

Our Biggest Asset

Our Biggest Asset

As 2018 is coming to a close, it’s time for me to reflect on the year and see how we did.

Here at Marcum, our people are our biggest asset. Without them we have nothing, and we continually work to make Marcum a better place to work or build a career.

2018 saw many new HR initiatives at Marcum, some of which I’ve written about in this column. Early in the year, we rolled out core hours, giving our associates the ability to basically come and go as they please on a daily basis, with the proviso that they are in the office, on the days they work in the office, during Marcum’s core hours of 10:30am – 3:30pm.

We then started to focus on alternative work arrangements, flex-time schedules, part-time schedules, greater use of sabbaticals — you name it, we have it. We realize not everyone has the same work ethic or need. Some want a career to fully commit to; others just want a really good job at a really good company. We figured out how Marcum can provide a great environment for both, as well as accommodate other individual needs of our current and future associates.

We recently formally adopted a “dress for your day” policy Firm-wide, something that had been practiced informally in many of our offices. Some of you may remember my column from last year where I promoted a “dress for your career” policy, but apparently other voices prevailed. Although not a big supporter of our new policy (I’m sitting here at my desk, suit and tie as usual, just because), I agreed to it without a fuss because that’s what our associates were asking for. Anyone remember 1998, 1999 and 2000 leading up to the dot com bust? We’ve seen this before, and we’ll see how it plays out in the future. But I’m willing to be wrong if it proves to be successful and lasting.

We also promoted two of our long-time home-grown associates to the position of co-chief human resources officer(s). Saran Johnson (18 years with Marcum) and Molly Crane (12 years) seamlessly evolved into their new roles, and if the first two months are any indication, it was certainly the right decision.

2018 saw a tremendous increase in Marcum’s merger and acquisition activity. We merged with Filomeno & Co. in West Hartford, CT, doubling the size of our office there; in Providence, R.I., we added the team from Yarlas, Kaplan, Santilli, Moran, Ltd., again doubling the size of our existing office in that market. We also expanded to new geography in the great state of Texas by combining with GBH CPAs in Houston. And lastly, the team from Raffa P.C. in Washington, D.C., and Rockville, MD, joined the Firm.

Raffa was the biggest combination ever for Marcum, adding close to 300 partners and associates and expanding our footprint with new office locations. In addition, Raffa’s CEO and Founder, Tom Raffa, is helping to guide and expand Marcum’s social conscience and culture of giving back, something Tom has been a national leader in for his whole career. If you haven’t already, you’ll start to see Tom’s influence in some very subtle but important Marcum initiatives.

Look for further announcements in the next few weeks about more additions to Marcum’s already-existing offices in Philadelphia and Portland, ME.

On the technology front, Marcum has become one of if not the recognized leader among middle-market accounting firms. Whether it’s remote connectivity (our entire firm can work seamlessly from the location of their choosing outside a Marcum facility) or the use of artificial intelligence or robotic process automation (BOTs), our technology team, led by our partner and CIO Peter Scavuzzo, has certainly raised the bar and set new standards in the profession. Peter and his team are making working at Marcum better, easier, and more intellectually stimulating for us and more efficient for our clients.

I could go on, but what would I have to say next week? Stay tuned.