We have much to be grateful for here at Maxwell Locke & Ritter. For those less familiar with our firm, our founders believed we should focus on three tenets: our people, our clients and our community. Each year, we reflect on the previous 12 months to assess how well we’ve served those pillars. Last year was another memorable chapter in our firm’s 29-year story and I am delighted to share the highlights in our firm’s first-ever blog post. Not only did we survive the largest tax reform in 30 years (and my first year as leading partner), but our people, our clients and our community have continued to flourish.
We added 25 new employees to Team ML&R to end the year with 127 team members. We’re proud that 36 employees have been with the firm more than ten years and our turnover rate for 2019 was 5.5%, well below the industry’s average (approximately 16%). Our historically low turnover rate is attributed to our firm’s unique culture. In 2019, our culture was celebrated as Maxwell Locke & Ritter was named “#1 Best Mid-sized Accounting Firm To Work For” by Accounting Today, our seventh consecutive year as one of Accounting Today’s “Best Accounting Firms To Work For”, but our first year at the very top of the list.
A huge component of our firm’s culture is caring for our people. As we have added new business, led our tax clients through the 2018 Tax Reform Bill, assisted our audit clients with the implementation of the new revenue recognition standard, and brought ML&R Wealth Management’s outsourced work in-house, we have stayed true to our core values.
We continue to emphasize “No success at work is worth failure at home,” encouraging our people to honor their personal commitments and advocate for themselves if their workload infringes on those commitments. We also increased our parental leave and short-term disability benefits, providing parents even more time with their infants and easing the financial burden when unexpected circumstances leave an employee unable to work. Ensuring our people are supported both at home and at work is of upmost importance to our firm’s leadership as we continue to grow.
We are fortunate to work with the greatest clients Central Texas has to offer. Spread across a variety of niches and industries, our clients provide enjoyable and challenging work, keeping our people eager to come to work each day. Our unique approach of only hiring experienced professionals differentiates us from traditional accounting firms and ensures our engagement teams can tackle our clients’ needs efficiently, adding exceptional value along the way.
As a result of our thoughtful approach to client service, we were recently recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Top Recommended Tax and Accounting Firms”, a list based on responses from 1,800 industry professionals. We’re extremely proud that the quality of our team’s work is ranked among the Big 4 and other international and national firms. We are honored to be the only firm headquartered in Austin to receive this recognition from our clients and peers in the industry.
Because of the first-rate client service provided by our team, we’ve been fortunate to experience sustained growth year after year, adding $6.3 million in new business during 2019. Due to our financial success in 2019, every member of our team was rewarded with an 11% profit-sharing bonus.
Earl Maxwell, Tom Locke and Mark Ritter built the firm with the intent to actively engage in the community and their legacy lives on through the continued commitment of our firm and our people. In 2019, we provided service to 69 non-profit clients, served 225 organizations through board membership and/or volunteer hours, and contributed more than $265,000 to various local community organizations. It is our pleasure to honor our founders’ legacy as good stewards to the community that has given us so much.
In the upcoming year, we will continue to fulfill our mission to help our people and our clients achieve their goals and to maintain our vision to be a great place to work where our people reach their potential and provide exceptional service to our clients and community.
Best wishes for a prosperous 2020.
Kyle Parks, Leading Partner at Maxwell Locke & Ritter