MLR

An Unorthodox Approach to Hiring

Many aspects of life at Maxwell Locke & Ritter set us apart as both an employer and as a client service provider, but our greatest differentiator is our experienced hire model.

Our talent acquisition strategy is an enormous deviation from the industry standard. Virtually all CPA firms rely heavily on internship programs as their primary talent pipeline. The strongest interns receive full-time offers and then begin to climb the corporate ladder. That’s not how we roll. We have 130 team members and we almost exclusively hire candidates who have their CPA license and at least three to five years of experience, many of whom join us from the Big 4 and/or other international and national firms. Though there are exceptions, we typically don’t hire from our intern classes, nor do we hire staff level team members.

But Why?

Since our inception, Maxwell Locke & Ritter has placed the utmost value on our people, our clients and our community. With each decision, from hiring a new team member to building a new initiative to changing an existing policy, we ask ourselves, “How does this decision impact our people, our clients, and our community?”

In the spirit of serving those three main pillars, our unique experienced hire model was created to benefit both our people and our clients.

Significantly Lower Turnover

The high turnover rate in public accounting is no secret. According to a December 2019 article in The CPA Journal, “The State of the Profession,” the current turnover rate for firms with revenues greater than $20 million is 18.7 percent. Our firm’s 2019 turnover rate was 5.5 percent. The article also notes that “a high staff-to-partner ratio correlates to increased turnover of professional staff.” In 2017, Accounting Today noted an average staff-to-partner ratio of 15:1 among its “Top 100 Firms.” Maxwell Locke & Ritter’s current staff-to-partner ratio is 5:1.

Those familiar with public accounting know that turnover rates among staff and senior level employees are especially high. This turnover is impacted by several factors. Some people can’t keep up technically. Countless others get burned out. And many enter public accounting to ultimately transition into industry. While a portion of accountants leave after a promotion to manager, most exit public accounting within the first three years of their career.

By hiring people at the three- to five-year mark, we’re confident our new team members know and love public accounting. They have proven their technical ability. They understand the hours and seasonality. They want to continue their career in public accounting, but they want to continue it somewhere else. There are many reasons candidates seek out our firm – work-life balance, culture, growth opportunities, to name a few. Regardless of what brings them to us, our employees stay.

Less Training Time

Our experienced hire model and low turnover rate afford many benefits to our people and our clients. For our people, we spend less time training an experienced professional. Typically, onboarding is not focused on how to do the work, but rather, learning our software and processes, and more importantly, integrating into our firm’s culture.

Our clients appreciate having a consistent team on their engagement each year that understands their company’s business and goals. These longstanding client relationships are one of the keys to our exceptional client service and to earning and maintaining client confidence.

Technical Expertise

Our experienced hire model and low turnover rate provide an abundance of technical knowledge which serves our team’s desire to be lifelong learners and benefits our clients, who deserve and expect professional expertise.

Efficient Engagement Teams

Because our team members have experience and expertise, our engagements require fewer people and less team coordination. This offers our employees even greater flexibility and work-life balance because they can focus on a schedule that allows them to meet their personal commitments.

Our clients prefer close-knit relationships with our team members. These relationships and the team continuity due to our low turnover empowers our team members to perform their work timely and efficiently, allowing our clients to focus on their company’s business and goals.

Austin is a Unique City – We’re a Unique Firm

Though our experienced hire model is not for everyone, it makes us a unique, non-traditional public accounting firm. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you achieve your business goals, visit our services page. If you’d like to learn more about joining our team of experienced professionals, visit our careers page.

 

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