- Brooke Horvath
"Where's your office?" The benefits of a WFH accounting firm.
One of the top questions we are asked is "Where is your office?" The answer is always the same. "I work out of my home office." The first several times I was asked this I felt a since of shame for not having a physical location open to the public, I'd follow it up with "I'm just starting out" or "trying to keep overhead down", when in reality, Salt Creek Consulting & CPA will likely never have a true office space.
When creating our firm and our brand, we reflected on the accounting industry that has been around for decades, and how it was broken. CPAs are expected to work grueling hours putting the firm first. They do that because of the importance of keeping clients happy, thus making money. I've worked under CPAs that will only meet a client face to face because they believe that is what the client desires. And I think at one point, that is what was expected.
COVID may be the single most influential thing to occur in my career thus far. A little back ground - I was working at a top 3 firm in the state in the middle of March 2020 when the Pandemic hit the US - that meant 60+ hour weeks, going in early & staying up late. All of a sudden the world stopped turning and we were sent home. Suddenly our goal went from 60 hours to 45... then quickly down to 40. The firm realized (thankfully very quickly) that employees were going to experience burnout and mental health issues if they were pushed to work those hours from home while in the middle of a global pandemic. Being the Millenial I proudly am, I embraced this decrease in work load. I'll never forget April 10, 2020 - my husband and I slipped away from work early and enjoyed the afternoon on the lake. That had never happened before. Leaving at 3 on a Friday the week before 4/15? While I had all of my tasks done, that would normally be a cause for extreme self guilt. I felt free. But I knew that feeling would not last long as 2021 busy season approached. Although something had shifted - zoom meetings had become the norm and clients did not feel like we had to be in their office or have a sit down meeting to feel they were getting value. This was a major shift in the accounting world. One the older generations may not understand, but to me, it made perfect sense.
All this to say - Salt Creek Consulting is a virtual accounting firm for a reason. Our managment style is we do not care when you do the work, as long as the work gets done. We don't have insane billable hour goals. We care more about being efficient at our work and effective serving our clients. Our clients know that we care for their business as if it were our own. They know they can reach us when they need us. By utilizing remote work and home offices, we are able to blend client needs and our personal needs in a way that works for each individual employee. And isn't that what we all want anyway - work/life balance? This is only one of the ways that we are not your typical accounting firm. And for that, I now proudly say, "I work from home."