Recruiting Spotlight: Richard, Tax Associate

by | Feb 8, 2023 | Recruiting, Insight-Post

Recruiting season can be hectic and overwhelming – we understand! When you’re investing time to pave the best path for your career, every bit of knowledge counts. That’s why our team is eager to help you through the recruiting process. Tax Associate Richard is here to share his bits of wisdom to ease any anxiety or nerves you may have about recruiting.

Employee: Richard, Tax Associate
Years at the firm: over a year

How did you get into accounting?

It’s a bit nerdy, but I started accounting in high school. There was an elective you could take – just Accounting I. I was looking for something to fill my schedule, so I was like, “You know, I always wanted to be a business-oriented kind of guy.” So, I decided to try out Accounting I in high school, and I liked it and it seemed interesting enough. I went with it through high school and all through college.

I didn’t come from a family of accountants. We do have a family friend who is an accountant, and it was encouraged by my parents, “Oh. Look! Hey – accounting! You know your uncle does this. You should try it out too.” So, why not?

Why did you choose accounting? What do you like about it?

It goes back to the business-oriented mindset I have. It comes from my family, kind of entrepreneurs and stuff like that. That’s always been that same mindset. I felt like accounting was a good jumpstart, a good way to dip your feet in there, and I really just dove into it.

Why did I choose it? Initially, it was because I needed an elective class, and I thought it was pretty interesting, it works with my mindset, I’m a very numbers, very factual-based kind of guy. And I continued to roll with it.

Why do I like it? It’s interesting. It’s very useful in your day-to-day life. You probably use it once a year when you file your own tax returns, but then I thought, “I should just continue to go with this,” because I see the benefits. I know it piques my intrigue.

Why did you choose the middle market? Do you see any benefits in that sector?

I chose middle market because I felt like it had the best overall life-work balance. I feel like you aren’t just grinding all day. The managers, the directors, everyone was very approachable at this level. I felt like they really valued personal growth, as well as professional growth. And I think that’s the key distinction for me, and that’s why I always stay in the middle market area. And do I see any benefits? I do see the life-work balance. At PKF Texas, they prioritize the people, and they prioritize that you have a life outside of work. And they encourage you to spend time with your family, things like that.

Photo of PKF Texas team members holding packaged jackets at a firm event

What were you looking for in a potential firm?

Again, it was definitely the mid-market area. For me, I was looking for a place that could challenge me technically because I felt that the previous companies I worked for didn’t have the variety I was looking for to develop my skills. So, I was still looking for that fine balance where I could still have a life outside of work. I found the personal connections very important as well.

I like being proactive in the “outside of normal work” activities, such as new hire training, recruiting, or even happy hours. These are great opportunities to interact with a bigger variety of people in a more casual environment, which helps foster a better relationship to my teams, as well as the firm.

Why did you choose PKF Texas specifically?

I was brought to the firm through an employee referral, a friend who worked at PKF Texas. That helped a lot for sure. But I think what sold me most was the diversity at the leadership level. I talked to Rafael, I talked to Chris, I talked to Nikki, and it was a good mix of people. I didn’t see that anywhere else I talked to. I felt they all came from different backgrounds, but they all spoke very candidly, very casual and I felt comfortable talking to them. If this is the tone at the top, then it must be great all the way down.

What are some of your favorite perks and benefits at PKF Texas?

I would say top three:

  • work for your day attire,
  • work from home policy, and
  • then equipment reimbursement.

They’re all very good benefits because it shows the firm really thinks about the people. They want us to be comfortable. That’s why we dress for our day. If we’re not meeting clients or client facing, I could stroll into the office with some shorts.

If I want to work from home – because right now I live a little far from the office – I can work from home as long as I want. There’s no pressure to come in. It’s great for everyone.

My approach to staying connected in a hybrid work environment is being proactive in the “outside of normal work” activities, such as new hire training, recruiting, or even happy hours. These are great opportunities to interact with a bigger variety of people in a more casual environment and helps foster a better relationship to my teams and as well as to the firm. For reimbursement, some people don’t have a nice setup at home yet. The stipend PKF Texas provides towards that goes a long way. Getting equipment like monitors, keyboards, or a table really shows that they’re investing in us.

Photo of two PKF Texas team members playing ping pong at an office happy hour event

What tips and advice do you have for recruits in their decision-making process?

The best advice I have is to shop around. If you’re a campus hire, join different organizations. Go to these exclusive recruiting events that companies host and really get the feel of the staff who are showing up to these events because the work is the same no matter where you go. You’ll still learn, you’ll still develop no matter where, but you want to be comfortable where you’re going with, right?

It’s the people, especially for me; I think the personal connection makes the most. That’s how you develop the most if you have a good mentor team. So, I think the best way to do that is to shop around, interview with as many people as possible, go to these casual recruiting events and stuff like that.

I think same advice still works for experienced hires who aren’t going through the campus recruiting process. Shop around. You may not be able to meet the same amount of people, but you still get a good feel by interviewing and applying to a wide variety of places. Yeah, you could look online and see the firms’ reputations to get a feel for how things are. Also, reach out through LinkedIn as it’s another good networking opportunity for them.

Fun facts about Richard

  • He graduated from University of Houston.
  • When he’s not working, he enjoys playing board games, food, PC hardware, Marvel/DC comics, and fishing.
  • If he could travel anywhere, it would be to Japan.

If you’d like to connect with Richard, reach out to Talent Acquisition Specialist Emily Marsh.

Want to learn more about the recruiting process and what it’s like to work at PKF Texas? Visit our Careers center!

Or are you ready to take your next career step? Contact us now!

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