Art of Accounting: Withum State of the Firm annual meeting

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Withum held its annual State of the Firm meeting on Jan. 10. It is one of our firmwide highlights. Over 1,200 partners and staff attended in person and the balance of our 2,100-member team did so virtually.

This year was special since Pat Walsh stepped up as our new CEO/managing partner, taking over from Bill Hagaman, who completed 13 years as our leader. The theme of this year’s SOTF video, with over 200 team members, participating was the passing of the baton from Bill to Pat. That video can be viewed here:

Bill did an incredible job leading us into the most amazing advisory services, including positioning us at the top of the digital solutions and cybersecurity space and reorganizing us into industry and services niches. Pat is a great choice to follow Bill, and we are looking forward to even greater sustainable growth in strong services to clients.

There is much talk about partner transparency, diversity and inclusion, participation in charitable services, and doing extra for staff, but Withum is doing it. This SOTF meeting broke our hearts. Pat presented our numbers, which showed our revenue growth has been up every one of our 48 years, growth in each of our industry niches, added firms that became part of Withum, a year-by-year projection of new partner promotions, our huge array of staff benefits — which, I believe, are the best in the profession — and our strong initiatives in every area important to staff, clients and the communities we live in. Just to list some of what we do would take up too much space here. In short, what Withum is doing is staggering, and it is no wonder that our staff turnover is among the lowest in the profession and our organic growth is so high.

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Withum’s new CEO/managing partner Pat Walsh at the State of the Firm event.

Edward Mendlowitz

One metric that I am particularly proud of and want to “brag” about is the number of staff who started with us that are being promoted to partner.

Last year we promoted 16 staff to partner, including six who started their careers with us. This year we are promoting 19 to partner level, including eight who started their careers with Withum or its predecessor firm, and another one who joined after starting elsewhere but who has been with us 17 years. These promotions are in addition to people we bring in as partners either through a merger or who join us with special expertise.

We are growing. However, the point I want to make is that consistency in staff training, development, growth and robust mentoring, along with the proper focus and investment by the firm, can provide meaningful career opportunities to entry-level staff. Some of these new partners even started with us as interns. This process works and Withum has the “proof.”

The three and a half-hour meeting included bestselling author Josh Linkner as a keynoter, who talked about how to unlock innovation to drive explosive growth which was also a theme of this year’s SOTF. Innovation at Withum is a high priority.

This was an exciting event and I suggest other companies consider such an event, no matter their size. If you want further information about setting yours up, I can send you a printout of my prior columns describing previous SOTF events. Just send me an email to [email protected] and put SOTF as the subject. No messages necessary. I will also be glad to talk to you about it. Just reach out to me.

Do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] with your practice management questions or about engagements you might not be able to perform.

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