By Rebecca L. Porritt
March 19, 2009
As a single office Michigan accounting and tax firm, we believe that “you don’t have to leave Michigan to have an impact on the world.”
Why do we say that? With a foundation of global vision and reach, our accounting and tax practice is focused on two specific areas:
-¢ Helping Michigan based clients thrive locally and compete globally
-¢ Helping foreign companies establish business in Michigan
We work exclusively with growth-driven, middle market, privately held companies that are expanding globally. Our clients are exclusively owners of Michigan businesses, and owners of foreign-owned companies expanding into Michigan. In the last year or so, we have worked with companies coming in from Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, China and France, to name a few. Some of these companies have come with business interests in the automotive industry, but others are completely unrelated.
With a well-defined, clearly communicated niche focus in place, we look at hiring and training culturally compatible staff and to develop and implement effective firm-wide systems and processes, including technology.
Our greatest competitive advantage is our people. Our staff of 65 speaks up to a dozen languages and dialects. These resources help ensure our clients get technical, leadership, communication, and marketing skills along with accurate cultural interpretations. We also share these cultural experiences with each other. A team member, who was born and raised in another country, will host a “Lunch and Learn.” They put together a presentation about their culture differences while sharing food native to their country. These are very popular and have proven to be a successful way for staff to get to know each other.
We also have a long-time commitment to the international community in the metro Detroit area. Our staff is involved in such organizations as the Detroit Economic Partnership, French American Chamber of Commerce, German American Chamber of Commerce, and Detroit Chinese Business Association, to name a few.
In addition to our unique culture, we provide skill building programs and advanced technology. Our skill building programs, headed by a cross-functional Skill Building Committee, focus on technical, business advisory, niche expertise, leadership, management, communication and selling skills. They look at each individual in the firm and provide for individual career paths offering both personal and professional growth. Much of this training is provided in-house by our own staff.
As the labor force continues to change, so does our need to provide a flexible work environment reflecting quality of life issues and increasing client expectations. Utilizing advanced technology, some team members telecommute or work flexible schedules to accommodate personal and career goals. We continue to expand our wireless communication and remote access capabilities. The use of electronic imaging allows our staff complete access to client files. Voice recognition software will increase the efficiency of data entry. In addition, we envision the development of an Intranet that will allow staff who are not physically in the office to access data and information.
We feel we have made an impact in our global market and all this has been accomplished without ever leaving the State. Like we said at the beginning, “You Don’t Have to Leave Michigan -¦!”
Rebecca L. Porritt is human resources manager for Clayton & McKervey P.C. in Southfield, Mich., one of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best And Brightest Companies To Work For in 2008. She can be reached at [email protected].