More than the Numbers
I once had someone tell me that public accounting is not about the numbers, it’s about the people. While I don’t deal with numbers as much as other auditors, the latter could not be truer for the culture of PKM. We strive to be the best in our field and a crutch for clients to lean on when needed. In order to be the best, you have to be up to date on regulatory standards and industry practices. PKM accomplishes this by making training opportunities available to employees and putting a focus on obtaining applicable certifications. Of course, there is a big cost associated with training, but PKM looks beyond this to the benefit it provides for our clients and the relationship that develops from them relying on our expertise. Personally, I’ve had opportunities to travel to many different locations in Georgia and other states (including California, Wisconsin, and Washington DC) to gain the necessary training and certifications required for my position. While all of this provides benefits to you personally, it also increases your usefulness as a resource that our clients can rely on when the time comes.
Aside from being a technical resource, employees are encouraged to develop personal connections with clients. You will frequently speak to senior management, C-suite employees, and possibly Board members, so being able to carry on a conversation and have personal interactions is the key to building a strong relationship. We also frequently have lunch with our clients, giving us a chance to learn more about someone personally. For instance, through casual conversation with a new client recently, I learned that a gentleman I’ve talked with in discussion forums online was the son of a lady we were working with at the bank. While this may not seem like a big deal, it demonstrates how you can learn so much from just talking to the people that you’re working with. Some employees have gotten in a few rounds of golf with clients in the past and others have gotten in some range time with a client. All of this allows us to connect with our clients on a more personal level that further strengthens us as resources and individuals.