The 2017 Best Small Firms to Work For: Schellman & Company

5. Schellman & Company

Headquarters: Tampa, Fla. Billable Consultants: Fewer than 200 Client Industries Served: Financial Services, Healthcare, ISO, Public Sector   Consulting Service Lines:  IT

This year’s highest ranking newcomer designation belongs to Tampa, Fla.-based IT firm Schellman & Company as it makes its debut as one of the profession’s Best Small Firms to Work For at No. 5.

The Best Small Firms to Work For designation will reinforce to both employees and clients that Schellman & Company’s culture is built on them, says Avani Desai, Executive Vice President, Schellman & Company.

Helping those clients tell the story of their compliance and control maturity still remains a top priority for the firm, and is very exciting to this day, she says. “Whether it is emerging requirements from GDPR or the ever-present cyber security concerns the IT and compliance market is seeing a lot of growth and we are excited to be considered in the forefront of our industry,” she says.

And no firm can place in the Top 5 without extraordinary morale, which Desai says she considers “to be a reflection of the soul of our firm. Above all else, we know our value system is worthwhile when our employees are motivated to serve our clients, and our clients are proud of our service to them. Our people and clients understand their tremendous value to our firm and that keeps firm-wide morale extremely high.”

The leadership at Schellman & Company never stops focusing on or serving clients, personnel, and communities. “While other organizations are focused primarily on revenue and net income metrics, our focus has been and remains on our people. This primary focus keeps everything we do and everyone we serve aligned on what truly matters.

But ask Desai her top priority over the next 12 months and she’ll say, without hesitation: “Our people.” She says she knows “that our industry can be demanding and what we used to see in ebbs and flows, is now all year round. We are always looking for new ways to stop the burnout, increase the recognition our employees should get, and continual employee education and training.”

And she adds that the commitment to people is more than just a recruiting or retention tool. “It is truly our ethos,” Desai says. “The professional audit services industry is constantly providing new opportunities and challenges, but from the founding of our firm the greatest source of pride has been how we have enriched the professional careers and personal development of the people that have chosen to serve through our firm.”

Desai can credit a few specific initiatives that she thinks contributed to Schellman & Company being named a Best Small Firm to Work For. For starters, a very strong benefits package. Starting January 1st, the firm will be matching 10 percent of employees’ 401k, which is well above the industry standard.

Q&A: On the survey, the firm excelled in Work/Life Balance And Compensation & Benefits. Why? 

Desai: “We focus on our employees. During our recruiting process, we are looking for the best and brightest in the field. We know that means that compensation and benefits will need to match the caliber of people. Also, as mentioned above, this industry is very demanding and we look for diversity in our employee base, so helping manage the work/life balance is important for us to be able to hire and maintain the best in industry. We understand our employees’ needs and build our culture around our people.”

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