Staff Q&A: Kaila Maxey
May 03 5:43 PM

Staff Q&A: Kaila Maxey

May 03 5:43 PM
May 03 5:43 PM

Kaila, you’ve just finished your first busy season with BaCo. What was it like for you and how did it compare to the environment at a Big 4 firm?

Everyone was much more flexible and there weren’t any reasons to work unreasonable hours in any given week. During most busy seasons, especially around the tax season deadline, some firms expect you to work 70 or more hours per week, crank out late nights projects, and do it again the next morning. Also, in the summer we get every other Friday off. It really helps motivate you through busy season and helps offset the overtime hours during the busy times.
At BaCo, I didn’t feel like I had to put my personal life on hold during busy season. It was a much less stressful and lower pressure atmosphere.

Specifically regarding desk/phone hoteling, how is that different for you compared to your old firm?

I have my own office and desk at BaCo! Now I don’t have to worry about signing up to get a desk every day and worry about dragging all of my paperwork and personal belongs around.
BaCo even asked for pictures of some of my favorite places to hang up in my office. It’s nice having your own space at work, and also, a way to make it your own.

How is it to be in a direct line of communication and training with owners everyday?

I enjoy the work I do at BaCo so much more because I get to be a lot more hands on with clients and their businesses. I think having the opportunity to build relationships with our client’s executives is encouraging because I am able to see a true impact of my work on a weekly basis.

Do you like BaCo’s causal dress code?

The dress code is much more relaxed than most accounting firms. We get to wear jeans and have an even more comfortable dress code during the summer. It's a huge perk not having to wear business professional dress every day and saves me a lot of money!

What else sets BaCo apart for you?

The overall culture sets BaCo apart from other firms. The atmosphere, positive attitude, and overall caring nature of the firm makes such a difference to me. BaCo invests heavily in training employees and constantly makes me feel like a valued member of the team. Even in the middle of busy season, BaCo makes time for ‘energizing moments’- basically, we take a step back from taxes and have some fun! It is a happy place to work and everyone takes the time to get to get to know each other.

You mentioned ‘energizing moments;’ can you tell us more about what that is in your own words?

Sure, it basically promotes teamwork and creating energy during those long days of tax season. Some examples are us playing Heads Up, Secret Santa, and having a costume contest on St. Patrick’s Day. The days went by much faster since everyone was in good spirits and didn’t feel the pressure and stress that a lot of other firms may experience during busy season.

What do you think about having a voice in decisions and being able to see the track to advancement?

This place makes me feel like my opinion matters and a valued member of the team. It highlights why we do the things we do and the type of opportunities, such as, promotion. We have been able to add two partners to the firm in the last couple of years, and that helps me focus on knowing there is advancement possibilities in the future.
BaCo also helped me become a CPA- they excused my time to take my ethics exams and paid for the final application. It feels nice to finally have that off my plate!

Does BaCo’s technology ‘work’?

When I mentioned I was going to work for a smaller firm a lot of people said the technology would be super behind, but they could not have been more wrong. BaCo has invested in technology that allows us to be more efficient, provide the employees and clients with greater flexibility, and allows us to have a more value-added service with our clients through a more hands on approach with the financials. By us already applying this, we have saved time, energy, and will eventually reduce the amount of overtime hours during busy season in the future.

We are excited about you winning a free bike recently-- can you tell us how you won it?

Our firm tries to beat the stereotype of the typical accounting organizations...and promotes a healthy lifestyle during busy season. One of the ways we do this is through a bike giveaway for an accountant that makes a healthy goal, keeps it throughout busy season, and then all entries go into a random drawing. Unfortunately, employees aren’t eligible for this, but if we shared about the bike giveaway with several people, signed up for the MS150 or the Tour de Cure bike races, you could win a bike- and I did! This is personally dear to my heart since my dad has diabetes and is a cyclist, so this has been a great way for us to grow closer!

What did you think about how we prepped for tax season?

We first off, we all had a pre-busy season energizing moment and went to go see The Greatest Showman!  But, of course, there was a lot planning that went into to getting ready for tax season, since BaCo works to have everything done a week in advance. That meant out clients had enough time for questions and made sure everything was correct before the deadline -thus avoiding many of the late nights and stress of trying to squeeze everything in right before the deadline.

It sounds like you’ve have a great first impression of BaCo and we’re so glad! It’s been amazing having you apart of the team Kaila! Thanks so much for your input.

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