Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 19, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Richter LLP was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2017):
- Richter LLP provides maternity leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers (to 100% of salary for up to 13 weeks) and offers a number of alternative work arrangements to help them transition to their new roles as parents
- Along with supporting a number of local, national and international charitable organizations each year, Richter LLP manages the Richter Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program to provide employees with opportunities to volunteer their expertise to social enterprises
- Richter LLP offers a number of financial rewards including signing bonuses for some employees, year-end bonuses for all and generous referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to recruit candidates from their personal network (to $5,000)
Mid-size Richter offers king-size opportunities
Alexandra Batelli got her first taste of working at the mid-sized accounting firm Richter LLP as a summer intern in 2010 and quickly decided it was perfect for her. "I came here seven years ago and I love it," says Batelli, who took a permanent position with Richter in 2012 after completing the chartered accounting program at Concordia University's John Molson School of Business.
Batelli is currently a Manager in the audit group, but because Richter is a mid-sized firm she does a lot more than just audits. "I work with clients in a variety of industries who have different needs," she says. "I am frequently the point of first contact, which allows me to handle tax issues and occasionally consulting issues as well."
In 2015, Richter launched its Mentoring and Apprenticeship Program (MAP) for young associates. Essentially, it gives them an opportunity to work in all the firm's business units. They typically spend six to nine months working with the audit group, the consulting group and the tax group.
Traditionally, says Mindy Mayman, Head of Richter's Human Resources Committee, new employees started in audit. "Junior accountants typically wouldn't work in other areas till later in their careers," Mayman says. "The Mentoring and Apprenticeship Program makes them more holistic practitioners and better business advisors."
Those who start as junior accountants out of university typically still have to earn a professional accreditation, such as their chartered professional accountant (CPA) title. Richter covers the cost and provides paid leaves of limited duration to study for the accreditation exams.
As a long-time Montreal firm that recently celebrated its 90th anniversary, Richter is committed to giving back to the community. Once a year the company shuts the office for a day and allows employees to volunteer with various non-profit or charitable organizations.
"The employees always tell us how much they enjoyed it," says Mayman. "One of the other benefits is that people get to work with colleagues from other parts of the organization."
Batelli has served meals to guests at a homeless shelter, painted rooms at a women's shelter, and wrapped Christmas gifts for underprivileged children.
Richter offers a number of alternative work arrangements, such as flex time, 80-per-cent work weeks and working from home. "The partners I work with understand the needs of their staff and allow us to work from home and keep our own hours," says Batelli. "If you get the work done they're happy."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 28, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Richter LLP was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016):
- Richter LLP employees receive one paid day off to volunteer each year through the company's annual "Community Day" initiative
- Richter LLP helps employees balance their work and personal lives through flexible work hours and telecommuting as well as shortened and compressed work weeks
- Along with matching RSP contributions, Richter LLP offers year-end bonuses for all and generous referral bonuses for employees who successfully recruit a new candidate to the firm (to $5,000)
Richter has its entrepreneurial spirit down to a T
As a partner for 17 years with Richter LLP, Tasso Lagios has helped to guide the firm through almost two decades of continual change.
Founded in 1926 as a two-man accounting practice, Richter now employs a staff in Canada of over 450 people. The firm still attends to its clients' tax- and accounting-related concerns. But its services extend much further.
Working with a client's senior management team, Richter provides advisory and financial consulting services ranging from business assessment, financial reorganization and profitability improvement to crisis management, insolvency consulting, transaction advice and conducting due diligence for asset-based loans.
"We work in a complex global environment," says Lagios, Richter's Managing Partner. "Things in our marketplace move quickly. We have to evolve as our customers ask us for more."
Richter's customers include thousands of mid-sized and large private and public companies in the innovation and technology sector, as well as manufacturing and distribution, real estate and construction, gaming, and retail. Just as its clients depend for their success on the entrepreneurial vision of their leaders, Richter depends on the acumen of its partners and staff to adapt to its fast-moving marketplace. And as the leaders of a mid-sized firm, all of Richter's 62 partners participate in operating the firm.
"We don't just act as practitioners," says Lagios. "Our partners run the business."
That entrepreneurial culture distinguishes Richter from its larger competitors. The country's three largest accounting firms, for example, employ more than 4,500 people apiece and have more partners than Richter's entire staff. Many employees may never meet each other.
At Richter, staff and partners know each other by name, and everyone shares the firm's entrepreneurial spirit.
"That's something I really like about Richter," says Marc-Vincent Caillé, who joined the firm about four years ago when he was in his early twenties. "Everyone's very close. They give you a chance to grow from early in your career. And as your skills increase, they give you more responsibility."
Now an Associate in the firm's Financial Consulting Services practice, Caillé turned down offers from three other firms to pursue his career with Richter. Initially, he worked as an entry-level senior staff accountant while pursuing his Chartered Professional Accountant's designation, for which Richter covered the cost. Once he earned his designation, he received a promotion that advanced him two levels beyond his status.
"I'm still young," says Caillé, who's now 28, "but already I'm managing seven other staff."
Richter's professional staff specialize in a particular field. Lagios, for example, advises clients in areas such as corporate reorganizations, financing and employee remuneration. But they also gain a broad understanding of the scope of the firm's services through a concept based on the shape of the letter T.
"With the T concept, staff receive broad training in all facets of the company," says Lagios, "but they also receive deep training in the area where they want to work."
For Caillé, that meant spending time in different areas of the firm as he worked as an auditor. "You can rotate through different departments," he says, "learn about the full service of the company and then tell clients about all the services. It's very useful."
Last year, Caillé decided to move from auditing to the firm's restructuring practice. "I felt reluctant at first to move," he says. "I wondered if I'd let people down. But everyone was very supportive. They were glad that I was staying with the company."
Caillé's initiative in seeking new challenges confirms the advantages of Richter's entrepreneurial character. As Lagios says, "We're much more than an accounting firm. We constantly have to innovate to ensure that our business continues in a sustainable way."