Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 12, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Fuller Landau LLP was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2018):
- Fuller Landau LLP encourages employees to reach out to their community with up to 2 paid volunteer days and donations for volunteerism ($150 for every 20 volunteer hours) -- staff accountants also volunteer to help low-income earners prepare their tax returns each year
- Fuller Landau LLP encourages employees to keep their skills sharp with tuition subsidies for courses both related and indirectly related to their current position -- and offers generous financial support, mentoring and paid study days for accounting students preparing for their final CPA exams
Fuller Landau offers employees much more than perks
Most businesses have to manage workload ebbs and flows, and that's especially true for accounting firms. For them, the first four months of the year are extraordinarily busy -- and very stressful. At Fuller Landau LLP, a Toronto-based audit, tax and advisory firm, the company shows its appreciation for staff long hours and hard work during "busy season" with a series of energizing events including weekly massages and smoothie breaks, followed by an activity-based party and dinner on the final tax-filing day.
But that's not all. The day after busy season wraps up, the office doors are locked. Says Fuller Landau HR Director Jill Daiter: "Our team goes above and beyond to get the work done. They deserve a paid break. We tell them, 'Tomorrow is all about you. No work allowed.'"
As well, staff often receive a post-tax-season gift. Last year, it was a monetary bonus. Another year it was an iPad. "We are truly grateful for their dedication," says Daiter.
Those are far from the only examples of Fuller Landau's year-round recognition of effort and concern for employee well-being. "We are an accounting firm, but we're not just driven by numbers," Daiter says. "We are always striving to create a fun atmosphere and a healthy work-life balance."
She adds: "We don't micromanage. Our people are mature and responsible professionals, so we are flexible as to their hours and working from home. It's all about trust and respect."
In the summer, Fuller Landau offices close at 1 p.m. every Friday, and there is another full day off, Summer Day, when the company's more than 125 staff from its Toronto and Hamilton offices enjoy another social activity, such as whitewater rafting or a professionally organized scavenger hunt.
Staff pursuing their Chartered Professional Accountant designation receive tuition reimbursement and time off to study. Those who pass their final certification exam are taken out to dinner by the partners to celebrate.
Lengthy service is also well rewarded. At every five-year anniversary, employees are treated to a getaway, such as a spa weekend or holiday, at company expense. For five years of service, the getaway is worth $500; at 15 years it's $2,000.
But all those perks -- and other workplace benefits such as an internal mentorship program and a relaxed dress code -- are not what attracted Amandeep Sohi to Fuller Landau. Indeed, Sohi turned down a slightly higher salary at a competitor. "I wanted to set down roots, so a friendly atmosphere and an opportunity to grow was important to me," she recalls. "The interview process was so positive, I immediately felt welcome.
"I also had a chance to meet with one of the firm's female partners. I could see that the glass ceiling wasn't an issue here." In fact, at Fuller Landau, half of the managers are female and there are various initiatives in place to further encourage women in leadership.
As for growth opportunities, Sohi has clearly benefitted. She joined as an intermediate associate, got promoted to a senior associate, then became a manager, and is now a senior manager in the Audit and Assurance team. All in just six years.
Regarding the firm's generosity, Sohi says: "The company recognizes and rewards the effort we put in. Rather than just saying thank you, they go the extra mile. It's not really necessary, but it's definitely appreciated."
Meanwhile, during busy season, some of the accountants still find time to help out after hours and on weekends at tax clinics sponsored by the profession's provincial association. Their dedication last year earned Fuller Landau first place honours at the Local Firm Level.
Staff also participate in a range of other charitable initiatives, including the Ride to Conquer Cancer and another for juvenile diabetes. "It all shows that our people take pride in giving back," says Daiter. "And we certainly take pride in them."