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Title:

Tax Associate

Classification

Full-Time, nonexempt

Reports To

Partners and Managers

SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES

Full Time position for someone who wants respect and
responsibility, and wants to make a real difference
in people’s lives.

 

See the end of this ad for an example of the OFFER LETTER we want to send to you. This is a full-time (40 hrs/week), hourly position with Whittaker & Company; a fast growing, influential boutique CPA firm. Pay will be commensurate with the talents, initiative and motivation you bring to the position. We won’t let pay stand in the way of getting the right person.

 

Who are we?

First, you need to decide if you want to work in this environment. The job doesn’t matter if the company is not a place you want to work.

Whittaker & Company works specifically with business owners with revenue ranging from $5 to $100 million to help them increase the value of their business and achieve their personal and business ambitions.

We view the world differently and believe that our accounting firm should be working with business owners on the strategies and drivers that move key performance areas in their business.

We meet with most of our clients on a monthly basis to talk about their business, their goals and their objectives. We also do monthly workshops, regular lunch talks, keynotes and conference breakouts and other ways of training business owners. We don’t just want
to educate them; we want to change their lives and help them build businesses that create freedom for them to live their ideal lifestyle.

We don’t bill by the hour. Our fixed fee approach allows us to have an unrestricted relationship with our clients to work with them on any and all challenges and opportunities they may have.

We are business advisors, facilitators and in some cases mentors, but not coaches or consultants. An advisor combines both coaching and consulting to get the best result for the business owner.

Our core values:

We believe in team members who are invested in what we’re doing, not employees who punch clocks. Everyone is a team member because we only want people who will “own” their work, not just do it. Employees have to be told what to do, team members are proactive and make the job better.

Our CORE Values are: Integrity, Work-Life Balance, Innovation and Quality. We live by these values.

 

Who are you?

If you like a fluid, growing, expanding organization that is small, and if you enjoy helping us all figure out how to get there, we could be a good fit.

If you enjoy meaningful work, a focus on RESULTS, working very closely with other team members and sometimes clients, we might be a good fit.

The ideal candidate loves to serve others and make THEM successful, and people deeply respect them for that approach to life. This is a position for someone who wants to make meaning, not just money, and have an ongoing impact in the lives of business owners.

They are infectiously positive, which is very different than getting excited about shiny objects or chasing squirrels. They are not easily distracted by a constant stream of “new things”, but are very focused on seeing what they can do to help people get from where
they are to where they want to be.

Integrity is their hallmark, and it comes out in a sincere interest in others, not in mushy emotionalism (although being emotional about seeing others is fine – a hug is a great thing). Integrity is represented in every aspect of their life. It is the cornerstone for how we treat our clients and each other.

This person lives in a world of abundance (how can I make you successful?), not in a world of scarcity (there is only so much to go around, so I better get mine before I help you get yours.)

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • 1. Live out our purpose statement – “Transforming Businesses and Lives” – You don’t just work here, you get out of bed and come to work because you want to live well by doing things to help business owners move forward. You have to take
    on this vision and make it your own like everyone at our company. It’s not a nice statement on a wall, but a way we live at work and at home. If you don’t want to help business owners transform their lives, this is not the place for you
  • 2. Live out our mission statement – “We empower business owners to utilize financial and intellectual knowledge to transform their businesses and their lives.” Too many business owners have forgotten this was supposed to be rewarding and
    fulfilling – every time they meet you, your presence will remind them it should be.
  • Tax engagements – Become proficient in the preparation of corporate, partnership, individual and fiduciary tax returns under the direction of more experienced staff. Become familiar with pertinent Internal Revenue Code sections and regulations. Preparation of tax and financial statement workpapers, including trial balances, depreciation schedules and debt amortization schedules
  • 4. Maturity of the mind – We’re not looking for someone who needs to be told what to do, when to show up, and when to go home. We’re looking for someone who is a self-managed, self-motivated adult who knows what RESULT is needed, and enjoys taking the bull by the horns to get it done, without being watched, managed or directed. We all work together in community to get things done, and we need someone who will join us as an equal team member.
  • 5. Working with the Thomson suite of tax and accounting software as well as Microsoft Office and multiple versions of QuickBooks.
  • 6. Results-based motivation – We don’t watch clocks. We all know what result is needed and are focused on that. We value work-life balance and we trust everyone to get the work done
  • 7. Learn what we do and make it your own – We want you to engage with clients and look for ways to help them as opposed to just completing a task that has been assigned. You will learn everything you need to know about how to run a business, and you’ll find out almost all of it applies every day.
  • 8. Hours – We trust in each other that we are all owners and are responsible for our own work and getting things done. During the months of January through April we work a standard 40 hours per week. During the months of May through December we work a modified 9 day/80 hour schedule. Our 9/80 schedule gives the team every other Friday off
  • 9. Not knowing exactly what every day will hold – Each day may hold in office or outside meetings with clients, or working on projects from the office. It will vary.
  • 10. Acting as if you own the company – Taking initiative and ownership, making decisions, thinking ahead and being proactive, working with others to constantly make things better and deliver better products and services every day

You can see you will be an integral part of the Whittaker & Company Team and our business, will attend our monthly team meetings for planning and strategy, and will be expected to chime right in as if you owned the place.

Preferred skills:

  • High emotional intelligence – Have great people-sense. You can look around the room and see how people are doing, who is new, needs to be connected with others and made to feel comfortable.
  • Great communication skills – In person, on the phone, and in writing – you ask great questions and make people comfortable.
  • Open mindedness – You can accept other’s worldviews without losing your own; you can entertain a thought without accepting it.
  • Project management – You have the ability to organize, monitor, and track numerous ongoing and one-time activities, events and projects.
  • Comfortable with change – You don’t mind working in unknown situations or with new software(s).
  • The desire to serve others – You get energized by helping other people, serving them, and making them successful. This applies to your clients and teammates.
  • Strong accounting foundation – You are required to have a college undergraduate degree and have completed at least 30 hours in college-level accounting courses. It is preferable to have 1-3 years of experience in public accounting.
  • Team player – You enjoy working in “community,” not alone. You are mindful of the people around you.
  • Competency – You should be comfortable working with the Microsoft Office Suite. This includes Outlook, Word, and Excel
  • Problem solving – You have the ability to logically solve problems with little supervision; you also know when to ask for help.
  • Initiative – You have the ability to figure things out on your own.
  • Discretion – You can handle and communicate sensitive information.
  • A positive attitude – You possess this and a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Along with your resume, please email us at hiring@whittakercocpas.com your answers to the following questions:

  • 1) How is this position a fit for you?
  • 2) What would you get out of working in the environment described here?
  • 3) What are the three biggest strengths you could bring to us?
  • 4) How can we support you – what do you need from us to be successful?
  • 5) Where do you want to go with your life (career is a part of life, not separate)?
  • 6) What’s the one thing standing in your way to getting where you want to go?
  • 7) List the seven things, in order of impact, which you would bring to the game.
  • 8) What other helpful information did we forget to ask?

Here’s more about us:

www.whittakercocpas.com – Overview of our company.
www.whittakercocpas.com/blog/ -Written by founder and owner Dan Whittaker. It will offer great insight into our thought process and beliefs.
http://whittakercocpas.com/success – Read what we do for business owners.
www.WhyEmployeesareAlwaysABadIdea.com – Recently named Top 10 Business Book of the Year.

We bring Integrity, Innovation, Work-Life Balance and Quality to all of our clients, which allows business owner to take advantage of opportunities to transform their businesses and lives.

Most business owners have worked diligently in the business for 30 years, and then reach a point when it is time to transition it to the next generation or to sell. We help business owners build a strong, thriving business sooner rather than later so they can enjoy it for decades, then exit on their own terms.

Wealth is the ability to choose what to do with my time. Riches is just money. We want people to be wealthy, not just rich.

Our objective is for all of us to move from survival right through success to significance
– doing and being significant in the world around us.

We believe the rugged individualist is a bad idea. Business owners should have a team of trusted advisors so they can live in the committed community, and those that do, will make more money in less time and will be more successful.

Most business owners only ask their business for money, but a business should give time, money and significance (TMS). Ask a business for all three and watch what happens. We implement now and perfect as we go.

Waiting around for perfection is a bad idea. Our ship is constantly moving and taking soundings as we go.

We expect business owners to always ask “What is the highest and best use of my time?” We encourage business owners to embrace trapeze moments and take the risk to grow personally and to build a business they can enjoy for decades.

We live in a world of abundance, not a world of scarcity, and it affects every decision we make.

 

Following is an Offer Letter we would love to send you:

MM YYYY
Dear great team member (we look forward to inserting your name here),

I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to have you joining our team. Thanks for being willing to jump in and make a difference in the lives of business owners, and to be part of a team committed to being transformative in the world around us.

I just wanted to put in writing how we want to approach having you work with us.

Work Hours
Your average work week will consist of 40 hours. Some weeks may be more, some less. And whenever possible, we’ll work around family and personal life, because that is why we’re all doing this. So don’t hesitate to speak up when work collides with home in an unhelpful way.

Teamwork
We’re a team and we’ll help each other be successful. No rugged individualists. We aren’t co-dependent, and we’re not completely independent. We’ll be more interdependent. We all help each other out as needed.

We will want to design times each week where we all “collide”, for no good reason other than to remind us we’re a team, and that maybe some great idea will get moved along by collaboration. That will likely most often happen conveniently around customer events that would be good times to be together anyway.

Job Descriptions
We will avoid these as much as possible. We will be driven by RESULTS REQUIRED, not by the process of getting there. All of us should have a very clear idea of the results we personally are responsible for, and which results the team is responsible for, and
then we figure out how to build the processes that will best get us those results.

Silos/Departments
We will avoid these as much as possible. If someone is good at a piece of technology stuff, as well as working with clients, we’ll try to have them doing both as much as we can. We will always ask, “What is the highest and best use of that person’s time?”, and then we’ll do whatever we can to get them doing that. We want people doing things they are really good at, and will not pigeon-hole them as “marketing” or “IT”, etc. It’s important that all the functions are covered that make the company successful, but it’s not important that we build fiefdoms or functional silos to contain narrow functions.

Destiny
We want the company to help each of us find our own personal destiny. That’s not woowoo crap, but a hard-core business success strategy. If we can help you get where you need to be inside or outside of the company, while also making sure the company is successful, why wouldn’t we do that? We believe the company will be MUCH more successful if we free everyone up to live out their Big Why and find out what motivates them most. Let’s always help each other work from the highest and best use of everyone’s time.

Leading
Everyone will work for the self-directed, self-managed team, and the team will “manage” us. People will become leaders in various things as others follow them on that subject. This may sound fuzzy, but the sky is the limit.

No one person can decide if someone is hired or let go – usually it will be as many people as possible. The principle – whoever is affected by a decision should have a voice in it.

Nothing is by consensus, but not everything is by vote, either. Whenever possible, everyone affected by a decision will have a voice in that decision, and whenever possible, we’ll go with the overwhelming majority. As rarely as possible decisions will not be by consultation, and even rarer as we grow.

Ownership
We’re fanatic about being owners. Everybody thinks and acts like an owner. We are all encouraged to lead the company into whatever next thing we ought to be doing, and those who do will be compensated for doing so. If somebody invents the sticky note here, they will own some to a lot of it, not just get a thank you written on a sticky note. Owners make more time and money for making good things happen. We are all owners in that regard.

Decision-Making
Decision-making is one of the most important ways we all express ownership. Whenever possible, decisions should be made a) by those who are affected, and b) by those who will have to carry them out. Before making a decision ask yourself, “Who else could be affected by this decision?”, and then get them involved. If it only affects you, there is no need to ask. Example: If you make 75% of the copies and you think we need a new copier, ask, “Who else makes copies?” and “Who would be affected by the copies we make?”, and then get those people involved. If it takes a committee, elect a tie-breaking leader before starting, then get it done. Managers don’t exist, so only those affected
should need to be involved. Some decisions will affect everyone. Whenever possible, everyone will be involved in those decisions.

  • Rate of Pay:
  • $XX.xx per hour, which would equate to $XX,XXX.xx per year based on a 40 hour work week. Mutually agreed upon business expenses and reimbursement for out of pocket expenses. This would typically be for any auto mileage or small incidentals that you may incur, AICPA, and CalCPA annual membership dues.
  • Starting Date:
  • DD, MM, YYYY. On your first day of employment, please be prepared to complete an I-9 Form, and supply us with documents proving both your identity and your legal right to work in the U.S. All offers of employment are contingent upon receipt of these documents.
  • Vacation:
  • After your initial completion of ninety days of continuous fulltime employment you will be eligible to accrue vacation as follows:Years 1-5 – Two weeks (.833 of a day for each full month of employment, based on full time employment.)After Year 5 – Three weeks (1.25 days for each full month of employment, based on full-time employment.)Three Weeks (accruing at 1.25 days for each full month of employment) is the maximum vacation benefit offered.
  • Sick Pay:
  • After your initial completion of ninety days of continuous fulltime employment, and in subsequent years, you will be
    eligible for five days of sick pay (.4167 of a day for each full month of employment based on full-time employment.)
  • Additional Benefits:
  • After 30 days of employment, you will be eligible for our Group Health Insurance Plan. For full-time employees we
    will cover up to $500 per month.After your first year of employment you will be eligible for our 401(k) plan which also includes maximum 4% employer
    matching which is entirely vested from the date you begin your contributions.After your first year of employment you will be eligible for our discretionary profit sharing plan, which is incorporated with our 401(k) plan.

Any other benefits not disclosed in this letter will be explained in detail during your orientation.

Whittaker & Company is an at-will employer and reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of employment with or without notice, including but not limited to termination, demotion, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, duties, and location of work. Neither this offer letter nor any other written or verbal communications are intended to create a contract of employment or a promise of long-term employment. All employment with Whittaker & Company is at-will. Accordingly, the employer or the employee, with or without cause, can terminate the relationship at any time.

Please confirm your acceptance of the offer as outlined herein by completing and signing both copies of this letter and returning one to us in the envelope provided. If you have any questions, or if anything in this letter is not consistent with your understanding of our offer, please call me immediately. Additionally, this offer will remain open through Friday, MM DD, YYYY.

Thanks for jumping on board!

Best regards,

Whittaker & Company

Send answers to the above questions to: hiring@whittakercocpas.com
We look forward to hearing from you!