Purpose Through Operating Values

I recently returned to Haskell & White after focusing on my family for 13 years. When I left, I didn’t know if I would return, but happy to say I am back working with clients at Haskell & White, an Orange County CPA Firm. The Firm’s operating values were a strong driver to bring me back to Haskell & White. The Firm’s founders had documented their operating values when I worked at the Firm earlier. It was important to know I would be going to an Orange County CPA firm that incorporated them into their daily actions. After all, I had been a part of building them. “Finding your purpose” in your life is a hot topic right now, and these operating values provide the guideposts on that journey of finding my purpose. Returning to my career at a firm that serves clients with these operating values as a guidepost is comforting and helpful.

I break down each operating value and why it’s important to me.

Ethical Behavior – Probably considered a given at any public accounting firm, as the profession requires an 8-hour course to be taken every two years, and a specific ethics exam is part of the CPA certification process. A rigorous process evaluates each client, ensuring we work with clients who value our work and operate with integrity. At our Firm, this value guides our behavior and client acceptance policy. I admire this at Haskell & White since the clients contribute to how employees experience work, just as working with your colleagues can affect it.

Excellence – Pushing to do my personal best is vital to me on every project I manage. Working with a firm that also puts excellence among its guiding values is essential. Our clients seek advisors that can help them with complicated business challenges where technical excellence is required, and this spurs me to keep learning and taking on challenging projects.

Valuing People – The partners recognized long ago that people drive our success. By consistently recognizing the team, from spot bonuses to team bonding events and timely performance reviews to ensuring exposure to various industries, valuing people is paramount.

Firm members are encouraged to pursue a life-work balance, and from my vantage point, I see Haskell & White making that accessible for people in public accounting. I appreciate the technical innovations and the flexibility that allow me to work a hybrid schedule to help achieve that work-life balance. Gone are the days when you must come to an office every day of the week.  The work is demanding, but there’s no reason not to be able to succeed here and at home.

But we don’t just value our people; it’s about valuing our clients. I have always had a high sense of customer service, and I appreciate my role in training professionals starting in their careers.

Constant Learning – I’ve always viewed this as a sub-component of Valuing People and Excellence. It is tough to deliver either of those elements without providing an atmosphere of constant learning. If you’re ready for the challenge, there’s no end to the opportunities to learn. Without communication barriers between partners, managers and staff, everyone is encouraged to reach out and ask questions when they don’t understand something or want to bounce an idea off someone. I’ve never felt restricted or limited in what I can learn here. But the learning isn’t limited to the technical side. Achieving success in public accounting also requires many “soft skills,” such as organizational skills, marketing, and participation in community service, and there are opportunities to learn all of those here.

Success – Success is subjective and can be measured in so many ways. At Haskell & White, success is measured from many angles.  We want our Orange County CPA firm to be successful, but Firm leadership knows that will be achieved only when our clients succeed and our employees succeed.

I am now back at Haskell and White, and I feel like I am in a better place than ever before to contribute to the Firm’s continued success. There is a lot of talk about purpose these days, and everyone seems to be searching for it. If you don’t have a defined purpose, how do you know if you are on the right path? If you are considering a career move or want to talk about your options, reach out to me. I am more than happy to chat about my experience.