RSM Richter

RSM Richter

October 15, 2007 10:17 ET

Challenging Old Stereotypes: RSM Richter Turns the Idea of a Conventional Accounting Firm on its Head and is Named One of Montreal's Top 15 Employers

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2007) - RSM Richter is successfully challenging stereotypes with its award today as one of Montreal's Top 15 Employers. The winners of the annual competition, organized by Mediacorp Canada, were officially announced in The Gazette and Le Devoir.

As one of the largest independent accounting, business advisory and consulting firms in Canada, the Montreal office faced more than just tough competition. They also had to overcome the preconceived notions of the "boring accountant" and prove that in fact, accounting firms can be highly positive, productive places in which employees can thrive.

Noted co-managing partner Stephen Rosenhek, "RSM Richter being officially recognized as one of Montreal's Top 15 Employers is especially significant for an accounting firm. Our industry has not always been seen as open to innovative HR practices." RSM Richter is in fact the only accounting firm to be named among the Top 15 Employers. Mr. Rosenhek added, "We understand that our greatest assets are our employees, and we're committed to supporting them both as professionals and as individuals."

Developing successful employees

RSM Richter has backed up this claim with impressive results in its UFE Preparation Program which all Canadian-trained CAs must write as the profession's uniform evaluation. The program includes intensive external and internal preparatory courses, test simulations with feedback, and individual coaching. The company further supports its employees by defraying their examination fees, study materials and notably, four weeks salary to cover the time spent in the program. Over the past five years, RSM Richter's students have maintained a formidable UFE pass rate of over 85%.

RSM Richter has also devoted significant resources in focusing on employee needs through direct communication, working with them to improve the firm and its offerings. "For instance, in 2007, we initiated a 360-degree feedback program, conducted an internal employee satisfaction survey, delivered major enhancements to our Intranet and held a town hall-style meeting with all our employees." said co-managing partner Robert Zittrer. "These activities provided the basis for us to create strong, new employee programs, and to demonstrate to our employees that what they say matters."

Driving force for environmental accountability

This open and employee-focused approach is perhaps most evident in RSM Richter's Go Green initiative. This grass-root initiative, which pointed to an interest in making the firm more environmentally-friendly, received full support from the firm's leaders. Today, employees receive their own mugs for coffee, glasses have replaced Styrofoam cups and bottled water at meetings, and a reduction of 30% in paper consumption is expected by year's end.

RSM Richter is reducing its carbon footprint by reducing waste and promoting environmental Best Practices throughout the company.

As an accounting firm, RSM Richter is all too aware of how its industry is sometimes perceived and is committed to being leaders in the area of employee engagement and social responsibility.

Various RSM Richter initiatives support employees' health, wellbeing and morale. These include financial support toward the pursuit of studies in fields of personal interest and the hosting of company social events and team-building activities, like dragon boat racing. The firm and its employees are also major participants in fundraising programs, such as Centraide and the Defi corporatif Canderel.

Flexible up-to-date management

"RSM Richter is managed in a very modern way," said Cherine Zananiri, Director of Human Resources. "We've made decision-making clearer and more transparent by creating management committees that are highly responsive to our various departments. And, because we're a mid-sized firm, we can facilitate more contact between junior employees and partners and clients, making a stronger team and creating more opportunities for growth," she added.

An accounting firm: the best place to launch a career?

According to BusinessWeek magazine's annual ranking of "the best places to launch a career", accounting firms are becoming a popular choice. A growing demand for qualified personnel in combination with the arrival of "Generation Y" graduates gives accounting firms opportunities to overcome the stereotypes, a challenge which RSM Richter has successfully overcome.

In Montreal, the firm revitalized its management structure, bringing in two co-managing partners, as opposed to the industry standard of a single managing partner, plus a new COO and three new director-level positions, all of which where filled with women. And through RSM Richter's Young Professionals' Club, open communication is fostered between senior staff and the next generation of decision makers.

About RSM Richter

RSM Richter is one of Canada's largest independent accounting, business advisory and consulting firms. Founded in 1926, RSM Richter provides financial advisory services in the areas of corporate restructuring, litigation support, forensic accounting, business valuation, wealth management, corporate finance and insolvency. RSM Richter has full-service offices in Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.

Contact Information

  • Massy-Forget Public Relations
    Elaine Mayrand
    514-842-2455, ext. 24
    Massy-Forget Public Relations
    Marie-Christine Garon
    514-842-2455, ext. 23