Public Accounting, Parenthood, and Partnership - Supporting Work-Life Balance (Bauknight Pietras & Stormers CPAs)
Talent DevelopmentDecember 21, 2021 - Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A.
Prime Global member firm Bauknight Pietras & Stormers CPAs (BPS) are delighted to announce two new partners, Kristen Jerome (audit/assurance) and Allyson Bartley (tax). Both have found public accounting, parenthood, and partnership are the perfect combination, and the article below explores the workplace culture at BPS and how they support their staff to flourish and succeed.
What Jerome and Bartley have found at BPS is a firm that respects the need for flexibility based on an employee’s personal situation or unexpected changes in life.
“While we may not have a policy that deals directly with a person’s situation, we work to tailor solutions to fit the person’s need. We don’t just look at personal time off or banked overtime, which might limit a person’s time away. Nor do we turn our backs when additional paid time off is needed and necessary. Instead, we sit down and find a way to get the time away from work to deal with whatever the employee is facing.” Russell Bauknight, Managing Partner, BPS
Both of the new partners have experienced the firm’s flexibility as they have juggled their responsibilities at work and at home with young children. Throughout the COVID pandemic, Jerome and Bartley have split their time working at home and in the office. This was extremely helpful given disruptions at school and day care.
Says Jerome, “BPS trusts its people to get their work done. The focus is on outcomes—are clients’ needs being met? Since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, BPS has become uniquely flexible in how and where we work. It’s made us stronger as a firm and as a team.”
That flexibility has also made Bartley treasure each moment spent with her two small sons. “One of things I do is take my children to school every morning before going to work. The drive to school is my favorite time of day as the boys are happy and talkative. It’s our time. Because of my hour-long commute, I get to work at 9 instead of eight, but no one’s checking their watch to see when I get off the elevator.”
She adds, “What people don’t see are all of the creative ways I get work done. For example, I schedule phone calls during my commute, and I answer emails at night when the kids are asleep. I no longer procrastinate. If I have time, I use it wisely.”
As BPS has grown — the firm now has more than 90 people — it hasn’t outgrown the need to be there for people. Compassion, not policies, remains an important guiding principle. Jerome experienced this first-hand when her husband unexpectedly died last July while on vacation with the couple’s two children. The family was celebrating her yet-to-be announced promotion to partner at BPS.
She says, “Brent played an integral role in my making partner. He was the biggest supporter of my career and filled so many roles at home to allow me to both chase my ambitions at work and prioritize our kids.”
She continues, “Russell said to me, 'We can’t bring Brent back, but we’ll do anything else we can to help you navigate this.' That was five months ago, and the firm has continued to roll with me. I am so grateful for all the ways BPS continues to go above and beyond with their support.”
Public accounting is a challenging career, but BPS’s newest partners have embraced their crazy schedules and have found the firm extremely supportive of the quest for work-life balance. Says Bartley, “BPS has empowered us to make it work. No one has scaled back their expectations for us. We just do our best every day. I see it as an opportunity to be an example for other women. It can be hard—being a partner and a parent in public accounting—but it’s worth it.”
Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A.
Headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina since 1991, Bauknight Pietras & Stormer (BPS) is proud to represent international, national and local clients located in South Carolina’s rapidly expanding, pro-business environment. BPS serves as the preferred strategic partner of privately held businesses and wealthy individuals, providing tax, accounting & assurance, and business consulting services. In addition, we are a national leader in both the telecommunications and property & casualty insurance industries, emphasizing captive insurance.Learn more