Creating Fun as Business Culture – WithumSmith + Brown


Can an accounting firm actually be a fun place to work? The two concepts of “fun” and “accounting” seem to be polar opposites. On this episode, you’ll learn how one forward-thinking accounting firm has carefully created a fun business culture that allows their team members to grow and thrive.

I’m thrilled to share an interview with Bill Hagaman, CEO and Managing Partner of WithumSmith+Brown. Since I’m a recovering accountant, I was very intrigued to have Bill on the show. We don’t think of an accounting firm as a place where people have fun, but as you’ll learn in this episode, they have used videos and other intriguing programs to establish a business culture that is enjoyable and growth-oriented. You’ll be inspired to start thinking of ways to boost the culture at your own workplace after hearing how Withum does it. You might even be inspired to get up and dance!

Bill’s Bio: Bill is the Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of WithumSmith+Brown, PC, and has been a member of the firm’s management for over 30 years. He is a licensed certified public accountant in New Jersey, New York and Florida, as well as a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), specializing in merger and acquisition services and international business.

A graduate of Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Bill joined Withum in 1980. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). He has also demonstrated a leadership role in expanding the firm’s global capabilities, serving as a current executive committee member of HLB International and as the former chairman of Nexia International USA. Both are worldwide networks of independent accounting firms and business advisors.

Bill has appeared on several television and radio programs discussing topics related to leadership and business management. He is frequently quoted in accounting and business publications, and has authored many articles over the years on topics ranging from fixed asset management, mergers and acquisitions and leadership within the profession.

You’ll discover:

  • The programs Withum uses to engage its team members.
  • Why they use the term “team members” instead of “staff” or “employees.”
  • What it means to “dress for the day.”
  • How Withum uses a suggestion box to gather great ideas.
  • The way Withum uses its annual video to differentiate themselves, increase engagement, recruit team members, and bring in new business.
  • How Bill uses the ten elements of the “Withum Way” to create and maintain the company’s culture.
  • The importance of repeating yourself and delivering the same message over and over again.
  • How Bill uses the annual meeting to increase engagement and create a fun culture.

The Ten Elements of the Withum Way

  1. Think Client Centrically
  2. Possess a Vision for Growth
  3. Welcome Innovation and Change
  4. Maintain a Cooperative Attitude
  5. Demand Integrity
  6. Cultivate Open and Honest Relationships
  7. Embrace the Family Spirit
  8. Work hard/Play hard
  9. Give Back
  10. Live Life Passionately

Interview Links & Other Resources
The Withum Way
Breaking Stereotypes of Accountants (Video)
2016 State of the Firm (Video)
Follow Withum on Twitter
Businesses That Care on C-Suite Radio
iTunes – Subscribe, Rate and Review

One of the most important roles of a #leader is to be the head cheerleader. @WithumCPA Click To Tweet If you don’t have #ideas that don’t work, you don’t have enough ideas. @WithumCPA Click To Tweet Struggling to create a #fun workplace culture? @WithumCPA will show you how. #engagement Click To Tweet


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