Business and Industry | Diversity & Inclusion | Leadership / Management

Lifting the community, elevating the firm

Baltimore-based Under Armour recently had hundreds of employees dispersed to three Baltimore elementary/middle schools to help renovate aging buildings for “Armour Day.” In total, two thousand of the athletic apparel brand’s employees took part in the company’s annual day of community service. Kudos, Under Armour!

Folks at public accounting firms large and small take on community volunteering projects throughout the year, but the summer months seem to be a natural fit for the accounting profession. Certainly, many of these volunteering activities take place outdoors at this time of year. I fondly recall one such exercise when I worked at an accounting firm. Nearly 40 of us from the firm planted trees for a full day in a designated part of the city. These were not tiny seedling Charlie Brown types of trees either. Muscle, sweat, and brawn played their part on that day! And then it rained. Oh, brother did it rain. But we all stayed with it, doing our part for the environmental beautification non-profit organization, and having a meaningful bonding experience in the meantime.

Without question, whatever time and effort your accounting firm or corporate accounting department can devote to a volunteer cause will most certainly benefit those in need. The internal rewards are not to be discounted either. Team building, camaraderie and a break from the normal work grind are real long-lasting positives that have organizational value “inside the shop,” in addition to respective personal feelings tied to helping others.

No one will really argue the point that increased employee engagement helps reduce turnover. In fact, a PwC study revealed:

Employees most committed to their organizations put in 57 percent more effort on the job—and are 87 percent less likely to resign—than employees who consider themselves disengaged.

The accounting profession is pretty good about community service, spending a sizable amount of time and resources on a wide variety of charitable events, projects and causes. Most firms are happy to “give back,” rarely seeking any sort of credit or acknowledgment. For many firms, volunteer time is simply part of the culture.

If your firm hasn’t planned any community volunteering activity for this upcoming summer, maybe this is the week to start planning something. What’s standing in your way? It’s a win-win all the way.


"To be truly successful, companies need to have a corporate mission that is bigger than making a profit."--Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce


Rob Nance