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How Unlimited Vacation Works in My CPA Firm

Exotic_vacationBefore starting my own CPA firm, I worked at a large, national accounting firm and found I was never actually able to use up my three weeks of annual vacation time. However, when I went to work for a local boutique CPA firm, I only got ten annual vacation days. There was also no policy for telecommuting and no flexible schedules or incentives for being more efficient than expected, such as being rewarded with more paid time off. “Face time” in the office ruled. Initially, I was okay with limited vacation, but a couple of years in, I realized that I would really value more flexibility as part of my compensation package.

When I started my own CPA firm, I wanted to ensure we had a policy that was fair to the employees. I set out to implement a policy that would allow professional employees to work virtually and have unlimited paid vacation and sick days. Administrative staff has a similar, flexible work-schedule policy.

My firm is only three years old with just four people on payroll to date. However, we’re planning to continue the unlimited vacation and sick time policy even as we grow bigger. Of course, this puts greater pressure and emphasis on whom we hire and how we manage workflow.

How well is this policy working? Well, so far it’s going well and employees appreciate the increased faith and responsibility we entrust in them. As I write this blog post, we have one associate taking the whole month of May off to study for the CPA exam. We were able to re-route his client responsibilities to the rest of the team with one exception. He wanted to continue to manage one client matter while he was on vacation, which takes him about two hours a week to do. I expect this associate will want to take more time off later this year, and that will be okay with me. I also know how much he appreciates this opportunity. His dedication to the firm is going to make up for the longer vacation -- in efficiency and staying longer hours when a project necessitates it.

At my firm, employee engagement, attitude and innovative, out-of-the box thinking are very important. We hope that having the unlimited vacation policy as part of our compensation package will continue to attract -- and keep -- the right talent in our firm and will more than pay for itself.

Borbala Banto, CPA, Founder, Concierge CPAs, Inc. Originally from Europe, Borbala went to law school in Transylvania and continued her studies in the U.S., earning degrees in Paralegal Studies and in Accounting. Borbala worked as an international tax consultant at a Big Four accounting firm before founding Concierge CPAs.


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