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Atlanta-based Aprio is one of the 50 largest CPA firms in the U.S. Its interns get real busy-season experience and access to senior managers. Full-time staff get access to extensive trainings and clearly defined promotion timelines. Aprio is focused on charitable giving, and has several women affinity groups and a diversity hiring initiative for Black students.

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Jan Whalen - Human Resources Director...

Firsthand Findings

Aprio is ideally looking for smart, curious, skillful, competent candidates who fit with the firm’s culture. Aprio’s valuable internship program gives students real busy season experience—interns are treated like full-time staff and get access to senior staff and managers, who have an open-door policy and are willing to answer interns’ questions. For its full-time staff, Aprio offers several career development opportunities, including extensive trainings and clearly defined promotion timelines.

While busy season hours can be long and stressful, the firm goes to great lengths to provide its staff with a healthy work/life balance. It offers flexible schedule options and a lot of support to its remote staff. Recently, during the pandemic, the firm engaged educationa...

About the Company

Founded in 1952, Aprio is an Atlanta-based CPA-led advisory firm that provides advisory, audit and assurance, tax, private client, and outsourced accounting services. It’s one of the 50 largest CPA firms in the U.S., as measured by annual revenues. Industry specialties include manufacturing and distribution, nonprofit and education, professional services, real estate and construction, technology and blockchain, and retail, franchise, and hospitality.

The firm has nine offices and employs more than 700 partners and team members. Aprio is led by Richard Kopelman, its CEO and managing director. Twice Kopelman has been named a Most Admired CEO by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Employee Reviews

  • “The firm really strives for their employees to have a good work/life balance. In our industry, there are times when we have to work 45- to 60-hour workweeks leading up to big deadlines, but we can also take time off after those deadlines and enjoy our DTO policy. The firm is also very flexible and allows employees to cater their work schedules to their personal needs.”
  • “Our firm has a very strong remote work policy, so I am full-time remote, and was even before the pandemic. The flexibility has allowed me to be actively engaged in my home life with my young children. The firm also has a no-blame policy, and people frequently admit mistakes and it’s always embraced with compassion, understanding, and solution. I am free to complete my work during the hours I need, and I don’t feel monitored or pressured to ‘always be on.’ In fact, it is encouraged to keep email off your phone, and we are repeatedly told to take breaks and to take care of ourselves. If I gave you my best-case scenario for a culture the embraces and blossoms work/life balance, my current situation would beat it. They have figure it out and it’s working—well.”
  • “The firm does provide flexibility with work hours (not traditional 8 to 5) as long as the work gets completed, which is nice. The workload can be challenging at times which impacts work/life balance … 2020 proved to be a challenging year with this.”
    “Aprio has been very supportive of work life/balance. With the pandemic creating a challenge for all firms, Aprio encouraged remote working, engaged educational firms to support learning opportunities for children, and supported professional counseling to name just a few of the work life balance initiatives.”
  • “Overall, the firm offers pretty good benefits. Our health-care benefits are good, our Cooleaf website is an awesome way to reward employees for their involvement in activities outside their normal work requirements, and our discretionary time off policy is amazing. However, our profit-sharing plan is subpar, and maternity/paternity leave policy should be better.”
  • “From talking to peers, the starting pay seems to be right on target with the market. The best perk is discretionary time off. I am the person who can put the long hours in when needed, but it is nice to know I don’t have to sit at work until I get an eight-hour workday in when it isn’t as busy.”
  • “Many of the partners are flexible with hours and only care that the work gets done so you can end up working a bit differently than in other firms. Also, we have DTO, which is basically unlimited time off as long as work engagements are still completed and goals are met. Medical coverage is nothing to sneeze at, it’s nothing spectacular. Reward points can only be used on a small list of rewards (gift cards, apparel, and basic firm swag). The firm does not do 401(k) matching, but profit sharing. The percentage that each employee gets is very small with lower level employees getting smaller percentage than employees higher in the hierarchy. There’s less incentive to put money away into retirement when there isn’t ‘free money’ the firm is willing to give to your retirement account.”
  • “The company needs a 401(k) company match. For a company that is awesome in so many ways to not have the benefit of a 401(k) match is upsetting to someone who wants to stay here for a very long time. Also, the health insurance coverage for family is costly and coverage is limited—the deductible and out-of-pocket costs are just too much.”
  • “Aprio provides extensive training resources. You are prepared for any update in standards or new areas of your practice. The promotion timeline is clearly defined. Opportunities to move internally are clearly defined, allowed and encouraged.”
  • “The firm’s learning and development pillar is a critical component to the technical advancement of our professionals. To bolster our efforts to develop both technical and non-technical capabilities (traditionally referred to as ‘soft skills’), we are aggressively pursuing new technology, methodologies, and materials, all of which are geared towards providing our talent best in class development experiences.”
  • “I was fortunate enough to be identified at an early stage in my career for potential partner-track development, so I have been involved in many of the firm’s career development programs. For those not specifically asked to join these programs, managers and above certainly take notice of quick learners and high-level achievements among the staff.”
  • “The firm makes sure every role has a standard that details what is needed to be promoted. Most partners are involved in career development of their subordinates and take an active approach in developing employees (i.e. taking them to client offices, introducing them to clients, giving them engagements to run earlier, pushing them toward trainings that can develop their skills, and getting involved in industry events).”
  • “We have several women’s groups to help us excel and an initiative for black students. But there is very little diversity at the top. A significant percent of the partner group is white and male. The firm has positioned itself as valuing diversity, but I would like to see more diverse candidates coming to Aprio and rising to the partner and board level.”
  • “Our firm started the Aprio Foundation a few years back. We do volunteer events throughout the year. We also have the Aprio 45 days of giving, and a whole day where employees rather than working go out and volunteer with different organizations throughout Atlanta. The firm does a really good job at always striving to better themselves and their employees. They put in efforts to educate and respond to the changing times we live in. Diversity in all aspects was at the forefront of education and change within the firm this year.”
  • “We learned something this year from Dr. Steven Robbins. Without equity, diversity becomes a problem. The culture of a firm must value equity before it can start promoting diversity. Aprio has a way to go but is aware and taking steps to move in the right direction. This is not solved overnight.
  • “The firm does not discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals. There are two LGBTQ+ individuals on my team, and both have recently received promotions for their hard work. The firm encourages support of charitable organizations and allows employees to designate a portion of their paychecks at the beginning of the year to specific organizations supported by the Aprio Foundation.”
  • “Leadership has been very transparent, offering monthly town hall meetings to discuss income, activities, things that are working well, things that need improvement, and plans for future growth. I joined this firm for the growth plans, and I am happy to see these continue years later, even during a pandemic.”
  • “The firm is constantly looking to expand and looking for acquisitions. Just last year, we formed new offices in Nashville and New York. Growth is a sign of a healthy firm.”
  • “I have a remarkable amount of admiration for the CEO of the firm. After learning what he’s done over the last several years, I completely believe in him and his vision. Probably the most challenging aspect is that we’re growing so fast it’s hard to keep track of the most up-to-date org chart.”
  • “Our outlook is very promising, and we have been growing annually consistently over the past decade or so. I believe we have the right company culture to continue to grow and rise through the accounting hierarchy.”
  • “We provide valuable tax busy season experience. Our interns are involved in client interface and tax return prep for a variety of entities/industries. My internship experience looks very different from the current experience since there is more tax preparation software that is leveraged, enabling interns to work more on tax advisory matters and planning in addition to compliance. They receive a “true” busy season experience working longer hours, but staff and managers are cognizant of showing interns what a typical busy season entails without overloading them.”
  • “Interns are treated like full-time staff. Everyone really had an open-door policy, which made it easy to feel comfortable and ask questions. The ‘buddy’ program is very helpful.”
  • “All interns are treated like first-year staff and are involved in all tax preparations, etc. It helped to get a real inside of what to expect full-time.”
  • “I was provided with both training and opportunities to use that training during the two summers when I was an intern. Partners and managers explained to me the nature of the clients’ needs and let me know to ask questions if I had any.”

Wellness Efforts

  • “Aprio does a really great job of promoting wellness for all. They have wellness lunches, challenges, events, etc. Employees can earn wellness points for attending the different wellness events and redeem rewards with those points. They also run a weight-loss challenge during busy season, which is a great way for everyone to stay accountable and active during those times. It’s hard when working such long hours to be motivated to go to the gym and the challenges help with that."
  • “Our firm offers so many programs, including counseling, exercise incentives, healthy eating/cooking demonstrations, mindset motivation guest speakers, tutoring program for our kids, etc. The list goes on and on. Aprio cares deeply about its employees.”       
  • “Two in-house life coaches (counselors) are available free of charge to all employees regardless of enrollment status in the firm’s healthcare plan. Many programs to encourage activity, including a virtual yoga program, wellness challenges with rewards, programs to log your own personal victories with ‘points’ that accumulate and can be used to purchase goods. Well-spaced but frequent updates, reminders, and discussion initiatives regarding our home wellness initiatives. We have several different flavors of Slack channels sharing recipes, outdoor photos, workout routines, and meditation and mindfulness. We have more programs that I probably haven't explored yet because I'm fairly new.” 
  • “We have Desk Yogi that has little videos and ideas to have some breaks in the middle of your day. Also, through Cooleaf, we do a lot of wellness challenges. Currently, we are about to start a weight-loss challenge and a mini daily step challenge.”

Response to Anti-Racist Protests and BLM Movement

  • “Our managing partner sent out an email in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, offering support for anti-racism and Black Lives Matter. It was nice to hear that kind of buy in from the leader and board of directors of the firm. Not many corporations would have done so because it could be controversial. However, Aprio made it clear that the issue was too large to be ignored, and that meant a lot to me.”
  • “The firm issued a statement citing the need for diversity and acceptance. Open discussions were held in small groups that allowed individuals to voice frustration or ask questions. The firm offered public statements supporting minority interests and is supporting black-owned businesses. The firm is performing a diversity audit of itself, which will result in recommendations and programs to enhance diversity.”
  • “More people joined the diversity committee, including myself (a queer woman). We are actively trying to further improve the firm’s attitude, recruiting, and dedication to being anti-racist. The firm made a donation and said, ‘to be silent is to be complicit,’ which was unexpected. Being in the South, you never really know how your company might secretly feel, and I am relieved to know my beliefs align with my company’s.”
  • “Our firm really made a big push to educate employees, be better about inclusion, and push for more diversity. We started a diversity and inclusion committee, and hired a company to do a diversity and inclusion audit of the firm. There were focus groups, and there was a mandatory firmwide training on diversity and inclusion.”

Response to Covid-19

  • “Aprio immediately pivoted to remote working, encouraged use of DTO policy for parents to cope with new challenges, launched monthly town hall meetings to give us updates on the firm’s financials, and provided an educational series on remote working and building relationships remotely. I honestly cannot think of how it could have been handled better.”
  • “In the beginning, I felt like there was a lack of transparency, but then the firm did a good job at running monthly town hall meetings through Zoom, where we get updates and employees can ask questions or raise concerns. We had a work-from-home policy even before the pandemic where one day a week we could be home. So, for us, it was an easy transition, since we already had our home office setup. The firm allowed employees that did not have a home setup to pick up their screens and docking stations from the office and take them home with them. The firm has also been very good about not pushing people to go back into the office, but rather made it the employee’s choice to make sure everyone feels comfortable.”
  • “The firm had already converted all software to be cloud-based so there was no downtime when the offices closed in March 2020. Zoom and Microsoft Teams were already in place so transition to remote working was very smooth. Over time, the firm has judiciously permitted those who wanted to return to the office on a part-time basis to do so. Policies have been in place to allow for a new workplace that combines remote and in-office working.”
  • “The firm assembled a task force in mid-March and, before requiring us to work from home, allowed us to do so if we needed. They kept us updated via town halls and emails. They acted quickly and in the best interest of the employees.”

Getting Hired Here

  • “Culture is everything at Aprio. Knowing there are certain education requirements for specific positions, we trust that a person can be taught what they need to know about our firm, our clients and our processes. But we can't teach culture. It’s a gift. And everyone hired at Aprio has that special gift. That’s what we most look for in the hiring process. Everyone who works at Aprio is family. We help and support each other. We prioritize publicly acknowledging our teammates for good work and deeds.”
  • “The ideal candidate is smart, curious, and takes ownership of their work. The interview process was quite straightforward. I met with a manager and the managing partner.”
  • “The firm is looking for competent, diverse candidates that are able to bring different experiences, perspectives, and skills to their positions.”
  • “The interview and callback process was amazing. The team was quick to respond and really got to know me to make sure I would be a fit for the company and its culture.”
  • “For our department, our questions center on work experience and training. We ask about strengths and weaknesses. Typically, the ideal candidate will be well balanced in all aspects, excelling in certain areas to better the team’s needs.”
  • “Describe a situation where you feel you felt unsure of what to do in a client-facing situation. What are some of your secrets of success to stay organized and on-task during a busy period of work?”
  • “We ask questions about what they’ve done in the past and what they’re looking for going forward. What are you looking for in your next role? From the company? What specific questions do you have about the position you’re applying for?”
  • “Walked through my resume and substantiated my experience against the responsibilities of the role I interviewed for.”

Perks & Benefits