People Like Working Here
It was 1988. We like to envision our CEO Mike Rompa calming his nerves back then by listening to Def Leppard on his Sony Walkman while walking in for his first interview with Geffen Mesher. He was just out of school. Intern programs weren’t a thing yet, but he was the ambitious sort who would have eagerly signed up for one.
It’s often the little facts that add up to a firm. The fact that our CEO treats this place like family is one of them. We could buy fancy gold letters to spell our core values on a conference room wall, but instead we choose to live them with each other. It’s easy because we don’t have multiple locations and our shareholders are humble, down-to-earth humans. Our turnover rate is one of the lowest in the nation because people like working here.
What Kinds of Work
- You will work with privately held businesses that are generally bigger than mom-n-pop shops, but not publicly traded. Our client list reads like a rollcall of iconic Portland brands—whether they have been around for decades or just opened shop a few years ago.
- You may also work with individual clients. These individuals are from families that built great companies in the Pacific Northwest. Clients are like family to us; the kind you wish you could spend more time with.
- You’ll have opportunities to flex your mental muscles in several of our specialized practice areas like Forensics or our Asia Pacific practice. We have many practice areas because we like to back good ideas from passionate people. Our newest practice area was even spun out into a newly branded division called Forward/Slash.
- You will want to give back to the community. There are so many waves of generosity happening around you at Geffen Mesher that you’ll eventually want to pitch in. You might use your paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) or go deep by joining a nonprofit board.
What Kinds of Benefits
Hands down, the best benefit is working with the people, each other, and clients. We also invest in you as an up-and-coming thought leader with more than 40 hours of external training and over 20 hours of internal training per year. All staff members are paired with an advisor who is personally invested in your professional growth from day one. Development opportunities include:
- Direct partner/manager accessibility
- Internal and external CPE courses
- PTO for CPA exam
- Professional memberships and licenses
- Bonus for passing CPA exams
- Discounts on multiple CPA review courses
- Leadership development programs
- State-of-the-art technology
What Kinds of Programs
Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI)
Less than 20% of the nation’s CPA firm partners and principals are female. In 2013 Geffen Mesher established the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). Our WLI mission is to change this statistic by implementing programs such as leadership workshops, customized work arrangements to ease family schedules, and other various programs for working parents.
Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Initiative
Sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, Geffen Mesher made a commitment to our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community. Led by a groundswell of staff and Shareholder Raymond Cheung, members of the firm started a DEI Committee with the following goals:
- Racial and cultural diversification of the workforce at Geffen Mesher and within the accounting industry by building relationships through community college-specific recruiting and establishing a mentorship program
- Community outreach and engagement, including partnering with organizations to serve the BIPOC community through volunteer work
- Implementation of internal programs to advance equity and inclusion within the firm, including regular bias training, feedback and affinity groups
- Diversification of firm resource commitments, including committing to spend a certain amount of the firm’s resources with BIPOC-owned Portland businesses
The DEI Committee is excited to focus on these goals in an effort to address systemic issues that impact our firm, our industry, and ultimately, our community.
Our firm has grown a lot in the past few years, and such growth necessitates change. There had always been plenty of opportunity for staff to develop informal mentorships with more senior employees, but there came a time when we needed to make it official – so we created the Advisor/Advisee program a few years ago. All professional staff are paired with an advisor when they first join the firm; this advisor is in the same department (Audit or Tax) as the advisee and, in most cases, is one or two staff levels higher. Advisors and advisees meet daily and discuss anything from current workload to career guidance to hobbies. The Advisor program is one of many ways for senior staff to support new hires, but you’ll quickly learn that everyone at Geffen Mesher is rooting for your success.
Leadership Development Program (LDP)
In 2017, as part of Geffen Mesher’s ongoing efforts to attract, retain, and develop future leaders in the firm, we joined forces with Jo Smith Consulting to create our Leadership Development Program. Over the course of two years, we diligently laid the groundwork for a comprehensive, long-term mentorship curriculum that would pair participants with shareholders for a structured, two-year program marked by regular check-ins and professional training sessions with Jo Smith. We were delighted to launch our first cohort for the Leadership Development Program in January 2018, and we’ve received very positive feedback so far.
Our student programs include Internships that offer real-world experience and networking opportunities to ambitious students and our Summer Leadership Program. Learn all about it here.