Meet Russ Planert 

Rusty jumped on board the flexibility train at Patke & Associates after learning about the possibility of workplace freedom. Prior to his career with Patke, Rusty worked as staff accountant for a top tier accounting firm. When asked about workplace flexibility, here was a couple of his responses:

What is the best part about having a flexible schedule?

Our busy season keeps me busy from January – Early April, but these months are miserable in the mid-west, so I really do not end up missing anything. The best part about having a flexible schedule is being able to enjoy life for the remainder of the year. I can make plans with friends without having to worry if I can make it. I frequently attend concerts, sporting events, craft beer fests, street fests, etc.

Why did you decide to work for the CPA Firm Patke & Associates?

The flexibility, culture and people. Put simply, Patke allows me to live my life the way that I want to live it. The culture at Patke is one that breeds excellence. We are always striving to improve upon ourselves and to do things the right way…even if it ends up blowing a couple of budgets. The people at Patke are extremely intelligent and helpful. It makes “going” to work something I look forward to every work day.

What is one piece of advice you would recommend to other millennials wanting to work 100% remote?

Having an office at home is very helpful. It can be difficult to get in the “work” mindset at home. There are lots of distractions available to you at home that are not present in an office. By having an office at home – a place where you shut the door and focus on work and that is free of distractions – you will find it much easier to focus.

Meet Tina Osborne

Tina started her career at two of the big 4 accounting firms which catipulted her into a high profile accounting position at a fortune 500 company for many years. After choosing to stay home for several years raising her children, Tina chose to get back into the workforce. Tina now focuses on raising her four beautiful children while simultaneously balancing her dynamic career as a part-time audit senior at Patke which she does remotely and from her home office. When asked about workplace flexibility, here was a couple of her responses:

Why did you choose the accounting route?

I was interested in business and growing business. Accounting came naturally to me and I found I enjoyed the financial side of business. I knew accounting would serve as an excellent foundation for whatever I would do in the business world. Audit fit perfect for me because I got a diversified look and understanding into many different businesses while helping clients.

What is one piece of advice you would recommend to future stay at home working parents?  

Learn to find balance and don’t think because you work part-time your job is anything less and that you can’t continue to grow your career.

What is the one thing you are most proud of to-date?

My children and being able still balance being a mom of 4 young children while still working a demanding job that I have been able to manage part-time

Meet Ron Niemaszyk

Ron lives and breaths workplace flexibility. From the time he joined Patke & Associates 17 years ago, till today, he has worked hard to implemented various flexibility options, from remote work, to part-time schedules in order to recruit and retain top CPA talent. When asked about workplace flexibility, here was a couple of his responses:

What is the best part about working remote?  

Without question - the best part of working remotely was being physically, emotionally and spiritually available to both of my children throughout their childhood.  It was also pretty cool to handle client issues and concerns when I was walking through the ruins of Pompei.

What was the biggest struggle in working as a CPA firm owner and being a stay at home dad at the same time?

Given the fact that I am compelled to comment on how I don’t like the term “Stay at home Dad” my biggest issue with it may have been my insecurity.  I do think the term stay at home dad - or mom  - is too often inappropriately seen as a negative in a professional context.   The challenges of any working parent are similar in that we are all trying to find the right balance.  The balance between being able to earn a living, contribute to society and take care of our most valuable asset - our families.

What is one piece of advice you would recommend to future stay at home working parents?

In addition to the basics, like: make sure that you have workspace that allows for the concentration that you need to work effectively, and setting/sticking to  a schedule - The most important advice that i can give is three words:  communicate, communicate, communicate!  Did I stress that enough?  It's not just communication either - its balancing the communication so all parties (co-workers, spouses, kids and you) there is understanding on all fronts regarding capabilities, goals, limitations, etc.

© Flex CPAs™ 2015