Most Innovative Accountancy Firms of 2016, the USA

Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organisations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton has revenue in excess of $1.45 billion and operates 59 offices across the United States with more than 550 partners and 7,000 employees.

Grant Thornton works with a broad range of publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organisations. Core industries served include consumer and industrial products, financial services, not-for-profit, private equity and technology. Grant Thornton focuses on serving dynamic organisations that pursue growth holistically — whether through revenue improvement, leadership, mission fulfilment or innovation.

Through a range of service solutions, including supporting mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as a growth strategy, Grant Thornton helps these companies to reach their full potential. The firm leads the industry by teaming with management of growthfocused organisations to address complex business problems, improve performance and maximise shareholder value.

Our assurance, tax and advisory teams work across industry and service lines to deliver solutions that provide solid results. Grant Thornton’s area of specialisation is providing solutions to middle market growth-oriented companies. In 2015 alone, the firm executed more than 500 M&A transactions and more than 70 IPOs, offering support in every phase of the transaction.

There are several attributes that enable Grant Thornton to stay on the cutting edge with respect to delivering high quality solutions and success to our clients:
• Full alignment of resources across service lines, industries and geographies to provide clientcentric solutions;
• Specialisation in Upper middle-market transactions;
• Flexible service approach with a client-centric perspective – we understand one size does not fit all;
• Focus on the most critical issues and opportunities;
• Staying ahead of emerging trends and issues with our Industry Institutes program;

Staying Competitive in the 21st Century

Today’s fast-moving and ever-changing business environment requires deeper specialisation and a more comprehensive understanding of how value is created. It requires that everyone within the organisation share responsibility for adding value.

Organisations, including Grant Thornton and its clients, must effectively innovate and manage change.
As both a global organisation with localised service teams – requires an investment in key areas:

• Developing and sharing real insights – Businesses need to understand what the future holds and what will be the disruptors. It is not a business-as-usual approach; rather, it requires the ability to identify, well in advance, the emerging challenges and complexities of doing business in the future. Research and analytics are integral functions at all levels of the organisation.

• Sound processes and practical approach to problem-solving that go beyond tried-and-true solutions – Our culture of delivering excellence with agility routinely fosters new ways of looking at problems and innovates solutions.
Professional development in critical thinking and focus on deep industry specialisation are requirements in our organisational curriculum.
• Investments in advanced technology – Providing technology that gives employees the opportunity to leverage knowledge throughout our
international firm, empowers our employees at all levels and challenges them to be innovative (vs. executing tasks) to increase their own productivity and to focus on better solutions.

Inspiring Staff

Grant Thornton is continually focused on building a healthy, high-performance culture in which our people are inspired, thrive and help our clients prosper and grow. We expect and encourage our personnel at all levels to be engaged with and focus on our clients.
Employees are empowered to respond quickly to client needs and issues, including proposing innovative solutions that measurably enhance productivity and value. Staff is trained in and encourage to listen actively and observe, thereby, enabling the firm to identify and respond to changing situations quickly and spot both the challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

In addition to receiving annual functional and/ or industry-related training, our professionals are empowered to make decisions related to client needs locally rather than moving issues up through a complex chain of command. This ensures that our staff remains engaged with the client, actively listens throughout the engagement, and takes responsibility for results.

In the United States, Grant Thornton has been consistently recognised as an employer of choice, receiving honours and awards such as the following: • “Top Company for Executive Women” (NAFE, 2016);
• “Top 100 Most Attractive Employers” (Universum, 2016);
• “Best Places to Work” (Crain’s Chicago Business, 2013 and 2016);
• “Best Accounting Firms to Work For” and “Accounting 50” (, 2011–16); • Working Mother’s “Best Companies” (2006–15)

Future Challenges

One of the biggest challenges in the accounting industry is finding qualified talent. Demand for top accounting professionals is likely to remain steady as a result of ongoing regulatory compliance requirements and increased workloads. The shortage of qualified people to hire is a concern, especially as those in senior roles near retirement age. Finding and hiring talented professionals is key for Grant Thornton to continue to provide distinctive client service and keep up with the high demands of clients.

Grant Thornton is committed to a culture of trust and empowerment – as well as one of collaboration and professional development – and we endeavour to put people first and emphasise the need for our employees to bring their “whole selves” to work.

Grant Thornton supports work/life balance and offers state-of-the-art office spaces, a “businessappropriate” dress policy, and a high-quality benefits package. We were also the first of the top ten accounting firms to launch “Flexible Time Off,” or “FTO,” a system where employees and their managers work together to develop the time-off plans that make the most sense given that employee’s individual needs and the needs of the business – instead of a predetermined set of paid time off (PTO) days like traditional PTO policies.

Name: James A. Peko
National Managing Principal, Transaction Services
Company: Grant Thornton, LLP
Address: 757 3rd Avenue #9
New York, NY 10017-2013
Phone: +1 646.825.8400