In the Spotlight
GSS Best Midsized Company
Gregory, Sharer & Stuart (GSS) was recently named one of Florida's Best Companies To Work For.
The annual Best Companies list appears in the August issue of Florida Trend magazine. One-hundred companies are ranked in small, medium and large employer categories. GSS was one of only eight accounting firms to make the list.
"The top companies seek high energy employees who vigorously accept the organization's core values," says Florida Trend Publisher Andy Corty. "The companies that attract these great employees are the same companies that show growth even in a challenging business environment. It's our pleasure to recognize them and encourage others to build Florida's competitive advantage."
For a list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For In Florida, go to www.FloridaTrend.com/BestCompanies.
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What is it Like to Work for GSS?
GSS seeks to employ individuals who possess high levels of intelligence, integrity, honesty, motivation and aptitude for the profession. We believe it is crucial to find the right people who will provide excellent client service and contribute to a work environment that is uplifting and challenging. Those seeking employment at GSS can expect the following:
Professionally Challenging Environment. Our client base includes insurance companies, broker dealers, medical practice groups, not-for-profit organizations, manufacturers, real estate and construction companies, and many other areas with complex tax and audit issues. We take a proactive approach in providing solutions to the business challenges our clients encounter.
Opportunity to progress in specialties of your choice. In addition to the traditional audit and tax compliance, we provide services in estate & trust planning, business valuations, medical practice consulting, state and local tax consulting, and others. Continuing professional education is tailored to enhance your skill in the areas you choose to work.
Work with people who are motivated and fun to be with. Our personnel have diverse interests and we support their involvement in community and professional activities with both time and money. We have casual dress Fridays, holiday parties, summer picnics, etc., all supported by the firm. We believe that we should enjoy our livelihood and celebrate life together.
Competitive compensation with incentives that you control. In addition to base compensation, we provide incentives for the individual to increase their own productivity. These incentives can be taken in the form of time-off or money, or a combination.
Gregory, Sharer & Stuart has been located in downtown St. Petersburg in the City Center building since the inception of the firm in 1984. We originally occupied just one small suite on the sixth floor, and through the years grew until we occupied about 12,000 square feet of office space. In 2008, we signed a new ten-year lease and took over the entire sixth floor, expanding to fill over 16,000 square feet.
In conjunction with the new lease, GSS completed a $1 million renovation of the entire space, opening up the office area to the beautiful view of downtown St. Petersburg. The renovation features new offices and workstations with glass panels to allow natural light to filter in throughout the office, an employee breakroom with a view of the Signature Place building and waterfall, and the long awaited larger reception and main conference rooms overlooking the St. Petersburg Pier and waterfront. The ten-month project was completed in January of 2009.
GSS has an open door policy and encourages team members to share thoughts, concerns and ideas with their supervisors, mentors, fellow team members and leaders of the firm. We form committees for topics such as wellness, information technology, mentoring, and young professional career development to find solutions and brainstorm about new and improved processes and solutions. Annually, departments have dedicated retreats to review priorities and contribute to departmental growth and development.
GSS has implemented a paperless environment for both its audit and tax practice departments, seeking to increase efficiency and reduce waste. Tax department professionals often have desktops with three monitors - allowing the professional to review and compare documents on-screen. Audit department employees have docking stations and stationary monitors for their laptops when in the office, and can login through a terminal server whenever working from the field.
Our new breakroom is equipped with microwave, dishwasher, large refrigerator, filtered drinking water, flat screen TV and a view of the St. Petersburg Pier. We have ample room for employees to bring their own lunch - or employees can dine at one of the 50+ restaurants located within walking distance.
In 2011, the City Center building announced renovation projects to include new elevators and redesigned elevator lobbies, a new fitness center with lockers and showers for those that work in the building, a brand new Energy Management System, and new granite floors and modern frameless lobby entrance.
- Company-paid medical, long-term disability and life insurance coverage for employee (additional coverage, including dependent coverage, may be elected for an additional cost)
- Voluntary insurance benefits including dental, short-term disability and supplemental life
- A pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan for dependent and medical care
- Paid Time Off (PTO), up to 27 days per year, available for vacation, personal absences, illness or family emergencies in addition to seven annual paid holidays
- A staff and manager incentive compensation plan
- 401(k) savings/retirement plan to which the firm contributes
- Flexible schedules (subject to approval)
The Mentoring for Success Program. GSS is committed to the professional and personal development of its professional team members. This commitment not only ensures that our team is of the highest caliber, but also that management of the Firm stays in touch with team members and their needs. With this in mind, all team members are assigned a mentor.
A mentor is responsible for:
- Introducing the Firm's vision, culture and core values.
- Clarifying what is expected of you as a new team member and how individual performance is assessed, measured and rewarded.
- Developing annual goals and objectives with you for your personal growth.
- Providing opportunities for both formal and informal feedback from you to the firm.
The internal structure of GSS is designed to better serve our clients and to provide team members with opportunities to heighten their skills. The mentoring program assists in helping team members advance in the firm, develop new skills and gain experience and expertise in practice areas.
Continuing Professional Education. To enable us to respond to the needs of those we serve, it is essential that, from the newest accountant to the most experienced professional, our team members possess the highest qualifications for the practice of public accounting. GSS provides access to a wide variety of tools to assist team members in achieving their goals and objectives:
- Membership in the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Professional publications such as The Journal of Accountancy, Accounting Today, CPA Letter, as well as many widely recognized business publications such as Fortune, Business Week and Forbes
- Professional education courses, conferences, and seminars provided through McGladrey & Pullen, the AICPA, the FICPA, and other recognized training institutes and affiliations
- In-house courses and lunch and learn seminars
- Regularly scheduled assurance services and tax department meetings
- Various webcast, internet, and audio conference CPE courses
- Annaul custom business development programs and seminars to provide education in marketing, networking, leadership, time management, sales and other relevant skills for professional staff
GSS has formed a wellness committee that meets to discuss ways to improve the health and wellness of employees. Initiatives include energy and recycling programs, health and wellness activities, and ways to assist charitable organizations that are near and dear to our employees' hearts.
Annual Focus on Improving Health
- 100-miles challenge to encourage physical exercise
- 4-6 health training seminars on topics such as nutrition, exercise plans, endurance running, etc.
- Annual Jingle Bell Run participation
- Wellness bucks to be used toward approved expenses such as gym memberships, walk/run of employee's choice, outdoor activities, etc.
- Organized holiday charitable giving - GSS matches dollars donated by employees to purchase Christmas gifts to those in need
- Organized opportunities to help local families in need at Thanksgiving and Christmas
Tax seniors are responsible for tax compliance, associate development, management of client relationships, and some direct client contact...
Awards & Honors
Improving the quality of life of both our personnel and the communities in which we live and work is part of our core set of values. GSS is proud to have been recognized by the St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay communities and our staff through the following awards.
In 2009, the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce presented our firm with the Outstanding Business of the Year Award for companies sized 25-100 employees. Our financial development, employee growth, community involvement and the general work environment were the criteria used to judge the finalists for this award.
Additionally, GSS was nominated by our employees and received the award of being named one of the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for the years 2009 and 2010. We are one of the top small companies for years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 in the Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times) Top Work Places. We are also on the Florida Trend Best Companies to Work For 2012 and 2013 list.
Participating in employee surveys and chamber recognition programs assist us in measuring the success of our efforts in these areas. We are proud to have been recognized by both the community and our staff as we continue to endeavor to improve the quality of life for employees and the communities in which we live and work.