our innovation

Helping clients gain a competitive edge

For our clients and our colleagues, new ideas are integral to the RSM Experience. Collaborating with change makers throughout our global network, we help our clients explore technological possibilities that enable them capture a competitive edge. By turning knowledge and ideas into real solutions for clients, we can deliver real innovation to the middle market.

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real innovation for the middle market
the power of the rsm experience
rsm first-choice advisor Awards

RSM professionals approach our clients’ biggest marketplace disruptions through the lens of industry and global challenges, and offer real innovation for the middle market.

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ceo innovation fund

This year, the RSM CEO Innovation Fund, which explores new solutions to enhance client service, has tapped into the wealth of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit found throughout the firm:

99

ideas
submitted

297

Individuals involved
in submitted ideas

1315

Total estimated hours
spent innovating

36

Ideas pursued
to date

29

Projects advanced
to discovery phase

9

Completed
projects

$200

MILLION

Total investment during the coming years for digital solutions and other innovations.

Adding measurable benefits

RSM’s prospective client, a global online retail giant, needed a consultant with a solid understanding of its industry and ability to apply artificial intelligence to its ongoing business challenge: implementing machine learning software to categorize online listings for sales and use tax purposes. The implementation of this technology will create significant efficiencies and growth opportunities for the organization. 

Aligning with the prospect’s community style, RSM’s proposal lead, a community member since 1996, focused solely on the company’s AI needs and integration with its platform. The RSM and company’s project teams connected immediately and agreed to move forward during the Silicon Valley proposal meeting. 

In addition to the AI engagement, the professional bond RSM has formed with the client has provided many opportunities for the company to leverage RSM’s extensive technology solutions. RSM demonstrated experience with innovative tools such as Alteryx, which led to a collaboration on training and Alteryx center of excellence creation. Additionally, RSM has provided technology infrastructure proficiency to assist in the on-premises AI implementation.

Real innovation for the middle market

Collaborating to address marketplace disruptions

At RSM, we offer real innovation for the middle market. To make that happen, we encourage everyone at all levels in our firm to get involved in the innovation experience. 
RSM professionals approach our clients’ biggest marketplace disruptions through the lens of industry and global challenges. As a member of RSM International, RSM collaborates with innovation change makers throughout our global network, including Paul Herring, RSM International’s new global chief innovation officer. We’re also in lock step with our clients to explore innovative possibilities that help them capture a competitive edge. It’s a real partnership that leads to real solutions.
RSM’s integrated team of technical accounting consulting professionals encourage success and collaboration throughout every engagement.

Everyone innovates

Our unique approach to innovation gives our people a chance to get deeply involved in the innovation process at any point in their RSM careers. Since 2018, we’ve allocated $5 million annually to our CEO Innovation Fund to encourage everyone at RSM to champion innovative ideas with the potential to benefit our clients, our communities or our people. 
Innovation, by its very nature, is forever changing and transforming. One indication of our progress is the plans launched in 2019 for a new RSM Innovation Center. It will open by 2021 in downtown Chicago at RSM’s national headquarters. Just like our Technology Experience Center in Denver, the new Innovation Center will feature space to collaborate with clients on technology demonstrations, hackathons and ideation sessions. 

Accelerating progress

RSM’s new Acceleration Center is another example of our innovation growth and progress. Unlike the bricks-and-mortar centers in Denver and Chicago, the Acceleration Center is a virtual innovation execution engine within the firm, made up of teams that lead efforts for automation, blockchain and data analytics. Anyone with a passion for innovation is invited to join an Acceleration Center team or contribute at any level to these focus areas. The opportunities to become a thought leader who turns knowledge and ideas into real solutions for clients are endless.
At RSM, these are the career opportunities available to anyone at any level with a passion for innovation. This innovation mindset is part of our cultural fabric. It’s the reason we can deliver on real innovation for the middle market.

We aim to deliver the power of being understood in every interaction to help others move forward with confidence.

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Continuous development and communication

Developing our workforce, sharing our insights

As a forward-thinking firm, we are always looking at our long-term strategic workforce needs and talent trends. In line with these trends, we launched a seasonal professional's network aligned with the gig economy trend in the market. The program offers career flexibility as well as anticipates future workforce needs. Program participants work a few months out of the year to maintain and enhance their skill sets, build valuable relationships and continue their careers, while dedicating time to pursue other personal or professional interests. 

RSM Power is a new tool that the firm developed to enable our people to deliver insights to our clients and communities. This app-based platform provides RSM professionals an opportunity to share relevant content with clients and others in their networks in real-time in the way that they want to receive it, via email or social media. The platform empowers us to be better advisors by keeping our professionals and our clients up to date on important insights and changes in the regulatory, industry and business landscapes. 

RSM Power provides news and information on desktops and mobile devices, offering insights from our subject matter specialists and keeping users informed of the latest issues affecting the middle market.

THE POWER OF THE RSM EXPERIENCE

Delivering the power of being understood to our clients, colleagues and communities

Long-term relationships are built on delivering the power of being understood. The promise we make to clients is that they can expect to experience the best of RSM—so they can achieve their best. This is what our clients seek from their first-choice advisors.

Continuous improvement through feedback

Every year we focus on improving the RSM Experience. As part of that process, RSM developed its proprietary client experience measurement system, an integrated methodology that systematically solicits client feedback and identifies where we can make improvements across the firm. Its purpose is to keep the focus on clients and what is important to them.
This past year, we completed our triennial loyalty tracking study, which RSM Canada participated in for the first time. The information we gathered from this study, as well as from our post-engagement surveys and voice-of-the-client interviews, helped form and continues to enhance the value we deliver to our clients on a continuous basis.
For our own professionals, we gathered feedback through an innovative, virtual focus group platform, in addition to our biennial engagement survey. These tools help us understand the experience of RSM colleagues, professionals and employees—what's working well and where we should continue to improve. The virtual focus group platform enabled us to:
  • Hear from more professionals across multiple locations and workforce segments, simultaneously
  • Gather a mix of quantitative and qualitative feedback quickly
  • Enable participants to build off each other’s responses in real time
We are using that data now to inform our talent strategies for fiscal 2021 and beyond.

Empowering our people to be first-choice advisors

The value we deliver to our clients grows through the development of our people. Our learning and development team has identified various educational, experiential and environmental opportunities to help our people become better advisors throughout their careers—enabling them to deliver a unique and flexible approach to meeting our clients’ needs.
In order to continuously improve how we deliver the best client experience, the firm is also exploring how to further embed our 5 C’s, the characteristics of a first-choice advisor, deeper into our culture. We believe these five key characteristics—caring, curious, collaborative, courageous and critical thinking—make up the essential core of our culture and our ability to successfully deliver the power of being understood. RSM identified these characteristics based on years of research on effective advisors, what differentiates our firm, and how clients and people want to experience us. Not only are they core to our brand promise, they support us in demonstrating our values and are key to being successful leaders in all aspects of life. At RSM, we cultivate the 5 C’s throughout an individual’s entire career to encourage them to be not just a great client server and a great leader, but also a great person.

Caring
curious
courageous
collaborative
critical thinker

Act on our understanding

One way we work to support our people, both personally and professionally, is through coaching and providing opportunities for learning. In fiscal 2020, we debuted a repeatable model for on-the-job training that reinforces the important skills our people, especially new hires, learn in formal training settings with repetition in engagements. On-the-job training, coupled with our comprehensive on-demand and live educational offerings, enables employees to grow their skills, add value to their clients and teams, and see opportunities for advancement in their careers. 
By demonstrating the 5 C’s, we aim to deliver the power of being understood in every interaction to help others move forward with confidence. With our clients, we focus on understanding their business, their industry issues and needs. With our people, we focus on understanding both their personal goals and professional aspirations. This emphasis on understanding enables us to provide tailored knowledge and insights to our clients while offering personalized development resources and support to our people, driving forward our vision to be the first-choice advisor to middle market leaders globally.

RSM First-Choice Advisor Awards

Recognizing outstanding service aligned with our strategy and values

Fiscal 2020 marked the third consecutive year of our First-Choice Advisor Awards. This program is designed to recognize and reward individuals in the firm who have made significant contributions to our clients, our people and our communities throughout the year.
The following RSM professionals were recognized for their outstanding personification of our first-choice advisor culture, strategy and values. Following are highlights from each winner’s nomination:
Libby Almond
Manager | Des Moines, Iowa
Libby demonstrates exemplary work with her clients, managing engagements after only two years with the firm. She also became the Mason City and Des Moines gift tax resource, all while serving as a role model to her staff. Libby leads the local Stewardship, Teamwork, Advancement and Retention women’s employee network group and actively demonstrates our stewardship values through volunteer efforts in her community.
Libby Almond
Keith Brabec
Keith Brabec
Manager | Los Angeles, California
Keith sets a caring tone for his team, motivating members to take action and recognizing their hard work, while ensuring everyone feels like they are part of a family. Keith also demonstrates care and commitment to his clients, taking the time to think critically about each individual clients’ needs.
Amanda Crouch
Amanda Crouch
Human Resources Manager | Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Amanda lives our firm values every day through her coaching. Whether it’s one-on-one, open-door meetings or group instruction for firm training sessions, she personifies collaboration by leading discussions and encouraging critical thinking.
Kevin Depew
Deputy Chief Economist and National Industry Eminence Leader | New York, New York
Kevin has a deep and impressive understanding of a variety of economic and industry issues, which makes him a valuable resource to our clients, as well as our teams across RSM. He is often sought after not only because of his wealth of knowledge, but because he takes the time to listen to others in a caring, thoughtful manner.
Kevin Depew
Andrea Galloway
Andrea Galloway
Content Editor Associate | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Andrea exemplifies RSM’s 5 C’s—caring, curious, collaboration, courage and critical thinking—and is a trusted advisor to the audit practice in her work with our audit manuals. Due to Andrea’s commitment to excellence, the quality of our audit manuals and tools is unparalleled.
Kevin Hu
Kevin Hu
Supervisor | Los Angeles, California
Kevin is a trusted advisor not only to his clients but within RSM as the leader of our InspirAsian employee network group in Los Angeles. He creates a positive, engaging working environment by encouraging team members as they pursue their career goals and interests. Kevin also works with his clients to understand their specific business challenges and to provide support from RSM. 
Jit Kabra
jit kabra
Director | Phoenix, Arizona
Jit brings “all of RSM” to his clients, making sure to look at a client’s entire ecosystem to provide not only consulting, but tax and audit services as well. He lives our values through displaying the 5 C’s every day. 
Charles Kuno
Charles Kuno
Supervisor | Toronto, Ontario
Charles consistently produces high-quality work in extremely complex and challenging audits, while also ensuring timelines are met. Charles cares about his clients and his team, taking the time to provide thoughtful feedback and ensure his staff is comfortable handling difficult client conversations and requests.
Kate Nickerson
Kate Nickerson
Manager | Des Moines, Iowa
Kate goes above and beyond for her clients, her team and the Des Moines office as well. She actively establishes trust, mentors colleagues from recruits to peers, and recruits and builds professional relationships through social media. 
Gregory Ramos
Gregory Ramos
Project Coordinator | Chicago, Illinois
Gregory has become a foundational, go-to person for RSM’s Industry Eminence Program participants and leadership team. He manages extremely busy schedules and events, has a proactive mindset and brings positive energy to his team.
Valerie Seyersdahl
Valerie Seyersdahl
Administrative Assistant | Schaumburg, Illinois
Valerie epitomizes what it means to be a team player and a first-choice advisor. She understands the importance of considering the opinions of others when developing and sharing thoughtful insights. Valerie always approaches assignments with curiosity.
Megan Towzey
Megan Towzey
Senior Associate | Tampa, Florida
Megan leverages her information technology audit experience by bringing to light new areas of interest that hadn’t been previously explored with clients. Her team refers to her as the “head of the Sunshine Committee” because of her infectious positivity, which contributes to her success as a leader.