On March 3, 2021, the Student Accounting Association held its third meeting of the spring semester with guest speaker Susan Maloney, the firm director of the national public accounting firm Baker Tilly, Pittsburgh office. Accompanying her was Lauren Cattell, who is an assurance associate.

These speakers offered detailed information about the firm Baker Tilly, their public accounting experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and insight into what their internship program was like during the pandemic. A brief bulleted summary of the key points in the meeting:

  • In 2020, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, became Baker Tilly US, LLP. Susan shared that Baker Tilly had $789 million in revenues for 2020 and is located in 21 states. Baker International, a network located in 146 territories across the world, had $3.9 billion in 2019 which included combined global revenues. The services that Baker Tilly offer are Assurance, Tax, and Advisory. She noted that the benefit of working with Baker Tilly is getting to work closely with members who work Tax and Advisory, even though she works in Assurance. She enjoys working within the industry rather than geography.
  • During the uncertainty of the pandemic, Baker Tilly’s vision statement, “Now, For Tomorrow,” has really been of significance to all of the Baker Tilly members. Susan emphasized the opportunities that the pandemic had given them such as being able to conduct audits virtually and that a client’s location is no longer a concern. She also realized a few challenges, such as the isolation that could come with being at home alone all day, and Lauren described that there are also distractions that can come with working remotely. Overall, the pandemic did not at all hinder Baker Tilly’s growth and success, and it has brought a lot of opportunity to the company.
  • Baker Tilly did not let COVID-19 hinder their 2020 internship program. Interns were treated just like first-year staffers and received a quality learning experience. Susan mentioned the benefits of interns taking control of their careers by asking questions and reaching out for help when they need it. Through the pandemic, Baker Tilly employees are still holding events and are working together to keep their employees connected.

The next Student Accounting Association meeting will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Zoom, when we will welcome guest speaker Brittany Jellison. She is the campus recruiter for BKD CPAs and Advisors in the Pittsburgh office. The SAA president, Shelby Lowery, will email the link to this Zoom meeting to all accounting majors.