Work. Life. Balance? Yes, You Can Have a Career in Public Accounting and a Family

Family photo on the beachWork. Life. Balance? You could call it the curse of the working mom: trying to figure out a way to strike a balance between taking care of your family and having a successful, fulfilling professional life. There’s just not enough time in the day.

What if you could have the best of both worlds… the time to be there for your children and the time to succeed in your career?

That’s the reality for Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA and mother of three Jaimi Arn. That’s because her employer, public accounting firm Gilmore Jasion Mahler in Maumee, has made some policy changes in recent years to make it easier for employees to achieve a work-life balance.

And, Jaimi’s personal life is all about family: Husband Aaron and 8-year-old Addisson, 5-year-old Jayden and 3-year-old Jackson. It’s about school activities, daycare runs, getting dinner on the table, bath time, bedtime. It’s about having good “mom” time.

With the Firm for 17 years, Jaimi is a manager in the Tax Department. She’s busy throughout the year working with clients, but says from the start of the calendar year leading up to the April 15th deadline is her busiest time of the year. Yes, there are still many long days during tax season, but GJM staff members have options, thanks to a Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) policy. The policy allows those who work at least 25 hours per week to adapt their work hours to fit in with their busy lives.

Jaimi says the FWA policy is perfect for her. She says she works about thirty hours a week (of course, more hours during tax season). The policy allows her to fit her work schedule in around her mommy duties. Sometimes that means reviewing tax returns from home, once the kids are in bed.New baby photo

“It works very well,” says Jaimi. “It takes a few years to get everyone on board, knowing your schedule, knowing, for example, that I leave at 4:45 versus 5 pm. It’s all about flexibility. It’s just a balance between everyone, trying to make it work.”

She says flexible work arrangements weren’t an option early in her career. GJM’s Human Resources Manager Jeanne O’Riordon says adoption of the FWA policy is a great example of how the Firm stays aware of industry staffing trends, and what their people need to succeed and to be happy.

“I think there was a time in the accounting profession when young women thought if they started a family, they couldn’t stay on with a firm because of the demanding hours, especially during tax season,” says O’Riordon.  “Those times are gone, at least at GJM. We have many mothers on our team who have made it work, thanks to the FWA policy.”

Jaimi says two of her pregnancies came right during her busiest time of the year at work. Jayden and Jackson have January and February birthdays, which meant her maternity leave for each of the boys was during tax season.

“I certainly didn’t plan it that way,” she says. “There was sort of a running joke with some of my clients. I told them I’m done with tax season pregnancies. Honestly, clients were very cooperative and the Firm was very supportive.”

Jaimi credits Firm leadership and the GJM culture for the successful FWA policy. She says she has a manageable level of activity in her life, and that’s no small statement for a working mother of three.

Learn more about careers at GJM including current opportunities on the GJM careers page.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers comprehensive financial services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

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