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How one accounting firm embraced the future of (remote) work & grew its business



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How did a small Chicago accounting firm become one of the “Best Places to Work for Millennials” and grow their staff by over 33% in 2019? It’s simple: they saw the writing on the wall and embraced it.

There’s a lot being written today about “the future of work.” Most of it focuses on technology as a disruptor to business as usual. But the future of work isn’t only about a greater reliance on tech: it’s about culture. Understanding how the two complement each other is a key to growth in this economy.

🤔  How can RingCentral help your accounting firm succeed in the the future of (remote) work and drive productivity? Find out with our free accounting brief.

👀   Get this free brief made for accounting firms.


Accounting done differently

Mowery & Schoenfeld, LLC, was founded in 1996 by members of large firms looking for a new, more personal way to do accounting. Since then, they’ve made good on this commitment by focusing not only on building community with their clients but also among their employees:

The Mowery & Schoenfeld team

Because of this commitment to culture, the firm has earned a number of top workplace awards, many year after year, including: “Best Place to Work” by both Crain’s Chicago Business and Accounting Today, “Top 300 Firms” by Inside Public Accounting,  and “Healthiest Companies in America” by Interactive Health. They were also named one of Inc’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies.”

So when the firm’s customer base and workforce really took off in 2019, no one was surprised. But after 20 years, it was finally time to take some serious leaps in an effort to ease the growing pains.

remote work readiness quiz

Time for a change

It’s hard to know when it’s time to grow your business and re-evaluate the systems you have in place. But sometimes, the stars align and tell you: now’s your chance!

Mowery & Schoenfeld were bursting at the seams in 2019 and in need of a new location. They’d also been using the same phone system since the ‘90s.

“Moving our headquarters gave us the perfect opportunity to find something new and better,” recalled Chris Madden, Mowery & Schoenfeld’s IT Manager. “We were hesitant to take our legacy phone system to the new office—that thing was 20 years old and could give out anytime.”

The move to a new space also coincided with the onboarding of younger, Millennial employees who worked and used technology differently. This new wave wanted “the ability to take and make calls anywhere using an app on their computers or cell phones,” Madden said. “And they wanted features to make them more productive.”

The writing on the wall

These demands created a need to do communication differently at Mowery & Schoenfeld. Instead of insisting their new employees adapt to the firm’s traditional ways of doing business, they listened and understood: this was the future of work. It was time to get on board.

Mowery & Schoenfeld brought in RingCentral to implement a fully cloud-based phone system, giving their team the freedom and flexibility to be more productive and better serve the firm’s clients.

With voice, and messaging communication built in, the upgrade was especially important for supporting remote employees—a growing need in work across all industries:

“Our employees are also getting a ton of use from RingCentral Video,” Madden said. “For internal meetings, for video-based training, and for client meetings. Having the video service built right into the RingCentral app makes it so easy.”

Moving forward, leaving no one behind

The idea of brand-new software might be exciting for some of your employees, and a worry for others. Making sure your whole team is comfortable with the tools you provide can improve productivity and communication, as well as customer service and experience.

Mowery & Schoenfeld isn’t just a top workplace for Millennials; they’ve won the same award for Boomers, too! That’s why the firm did their research when it was time to get on the cloud. In the end, it was RingCentral’s intuitive products that put everyone’s minds at ease.

“All of our employees—even those who aren’t as comfortable with technology—are finding it easy to use,” Madden said. “They really appreciate a new technology solution that doesn’t feel like an additional burden.”

🕹️ Get a hands-on look at how RingCentral works by booking a product tour:

💰 You can also use this calculator to see roughly how much your business could save by using RingCentral to support your team’s communication with each other—and clients.

Embracing the future of work

Mowery & Schoenfeld is a business that understands the intersection of technology and culture is where growth happens in today’s economy. The firm’s focus on supporting their employees with the tools and flexibility they need to succeed continues to pay dividends.

If it’s time for your business to upgrade, look for a simple, all-in-one solution that will delight your employees and customers alike.

Originally published May 05, 2020, updated Jun 24, 2021

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