Geffen Mesher Reviews | Glassdoor

Geffen Mesher Reviews

19 reviews

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3.5
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Michael A. Rompa
13 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great Firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Audit Manager in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Audit Manager in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Geffen Mesher full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The firm truly wants to see each employee succeed in their career and understands that it looks different for each employee. The culture is great, I really enjoyed being a part of the team at Geffen Mesher. Retirement benefits are great.

    Cons

    You need to be vocal about your career aspirations. This is really less of a con and more of a suggestion.

    Advice to Management

    Work on providing a program to develop senior staff and managers career at Geffen Mesher The current system is primarily an engagement by engagement evaluation. I think that a more forward looking program would be appreciated by employees.


  2. "Great Regional Firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Geffen Mesher full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, company culture, recently remodeled, competitive technology, overtime pay, and overall friendly environment. Also great meals during busy season and good company parties.

    Cons

    No help with parking compensation and salary lower then average. Also, a couple shareholders are a little outdated and stuck in their old ways.

    Advice to Management

    Become more competitive with benefits such as parking compensation and dental. Also, don't be scared to learn different ways of running things based on how times have changed.


  3. "Decent CPA firm if you're a man"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Geffen Mesher (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some really decent, smart people work at the firm. The office is nice and located in downtown Portland. Close to restaurants.

    Cons

    If you are a man and don't mind being screamed at and called a stupid idiot by a shareholder in the middle of cubicles, you can be successful. Otherwise, I would not suggest working for the firm.

    Advice to Management

    Try some education about HR practices. It's not 1985 and this isn't Working Girl. You're missing out on some truly great talent by passing by your female employees.


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  5. "Did not meet my expectations - in a good way!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Geffen Mesher full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was absolutely opposed to going into public accounting after graduating from school, but something told me to give it a shot. I am so happy that I did and that I chose to accept an offer from Geffen Mesher specifically. When I accepted the offer, I was planning on getting 2 years of experience and then start looking for other opportunities. After working at Geffen for a little over a year, I am not so sure about leaving. I can see myself spending my entire career here as my expectations of the work environment here were nothing like reality (expectations partially formed based on the negative reviews on here). Some of the things that I think are great at Geffen Mesher include great benefits, opportunities for advancement, a career development focused work environment (people genuinely want you to develop and grow - not just get your work done), approachable management (a truly open door policy – I feel comfortable discussing work issues with shareholders as well as getting career advice) and flexibility with your schedule.

    Cons

    As with any company, there is always room for improvement. One thing that I think Geffen Mesher can improve on is feedback. Although there are evaluations set up for each project you work on, they are often not completed (as most of them are being completed during the busiest time of the year). However, it is evident that management is trying to figure out a way to change the evaluation process to make it easier to provide the necessary feedback to the staff. With that being said, if I approach a manager or senior on a project I was working on with them and asked for some feedback – I have no doubt I would get valuable informal feedback.

    Of course there is a learning curve and some long hours - which can be frustrating at times. but there are a lot of positive aspects to outweigh the cons.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing everything listed in the pros section and continue to work on improving the evaluation process.


  6. "Dynamic and inspiring organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Geffen Mesher full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    My experience has been that everyone is very approachable. People at all levels of the organization are passionate about the work they do. I have found a great level of connectivity and sense of family here. The work is fast paced and the managing shareholders seem truly focused on figuring out the issues of sustained growth and staff development. I respect the focus to figure out how to create a better place to build staff careers and a better 'tax season'. Paying attention to the Women's Leadership Initiative, adapting to a flexible workforce and a real effort to gain input from staff to improve the quality of the work environment, technical skills , career development and increase staff retention will all help over time in the growth of the firm.

    Cons

    For those staff members not good at taking the initiative to seek out feedback on their performance, the pace of the work can become overwhelming and those individuals may really struggle.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to learn and develop professionally"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Geffen Mesher full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You really learn a lot at Geffen in a short amount of time. I think it would be difficult to find another firm, big or small, that can offer a similar level of growth and professional development. This is mainly because you get exposure to so many different areas and industries. As a new staff you have both tax and audit training, and do not have to choose a discipline until you get a good amount of experience in both. Most accountants nowadays are not as well rounded, and having that experience and the ability to perform is what sets you apart. A good majority of the shareholders are well-versed in both disciplines which gives you a lot of opportunity as well.

    What I really enjoyed at Geffen is that the approach was very hands on, at an early stage you are given a lot of autonomy to interact with the clients and take ownership of your audit and tax engagements. This is definitely not the case in most other firms, either you are working on one or two clients for most of the year because they are so big, or the firm is so small you only have experience in one industry.

    I think if you really want to learn and grow professionally, I would definitely recommend Geffen.

    Cons

    Keep in mind that it is a fast paced environment, you get to learn a lot and are entrusted with various projects. So if you are not prepared to be adaptable and learn, it might not be the best fit for you.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to provide constructive feedback to staff, perhaps more frequently.


  8. "Company needs to rethink its department heads"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Geffen Mesher full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Average pay, hourly (so your work during busy season is noticed), some of the managers, some of the shareholders, the company really does mean well in some of the things that they do.

    Cons

    The founders are unfriendly to the point that they are unapproachable; management will tell you to do one thing and then nail you on evaluations for doing what they told you to do; communication is poor; opportunities are reserved for those who initially receive the right training; shareholders not realistic on expectations; company gives up too easily on people and implementation of software; every manager wants things done differently, they expect you to know what they want; people talk bad about you behind your back; management will not give you straight answers for personal questions about you as an employee; managers are very two faced; they will try to keep you during busy season if they don't want you and then try to get rid of you by making you feel uncomfortable; understaffing leads to too many hours during busy season; good talented staff are ignored if they are not working with the right managers or shareholders; firm has a staff buddy system for new people, unfortunately in assigning your staff buddy they do not take into consideration how busy the person is, if your staff buddy implies that he or she is too busy to help you (no one is ever straightforward about anything at the firm) you are on your own; firm has a mentoring system, essentially this mentor is supposed to help you find work and progress in your career, if your mentor goes above your ability as a new staff and you struggle, you will be thrown under the bus and will no longer receive work; many change suggestions are addressed in order to quell staff concerns, generally there is no follow-up, if you ask the status you are generally seen as an annoyance.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how each employee learns. There are people who have had success other places who really hate the company. Some of the shareholders are absolute jerks who never miss out on an opportunity to imply you are stupid. Many shareholders will go behind your back to talk bad about you if you don't do things the way he expects them. Stop focusing so much on your expectation and help your staff reach the level you feel they should be at, rather than talking garbage behind their back. Fix your culture, it is rotten. I was successful in accounting capacities in many other companies, but you wanted me to fail.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Best decision of my life"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Audit Manager in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Audit Manager in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Geffen Mesher full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The experience I got in my five years at Geffen Mesher was an amazing career blessing. It was definitely the best career decision I ever made. In the audit department at Geffen you get to touch everything and do it often. You will deal with incredible technically challenging clients and straight forward ones. You will work on comps, reviews and audits. My last year there I signed off on over 14 financial statements. If you decide to leave you will be incredible well prepared from soft skills, technical skills and even grammar and presentations. I currently work with a lot of x-big four employees and I can tell you my skill set has me better prepared to succeed than the big four background without a doubt. It won't have the resume appeal but will definitely be superior in practical skill set to succeed and quickly. While at Geffen I was pushed hard to improve on everything. I was supported with fantastic training and knowledgeable co-workers and partners. They were even fairly accommodating of my personal life, especially considering the nature of the business. The partners all have very strong relationships with their clients so client turnover was low and work just as hard as the staff (probably harder).

    Cons

    I was at Geffen during the heart of the recession (so that may have been a factor) but comparatively they paid less that other firms at the time. Management was sometimes also not on the same page and we're not good at implementing change. There was a reputation when I was there of treating women different than men. But at least with the partners I worked with, I believe they wanted to change this and was not intentional. Full disclosure I am male.

    Advice to Management

    The biggest advice I would have is with respect to implementation of new policies and procedures... You need a united front and the previous square box is not going to fit perfectly into new round cylinder, so you need to stick with the change and adjust. Not abandon at first difference or difficulty. I honestly believe some of the processes in place, when I was there, was a competitive disadvantage.


  10. "Great company with a lot of opportunity for growth and advancement."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Manager in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Geffen Mesher full-time

    Pros

    Great clients, challenging work, flexible work environment, good work life balance outside of busy season.

    Cons

    More difficult for women to advance in the firm, but this is not something that is unusual in either public accounting or corporate business culture.

    Advice to Management

    Staff learn how to work with clients by observing management. Provide staff opportunities to interact with client upper management and owners early in their career so that they have opportunities to build relationships.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Hostile Work Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Geffen Mesher full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay is okay. Generous time off. Flexible work schedule. Could be a great place if you work with the right Shareholders. Great client base. Plenty of challenging work. Promotions do take place if you work really hard.

    Cons

    Billable hours is the main goal for all. Those that work to many non-chargeable hours will be judged even if the work was assigned. Each Shareholder operates differently and expects the work to be done their way. There is no standard way or procedures outlined. Shareholders have been known to attack new staff if things are not done their way. Turn over is high.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe you should think before you speak.



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