IntrapriseTechKnowlogies: Employees set their hours

By Lea Hart

Donny Shimamoto, CPA/CITP, CGMA
Donny Shimamoto, CPA/CITP, CGMA, managing director of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies, says his firm operates under the premise that professional staff can be trusted. (Photo by Marco Garcia/AP Images)

Forty hours may be a standard workweek—but there's no such thing as a "standard" CPA.

When Donny Shimamoto, CPA/CITP, CGMA, founded Honolulu-based IntrapriseTechKnowlogies 15 years ago, he wanted to recognize that fact. So he created a policy under which employees could work anywhere from 25 hours per week up to 40 hours—or more if they desire.

At Intraprise, employees' salaries are prorated based on the number of hours they work. A staff member working 30 hours per week receives 75% of a full-time salary, while another working 48 hours per week receives 120% of a standard 40-hour weekly salary. Employees choose their set weekly hours at hiring after receiving the approval of firm leaders, but they can adjust their hours as their life circumstances change.

The policy has helped employees achieve greater work/life balance. One staff member was able to work fewer hours while earning a degree. Another left a larger firm to join Intraprise precisely because it would allow her to work part time and fulfill her career goals while having time to spend with her children.

"Our basic premise is that all of our staff are professionals, and so we trust them," Shimamoto said. "Just because someone can't work full time doesn't mean they're not a valuable resource."

The set-your-own-hours benefit, combined with a virtual firm culture where the norm is for "everyone to work from wherever they need to be," allows the flexibility that some employees seek, he said.

It has increased the firm's ability to attract and recruit staff who are seeking work/life balance. Retention is high as well because "those who value work/life balance stay," he said.

Alisa Nishimoto, director of client services, below, works while her daughter takes dance class.
Alisa Nishimoto, director of client services, works while her daughter takes dance class. (Photo by Steve Nishimoto)

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