CPA firms share their holiday traditions

By Teri Saylor

From holding ugly sweater contests to eating delicious lunches and helping those less fortunate, CPA firms across the country are celebrating the holiday season in style. We asked AICPA members to describe their favorite holiday traditions. And they didn’t disappoint. Here’s how these firms host joyful observances to build camaraderie, reward employees for their hard work, and give back to their communities.

Wheeler Accountants LLP

Wheeler Accountants LLP
Photo courtesy of Wheeler Accountants


Wheeler loves the holidays, and we have a yearly tradition. This year we will be having an ugly sweater contest at our holiday luncheon. We also do a cubicle decorating contest and have everyone bring homemade cookies to share as well. The holiday cubicle winner receives a $25 gift card, and the winner of the ugly sweater contest gets bragging rights and a chance to display a trophy the firm passes around to employees who win various contests throughout the year.

Terry Rodriguez
Client Services Supervisor
Wheeler Accountants LLP
San José, Calif.

Grimbleby Coleman

Grimbleby Coleman
Photo courtesy of Grimbleby Coleman


Grimbleby Coleman hosts celebrations all year long. Here are few of them:

  • January/February: Super Bowl party. We dress in sports attire and play games.
  • Valentine’s Day: A partner distributes wine or apple cider and chocolates to each team member.
  • 3/14: We celebrate Pi Day by bringing in pies and having a partner serve everyone.
  • Easter: We have an Easter egg hunt (some eggs have prizes outlined on slips of paper and some just have candy) in our parking lot and have a yogurt parfait bar.
  • Thanksgiving: We distribute colored leaves to all staff.  Everyone writes down what they are thankful for on the leaves, and we hang them up. Then we have a soup party with board games right before the holiday. In addition, this year we did “guess the weight of the turkey” and gave away the turkey to the individual with the closest guess.

Jane Johnson
Principal, Firm Administrator
Grimbleby Coleman
Modesto, Calif.

Robert Hall & Associates PC

Robert Hall & Associates
Photo courtesy of Robert Hall & Associates


We usually celebrate Mardi Gras, but we don’t take the holiday off, as it falls during tax season. Instead we have a pajama party in the office to celebrate. People bring blankets, tents, breakfast, lunch, and goodies to make up for having to work on the holiday. We have a King Cake every week during the Mardi Gras season. Then we take an extra day off after tax season.

For Thanksgiving, we have a potluck and celebrate the week before. It is a good opportunity to have a family lunch together. For Christmas, we coordinate the holiday with our firm retreat, combining four hours of work with four hours of fun. Then we join our families for dinner.

Robert P. Hall II, CPA
President
Robert Hall & Associates PC
Mobile, Ala.

McGinnis & Berger LLP

McGinnis & Berger LLP
Photo by Colin McGhie


At McGinnis & Berger, the holidays are just as hectic as tax season for our firm with getting processes and software ready, year-end filing requirements, staff meetings, and other activities, but we also love to celebrate our holiday traditions. For Thanksgiving, we like to do the traditional Thanksgiving feast, and our office does not mess around with potlucks! For Christmas, we do a potluck taco bar, where we all pitch in fixings, sides, and adult beverages. When we are so full that we can barely move, we start a four square tournament, and we have learned that accountants can be competitive. Finally, we do a gift exchange, and over the last few years, we have enjoyed exchanging ornaments. There is something so special about having ornaments with stories behind each one.

Around this time of year, we have game nights, volunteer, or collect for local food drives. We see each other just as often as we see our families, and we feel like we are all a big family, too. We find it important to keep up company morale and remind each other what the holidays are about.

Tiffany Huntington
Client Lead
McGinnis & Berger LLP
Wimberley, Texas

PBMares

PB Mares
Photo courtesy of PB Mares


PBMares has wonderful holiday traditions. The firm’s Rockville, Md., office prepares food baskets for those in need. We coordinate our efforts through a local charity, Community Ministries of Rockville. We also split our staff into teams, and each team goes shopping for a prepared list of items. The teams use their personal funds for this philanthropic event. More often than not, each team purchases significantly more items than the minimum requested.

Bob Greenfest
Director, Strategy and Innovation
PBMares
Rockville, Md.

CRR CPA

CRR CPA
Photo courtesy of CRR CPA


At CRR, the holiday season is a time for both celebrating another successful year with our staff and giving back to those less fortunate. We always kick off the season with our annual fundraising drive; this year, we’re collecting stuffed animals for Boston Children’s Hospital. In past years, we have collected toys for Toys for Tots, and pajamas and books for local children in need. This season, our staff also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Boston, serving dinner to the families of children receiving treatment in Boston hospitals, and Cradles to Crayons, sorting and packing clothing and toys for children.

Megan Smith
Director of Marketing
CRR CPA
Wakefield, Mass.

Teri Saylor is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Ken Tysiac, the JofA’s editorial director, at Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com.

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