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Integrity and the Golden Rule

Firm aims to ‘treat people with kindness, fun and laughter’

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“We accept each other for who we are, our strengths and weaknesses,”
says managing director Jen Dodge. Photo by Rick DeBerry

2019 Virginia Business Best Places to Work - Top Large Employer

Having a sense of humor is an asset at Accounting Principals. “We laugh with each other and at ourselves,” says managing director Jen Dodge. “We laugh every day, and that is part of our culture.”

Dodge says the corporate culture of the Glen Allen-based company is based on integrity and the Golden Rule. “That is the way we treat our clients and our employees,” Dodge says. “We have a strong amount of forgiveness and grace on our team.

We accept each other for who we are, our strengths and weaknesses. We forgive each other when mistakes occur.”

Another guiding principle at the company is: Treat every day like Christmas. “That goes back to the way we treat people with kindness, fun and laughter,” Dodge says. “It’s a theme here.”

A professional recruitment and staffing firm, Accounting Principals provides executive search, professional consulting and temporary staffing through its divisions,  Ajilon and Parker+Lynch.  Nationally, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company has more than 75 locations and 1,000 employees. The Glen Allen office employs about 20 people.

Founded in 1991 as Accounting Solutions, the company was sold to Accounting Principals in 2005. Five years later, Accounting Principals became part of The Adecco Group, an international staffing company based in Zurich.

“We have a very tenured team. Some of our employees have been here for up to 22 years,” Dodge says. “We have low attrition rates because we are constantly looking at the way the marketplace is changing and the way the needs of our clients and employees change as a direct result. We try to come up with creative and flexible solutions to meet everyone’s needs when marketplace conditions are tight.”

The company’s benefits provide partial reimbursements for gym memberships, yoga classes and personal trainers as well as smoking cessation and weight-loss classes.

“We do also offer benefits to our contract associates that include 401(k) options, service bonuses and paid holidays,” Dodge says. “We are very blessed and thankful, too, for what we have. We don’t take it for granted.”

Each year, two or three company employees from around the world are picked to participate in events as part of the company’s Win4Youth initiative. The program encourages employees to participate in fitness and sports activities to raise money for children’s charities. Employees this year attended a triathlon in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands.

The firm also encourages employees to volunteer. Staff members form teams three to five times a year to help causes such as Junior Achievement of Central Virginia’s financial literacy program and the Caring Clothes Closet, which provides free clothes to families in crisis.  Each employee also gets one day off to volunteer for a cause.

Accounting Principals also is known for the cookies employees give out during the year.

“We bake them at the office and take the cookies out to our clients,” Dodge says. “It started as a tradition 20 years ago of taking them to some of our contract associates when we delivered paychecks. During the holidays, we say we are loading up the Christmas sleigh. We deliver cookies almost every day. We want to personally thank every client for their business.”

The firm also creates a goofy, off-the-wall holiday card every year. The project is a team effort. “People look forward to those cards,” Dodge says. “This year’s theme is a throwback to the senior year of high school.”

Operations coordinator Robin Miller, a firm employee for four years, says she feels “very valued here.”

“When I come to work I feel like I am working with family members,” she says. “We are committed to succeed as a team and as a family.”

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