Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants favors a team approach to supporting a family-focused culture for the benefit of all of its stakeholders.
Founded in Saginaw in 1923, the Certified Public Accounting and business consulting firm has grown to over 200 team members with nine locations throughout Michigan and three affiliates. Yeo & Yeo leadership believes its success is achieved by a conscious focus on supporting the success of all of their stakeholders, which include the partners, team members, clients, suppliers, and the communities they serve.
When David Schaeffer, one of Yeo & Yeo’s principals, learned about the Conscious Capitalism movement, its four tenets, and the formation of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Chapter, he realized that Yeo & Yeo had been practicing the tenets for a very long time and was anxious to share the firm’s story and its commitment to its values with others.
Achieving the firm’s “Higher Purpose” of providing outstanding business solutions, which exceed the expectations of their clients, requires a highly motivated, proactive team of professionals that are passionate about their work. After all, in the professional services business, the product is the intangible collective of the multiple teams’ ideas, creativity, knowledge, and experience.
Yeo & Yeo communicates its higher purpose to team members through a statement of Core Values. They recruit, hire, mentor and manage employees with these values in the forefront. The Core Values stress maintaining complete integrity and honesty in all relationships and exceeding client expectations. Yeo & Yeo is committed to its family-focused culture and the long-term success of all stakeholders.
“At the end of the day, it’s not just about profit; it’s about improving the lives of all of our clients, our team members, and the communities in which we live, work, and play,” says Schaeffer.
It takes solid, conscious leadership to get over 200 professionals in nine locations all on the same page, but Yeo & Yeo leadership focuses on selecting the very best people it can recruit and then empowers them to creatively and proactively serve clients. The partners set the tone and the values from the top, pushing responsibility and decision-making downward. This enables team members to suggest and participate in policy decisions, business practices, and client solutions. Communication is both ways through anonymous employee surveys, which enable leadership to listen to, and support, the best ideas with resources. Yeo & Yeo also has a Young Professionals Group, which in collaboration with the firm’s Career Advocacy Team (CAT), is the birthplace of many company-wide policies and programs.
Yeo & Yeo invests in its recruiting process to be sure it gets the best people who are capable of meeting the high standards for serving its customers and other stakeholders. Then, as team members continue their career at Yeo & Yeo, they are guided by the Career Maps Program, which lets them know exactly what they need to do and experience in order to advance in the company. The company’s values are incorporated into the process.
Yeo & Yeo has some creative ways to enhance the family-oriented culture. For example, the company has a paid day off (PDO) donation program. So, if an employee has a real need for extended time away from the office, other employees are able to give some of their time. This creates a caring environment where colleagues can truly help each other through tough times. Also, team members have the flexibility to adjust their work schedules to meet family and community obligations—without always having to ask permission. The culture is a trusting, respectful, family environment. According to Cara Newby, Yeo & Yeo talent manager, “It’s not just a family culture, it’s a ‘Family First’ culture!”
Adding to the family environment are the mentoring programs at Yeo & Yeo, which include an onboarding mentor and a career mentor. The onboarding mentor can help new team members get acquainted with the company and its culture. The career mentors help with the growth of the team member throughout his/her career at Yeo & Yeo. Both of these programs were employee-driven initiatives.
The firm has segmented its clients into needs-based market segments. This segmentation allows for better understanding of client needs, and gives team members the ability to proactively anticipate needs that the client may not even realize. This segmentation also allows team members to become real experts in the clients’ business, adding tremendous value to the relationship.
Yeo & Yeo hires people who are active in their community and encourages them to become volunteers and board members in local community organizations. One of their most important hiring criteria? They hire competent people who are passionate about serving others.
Team members donate time and talent to over 200 organizations in their communities, and the company provides funding to hundreds more. The list of accomplishments and recognition received from community organizations is impressive by any measure. In addition to community giving, Yeo & Yeo provides scholarships annually to accounting students at five major universities throughout Michigan.
“The more we serve all of our stakeholders, the more we get back. What we have here is special! The growing and giving nature of our company helps all of us find true meaning in our work,” says Suzanne Lozano, principal and consulting service line leader.