Cris started working at Shannon & Associates in January 2021. He discovered the firm through an online job fair at Central Washington University and is now a vital team member. Learn about Cris and how the Shannon & Associates team helped Cris transition to a career here.
Q: When did you start at Shannon & Associates? And how long have you been working here?
I started working at Shannon & Associates in January 2021. I originally discovered the firm through an online career fair at Central Washington University, where I met one of the managers. During the fair, other firms asked me if I preferred to work in audit or tax. Shannon’s approach was different because they asked me which discipline, I wanted to explore.
And that is one standout thing about the firm – they encourage you to experience and think through different practice areas. At that point, my experience was in the classroom, so I really wasn’t sure but knew that I wanted to explore both. I thought I wanted to pursue tax, but after working at Shannon, I found that I favored audit. On the job, I soon realized that audit has a teamwork aspect I really liked.
Q: What is your current role at Shannon & Associates? Take us through a typical day.
I’m a staff accountant, and my job involves a mix of different tasks every day. I primarily work in the areas of tax and audit, so I usually start out with tax returns, then I move over to audit, which is typically a bit more time-consuming.
I’m currently working on Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) audits. I really like this practice area for many reasons, including how the testing process works and the simple fact that I am learning so much. This includes going through an interview process usually involving a variety of personnel to get the detailed information needed for a successful audit.
Q: What have you gained from working at Shannon & Associates? Can you describe the career growth you’ve experienced?
Where do I start? I’ve gained so much knowledge here. You learn the basics in school, but then I got here and have been able to really learn what it is like to be in field. The experience has been a lot more enjoyable than I would have predicted (based of my past class experience).
The leadership team at Shannon & Associates gives you more responsibility and flexibility than I expected. (This really differs from my past job experience in college – you arrive, have lunch, and leave at a specific time, with zero flexibilty.) Here you can work from home and are responsible for your time. The flexible work environment is a big plus!
Also, the mentor program has almost a personal development aspect to it. As part of the program, you list your specific goals (personal and business) including the big things you want to accomplish career-wise. And it’s great because I can discuss my personal goals with my mentor who makes sure that I’m on the right path.
The firm is very open when you need help or advice, and this makes me feel confident in my abilities to get things done. When something pops up all you have to do is reach out and the management is very flexible and accommodating.
What is the best part about working at Shannon & Associates?
How open and accommodating everyone is. If I have a question, I never hesitate to reach out because someone is always there to help. I’ve gained so much knowledge working here because of the collaborative environment and mentorship program. And the partners and managers encourage each employee to explore different practice areas to find their best career path. It’s a welcoming and educational environment.
Q: How has the Shannon team helped you in your career journey?
The best part about working here is how open and accommodating everyone is, no matter their position in the company. I think if I worked at another firm, it might be more challenging to book time with partners or senior management. But here, there is an open-door policy, and we can work directly with senior managers and partners, both are willing to help at any point.
Q: What is your favorite thing about working at Shannon & Associates?
How friendly and easy everyone is to talk to and how open the environment is here! I’m now comfortable and never hesitant to ask or come up to someone and ask for help or advice. It’s great to gain knowledge from the more experienced team members because they are open to it.
Q: And a question about S&A Values: Collaborative and Mentoring, Accountable, Respect and Integrity, Excellence, Strive. Do any of those values stand out to you? If so, why?
Collaborative and Mentoring.
Mentoring: I have a great relationship with my mentor, and I’m always comfortable having her available to answer any of my questions.
Collaborative: Shannon & Associates promotes a collaborative environment, and it is really nice knowing that I can get help and advice from anyone at any position in the firm.
Q: What are your favorite things to do outside of the office?
My girlfriend and I love to go to Seattle on weekends and we make it a goal to do so often. I played football, basketball, and ran track in high school, and continue to work out in my spare time and love it. I also enjoy spending time with my huskies, Adonis and Ares.
Q: When people make mistakes, how is that handled?
Most work goes through two levels of review that are built in. If a mistake is made, they’ll send a note and reach out to you on how to fix it. And if there are questions, they are more than willing to help.
Q: Can you describe Shannon & Associates in three words?
Welcoming, Professional, and Collaborative. (The partners and management foster an open and accommodating environment driven by camaraderie, and I love that.)