Our Values

Our team shares core values that portray who we are, what we believe in, and what we are looking for in prospective candidates.

Family Focused

We value time at home with loved ones and provide flexibility to ensure we do not miss important moments. We recognize the importance of taking time away from our work.

Lifelong Learner

We are responsible for and engaged in our personal and professional development. We recognize that our mind is a muscle that can be strengthened by using the resources available to us.

Solution Minded

We collaborate with our clients to solve their problems. We bring a positive mindset focused on answering questions, and we are proactive in identifying issues before they arise.

We Not Me

We work as a team that moves together. We are not siloed individuals. When our teammates need support, we seek them out and pick them up knowing that the team is stronger together.

A Letter From McClintock Leadership

Back in 2019, we began a process to identify our core values.

Core values—a combination of words, phrases, cliches, or other creative notations that illustrated what we believed to be the key characteristics each M&A employee should demonstrate and support. After several brainstorming sessions and countless sticky notes, we managed to trim our list down to the 13 values we introduced in the spring which, until today, have been the core values we’ve continued to publish, support, and point to.

Our goal today is not to completely rewrite the script and turn on what’s previously been shared. We still firmly believe that the original 13 values are relevant and should be exhibited by all M&A employees. We also recognize that the list wasn’t perfect—there was overlap, a combination of vague terminology and specific examples, and the list itself was extensive and didn’t truly capture “core” values.

So several months ago we began a more in-depth review focused around a seemingly simple but important question, “what really is a core value?” and how do we define “core?” As we discussed and read through articles and reviewed other organizations’ values, we realized we didn’t capture what truly made us unique, what made us great, and that our core values need to be more than a list of adjectives, they are must-haves, characteristics that everyone, regardless of level or department, can relate and must demonstrate in order to walk through our doors.

The result of those discussions is what we’re here to share today. A new list of concise values that help illustrate what makes us great, what we believe in, what we live by, and what anyone who joins our firm must possess. They are:

  • Family Focused
  • We Not Me
  • Lifelong Learner
  • Solution-Minded

Family Focused

This firm has been and will always be a firm that values time with family. Instilled over 45 years ago by my dad, I will continue to stress the importance of spending time with those closest to you.

I meet with a lot of people: interview candidates, vendors, prospects, new client contacts and so on. I’m frequently asked, “tell me about your firm.” I never respond with a summary that doesn’t include a family component. It will always be at the heart of what we believe in here. I will always stress that no M&A employee should ever miss a dance recital, a ballgame, a birthday party, or any family event because of work. We find time or we create time to attend those important events.

We also demonstrate this through the support we give one another. We help when someone needs to step aside to attend an event, or we reach out looking to see what we can do to make sure they have the time they need so they don’t miss those moments.

At this firm, you will always have time for family.

We not Me

Think of golf, track and field, and soccer. In golf, you are truly independent. Your actions determine your success and your failure. You’re siloed and by yourself.

In a track and field race you’re part of a team and everyone has one specific leg of the race they are responsible for. Once they’ve completed their leg and passed the baton, their job is finished. The baton is not coming back to them, and someone else is going to carry it across the finish line.

In soccer, everyone moves together. If you have the ball, you could be dribbling towards the goal or aware from a defender. If you’re without the ball, you’re moving around looking to support your teammate and preparing for a pass. All 11 players are moving harmoniously, figuring out ways to get open and support one another. When you pass the ball, it could very well come right back to you. There is constant back and forth, communication, and teamwork, and everyone needs to play their role to achieve success.

This is the environment we foster. We are not siloed individuals. We don’t pass along work, wipe our hands clean and say, “I’m done with it now.” Whether it’s an audit, a tax return, a report, a presentation, an article, or whatever arises, everything we contribute to and produce, everything that leaves our office, is coming from the M&A team. When our teammates are down and need support or coaching, we seek them out and pick them up knowing that the team is stronger when everyone can help produce.

We are a team moving together and focused on the same goal.

Lifelong Learner

It’s not a secret. Education is at the core of what we do. It’s continued to be the niche industry we are proud to serve and of which we brag about our expertise, but education extends beyond our client base.

Yes, the nature of our work, whether with audits or tax returns, is constantly changing and we’re forced to learn new regulations and rules. That’s a component of learning. But at M&A, learning goes beyond our day-to-day responsibilities and client obligations.

At this firm we believe in continuing to learn to better ourselves. Whether it’s books, podcasts, videos, or any other medium, we are seizing the opportunity to learn something new and we understand there is never a time where we say, “ok, I’ve learned everything I need to know.” And we take our knowledge and our learnings and share it or teach it to others. 

We look to find new ways of doing old, familiar tasks. We step outside of that comfort zone to see if there are newer, better ways of doing something. We admit, “hey, I don’t really know this so I’m going to try and learn it.” We embrace the change, embrace the discomfort it gives us, and push through when it becomes so easy to say, “this is too much.”

But learning goes beyond a book or podcast or whatever. We learn every day from one another. We ask questions and listen with an open mind. We observe and ask questions, genuinely interested in what our peers are saying and the experience they’re sharing. We seek help on how to improve and areas we can get better. And we look for opportunities to teach, fully understanding that learning is not always an independent exercise.

We don’t look to learn just to make a client happy. We don’t look to learn just to pass the CPA exam. We don’t look to learn just to get promoted.

We learn because we want to, because we believe in it, and because we want to be better. 

Solution-Minded

It’s easy to highlight a fault or weakness, or a reason why something can’t work. Heck, it’s so easy to complain about our day-to-day tasks. Quite literally, every single person can do this and it’s easy to be one of those people.

As accountants, it’s also easy to defend this reasoning by saying, “that’s part of my job. I’m paid to tell my clients what they did wrong.” Perhaps, to some extent, that’s true. Any accountant can find errors or miscalculations and read them back to their client. But those accountants are a dime a dozen. There’s nothing unique or great about that.

What makes M&A different is the mindset in which we conduct our work. Yes, we do search for errors, but those errors come with a solution, and recommendation, or a proposal on how to fix them. We don’t take pride in the number of errors we find but, rather, the number of solutions and answers that come alongside them. And those solutions are not always reactive. We look ahead and seek solutions before problems occur.

And our solutions are not always outward facing. We seek answers and solutions to our day-to-day responsibilities within the firm and with the people work side-by-side with. We recognize when a teammate needs help and work together to solve the issue at hand. We don’t take it personally when others present ideas and solutions, nor do we relish the opportunity to tell someone they’re wrong.

Problems are opportunities. Opportunities to learn, opportunities to demonstrate our expertise, opportunities to help a co-worker, and opportunities to provide a level of service that cannot be match.

We embrace these opportunities; we don’t run from them.

As we went through this exercise, many metaphors were floated around, some more polarizing than others. But one item we kept asking when thinking of potential values was this: is this a hill you’re willing to die on? It’s steep and maybe a tad graphic. But ultimately, are these the values that we are willing to say every single person in this room today, and every single person we hire from this day forward, must possess to work here? The answer was ‘yes’. These are not negotiable, these are not “well, we’ll take two out of four” types of values. The list we have today are values we absolutely believe in and will continue to believe in. They truly are at the core of what we do and what we want to continue to be.

13 values were simply too much. We can all probably agree on that. I hope today’s discussion has provided more clarity and helped paint the picture on who we are, what we believe in, and what makes this firm so great and so unique.