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TOP WORKPLACES 2016

Maumee accounting firm aims to be a fit for life

No. 1 small business: William Vaughan Co.

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    The chief operating officer of William Vaughan Co. says adapting to employees’ needs is one of the keys to the company’s success.

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    Kelly Freeman works in her office at the William Vaughan Co., a Maumee accounting firm. The firm was selected as the top workplace among businesses of 74 or fewer employees.

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    “We have been really flexible with a lot of our employees and they’ve stayed with us because of the flexibility we offer them," Sharon Trabbic, chief operating officer of the William Vaughan Co., said.

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“We have been really flexible with a lot of our employees and they’ve stayed with us because of the flexibility we offer them," Sharon Trabbic, chief operating officer of the William Vaughan Co., said.

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People’s needs and priorities shift as they go through life. What’s most important at 25 may not be the same as what’s most important at 50.

Leaders at the William Vaughan Co., a Maumee accounting firm, say they understand that and try to find ways to ensure employees can make their job fit their life — not the other way around.

Sharon Trabbic, the firm’s chief operating officer, said adapting to employees’ needs has been one of the keys to the company’s success.

BIZ-Vaughn-building

The chief operating officer of William Vaughan Co. says adapting to employees’ needs is one of the keys to the company’s success.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
Enlarge | Buy This Image

“They’re single, they work a lot of hours. They get married, maybe they work a little less, they have kids, they work a little less. Then their kids are grown, move out, go to college, then they’re working more hours again,” she said. “We have been really flexible with a lot of our employees and they’ve stayed with us because of the flexibility we offer them.”

During the 14-week tax season, for example, the company offers flexible hours for working mothers and doesn’t demand all employees pull 60-hour weeks. Additionally, employees can work from home if they need to tend to a sick child, or even bring their kids to the office in the event of a snow day. There’s a room set up with a television, an Xbox, and other activities.

They also try to break up busy tax days with quirky games or activities and put a focus on community events and fund-raisers.

All that hasn’t gone unnoticed. William Vaughan was named to the top spot in the small business category for the Toledo area’s 2016 Top Workplaces competition. It’s the third time the firm has been included among the winners. The category is for employers with 74 or fewer workers.

Responding to questionnaires, employees praised William Vaughan’s culture of learning, inclusion, and community support.

“It allows me to grow professionally and personally,” one employee said. “I love what I do and feel appreciated every day by upper management and my clients.”

The firm, which employs about 60 people, was founded in 1957 by the late William Vaughan. The company’s main focus is providing accounting and consulting services to small and midsized businesses.

BIZ-Vaughn-Kelly-Freeman

Kelly Freeman works in her office at the William Vaughan Co., a Maumee accounting firm. The firm was selected as the top workplace among businesses of 74 or fewer employees.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
Enlarge | Buy This Image

“There’s all sorts of different specialties we provide,” managing partner Aaron Swiggum said. “The way I would put it is we’re a locally owned company that has the experiences of many national and regional CPA firms that are five and 10 times our size.”

Mr. Swiggum is just the third person to lead the firm. He said that stability and continuity have been important. So has keeping true to Mr. Vaughan’s values.

In addition to an accommodating workplace, the company tries to stay ahead of the curve on technology, offers a benefits package that includes paying 100 percent of single employees’ health insurance premiums and 70 percent of family plans, and ongoing training opportunities.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134 or on Twitter @BladeAutoWriter.

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