Senior Accountant (Former Employee) – Yellowknife, NT – 18 November 2018
I worked here for over 2 years. It is one of the most hostile work environments I have encountered.
No constructive feedback was provided even though it is a training office... only condescending comments were provided or no feedback at all. The partners would rather talk behind your back and not to your face.
You are told that you will only have to travel 3-4 weeks during busy season.. which was a lie. I had travel assignments 7-8 weeks in the spring to remote communities.. two to three weeks away at a time from your family and friends. And then I was reprimanded when returning to the office for not returning a client phone call. Not sure how I was supposed to check my voicemail when I’m not physically in the office.
I was also reprimanded for not meeting my chargeable hour budget even though I communicated on multiple occasions (and proactively) that I needed work.
The partners picked favourites as well and made it very obvious to the rest of the employees. This caused significant hostility and unhealthy competition between the staff accountants.
Salaries and benefits, vacation flexibility during slow season
Senior Accountant (Current Employee) – Yellowknife, NT – 26 October 2015
I'm not originally from Yellowknife but I decided to apply and then accept a job with Crowe Mackay as an opportunity to try something new and different.
Like most accounting firms you are required to work in teams that change weekly therefore it is essential to be a team player. The ability to work with others and keep a positive attitude is a pretty big determinant of success.
I've found the firm very supportive of students working on CPA, I've attended three separate Densmore prep sessions, all have been informative and helped me pass the modules. They also pay for all expenses to attend the module workshops.
The work/life balance varies, during the busy season you are expected to work a significant amount of overtime while during the slower periods you can take Fridays off. I've always found them to be very understanding and accommodative when it comes to taking vacations as well.
I have had many opportunities to advance quickly within the firm and also had the opportunity to do a secondment at another firm within the Crowe Horwath network. I've always found the firm supportive of their employees which can be seen by sponsoring different teams to play on and hosting events/parties above the norm of other firms I've worked at.
Overall it's been a great experience and I'd highly recommend reaching out to current employees through Linkedin if you are interested.
Supervisor (Former Employee) – Yellowknife, NT – 18 October 2015
Like most of us, we chose to go to Yellowknife for the adventure, and for the higher salary. Generally speaking, most get recruited from the East, but this was not my case.
I was a Supervisor for a while, but do caution anyone who may choose to work for MacKay Yellowknife.
In your first year of working for MacKay, you will owe the company on average $9000. It is normal practice for CA firms to add the cost of modules on a forgivable 1 or 2 year loan. What is not normal, is to add the cost of Junior staff member 'in house' required training they send you on in the South. Add your initial travel to Yellowknife, one or two modules, -you get the picture. If you leave, they will just keep your pay and offer you no other way to reimburse.. this is also not normal.
Retention in any CA firm is not great, but MacKay Yellowknife has taken this to another level. They will blame retention on the north, but the majority of designated accountants who have left them will still be working in Yellowknife.
I have never worked at a place with such a dark culture. It was a terrible place to work for, and I should have decided to leave much sooner than I did.
I highly recommend anyone considering MacKay Yellowknife to get in contact with a former employee over Linked In. There must be a better option for you out there, especially with this CPA merger. You don't need CATO time, so do yourself a favour and pass on this "opportunity"
Endless Opportunities, Skilled and Knowledgeable Staff, CPA/CA Support, Continuous Development
Supervisor (Current Employee) – Yellowknife – 9 October 2015
Originally recruited from the East Coast, I saw the potential for adventure and opportunity in the North and have never looked back on my decision.
I originally began my career with Crowe MacKay LLP as an articling student in 2012 and have continued to work with the Company for the past three years, now a Supervisor.
The opportunities I have been given to grow within the firm have been invaluable. The skills and knowledge I have gained over the past three years have made me a rounded Professional. I have grown to be able to provide valuable support to clients and staff members alike to help businesses grow and see other individuals succeed in the accounting field. I have been given opportunities to work in a wide variety areas, including for-profit, not-for-profit, financial services, consulting, tax and government projects alike. I have also been provided with the opportunity to travel the North exploring many parts of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Crowe MacKay has gone above and beyond my expectations as a articling student to ensure that I was given all the support and guidance through the CASB process. Ultimately I was able to pass all six modules and the UFE on the first time which is attributable to both the support of Crowe MacKay and my personal work ethics which were supported by their values.
Completing the CASB/CPA courses is always going to be a daunting task to create work/life balance. Crowe MacKay LLP provides all CASB/CPA students with support through this process with experienced mentors who have recently completed the process themselvesmore... and are able to guide and assist through the process. Crowe MacKay truly wants everyone to succeed through this process and the time and monetary support provided are outstanding.
Beyond the CASB/CPA process, Crowe MacKay continuously develops their staff and continues to invest in their growth. Crowe MacKay has provided me with extensive professional training and support to ensure that professional standards are adhered to and I am up to date on changing professional standards.
Crowe MacKay LLP has created a culture based on their values and beliefs of caring, sharing, investing and growing in both their staff and clients. The Yellowknife Office hosts many staff events on an annual basis which assists in creating and maintaining a team environment where members are committed, supportive and respectful.
I continuously feel supported by management and staff alike and feel my work is valuable to the Company as a whole. While no one ever said a career in accounting would be easy, Crowe MacKay LLP sure does make it worth it!less
Staff Accountant (Former Employee) – Yellowknife, NT – 24 April 2015
I worked for MacKay Yellowknife for a very short time (a couple of months). I was recruited from the East, as the salary in Yellowknife was much higher. Unfortunately, I should have listened to my gut feeling when I read about their 30 min policy for "Cake Day".. in their employment contract... and yes I'm being serious....
An example of their culture, which stands out to this day, was when I received a one-line email in July stating "Tell me why you didn't you obtain 200 chargeable hours, and don't give me a childish excuse".
I obtained 197 chargeable hours as a Junior (3 hours short) and just found out I had passed my first module in the CA program. I was disgusted, in fact, I still have that email, and I show it to students when explaining 'firm culture' to this day.
Anyway, I finished my articling with a different firm.. that actually had CA's that I could learn from, and happily passed the UFE away from that place.
Over the years it's interesting to watch the "well known" Yellowknife MacKay revolving door get good use. Before you choose to go there, do yourself a favour and ask a previous staff member their experience.
Productive, knowledgable and organized mid-sized work place
Accounting Technician (Former Employee) – Edmonton, Alberta – 19 July 2014
In a typical day I would encounter a variety of duties, such as: -preparation of financial statements, both review and notice to readers -preparation of corporate and personal tax returns -government remittances -payroll -bookkeeping -client relations -account reconciliations -management of AR and AP accounts -preparation of T4/T5 -some administrative tasks
I learned a great many things here such as review engagements and corporate tax.
Management and my peers were enjoyable and easy to work with.
The hardest part of the job were the long hours required during tax season, however, this benefited me with Fridays off during the summer months.
Social committee and the office was a learning environment