Being a people person in audit services

Lindsay Prestianni’s story

Lindsay Women at GT painting A career in auditing suddenly became an appealing possibility at a Grant Thornton recruiting booth. It wasn’t simply that the two audit representatives I met at my college job fair were nice to me. They were, but you expect that. What I appreciated was how they interacted with each other.

You could tell they were friends. I decided I’d like to be their friend and be part of a company whose face to the public is friendly as well as informative and professional. I thought to myself, “Are these the kind of people I’d want to work with in an audit room for hours at a time? Yes, definitely.”

Lindsay with recruiter friends I joined Grant Thornton and am still close to those first two employees I got to meet. One is a senior manager, one is a managing director and I’m a senior associate. Their titles are higher than mine, but we talk as equals. That’s one of the things I really love about working here. A partner walks into the room and knows everyone’s name. We’re a team. There’s no social chain of command.

A partner walks into the room and knows everyone’s name. We’re a team. There’s no social chain of command. Lindsay group painting

This culture of camaraderie has nurtured my second family at Grant Thornton. We enjoy each other’s company, at work and away. On complex projects, we might put in long days, but we’re together. We go out in the evening and on weekends, and to weddings and other celebrations. Our friendships make workdays that much more interesting.

Friendships make workdays that much more interesting. Interacting with others all day long is great for someone like me. I think you have to be a people person in audit; so much of what you do is resolved in conversations with the client and your co-workers. You sit down with clients to understand their processes before starting your audit. For me, this is usually at the client’s office. I get to be with different teams and have a change of scenery. So far I have explored cities such as San Francisco, Denver, New York, Austin, Nashville and Atlanta. You can request minimal travel, but for a young professional fairly fresh out of college, this is a lot of fun. In fact, I see as much of the world as I can, in and out of work. With the firm’s flexible time off policy and encouragement to take vacation, I’ve been to Costa Rica and taken a 2½-week trip to Japan.

Lindsay in Costa Rica        Lindsay in Japan temple
With the firm’s FTO policy and encouragement to take vacation, I’ve traveled to Costa Rica and Japan. Besides the energizing effects of new people and places, I’m continually offered new learning opportunities. For example, I was recently the lead senior on an engagement with a large public company. While I’ve worked with both public and private companies since my first day at the firm, it was exciting to take on a client that’s brand-new for the firm and an industry that’s brand-new for me. I also work with private companies, mainly in the energy industry. I love the variety of people and projects, and the fast pace of what I do. When I run into questions, there’s always someone at the firm who’ll help find the answers. I am lucky enough to have many role models such as the senior manager and partner on my two main engagements. It’s encouraging to see woman at the firm in high positions raising kids and still being able to advance in their career. In addition, I am part of the Women at Grant Thornton business resource group (BRG), where we all learn from each other’s experiences.

There’s always someone at the firm who’ll help find the answers. Working with service-line colleagues is just one way of making friends and meeting mentors. BRGs and other forms of community-building collaboration are prized at Grant Thornton, as well. Take the GT24 Challenge, for instance. You can commit yearly to 24 hours of service, with the potential of serving some hours during the workday. Doing my part for the community is important to me, and I’m honored to serve on the fundraising committee for a firm-supported charity.

We’re encouraged to participate in charitable events, including those hosted by our clients. Lindsay in Marlins charity event Here again, I appreciate Grant Thornton giving a people person like me the chance to do more with and for others. This is truly a place where I can live a better, more fulfilling personal and professional life.