Crowe Horwath helps employees maintain work-life balance during busy season

For accountants in tax and auditing practices, the busy season (January 2 to April 15) is understood as a time when extra hours and working Saturdays are a given. To help ease that burden, public accounting and consulting firm Crowe Horwath LLP offers benefits targeted to helping its people maintain work/life balance.

In several offices, complimentary, on-site babysitting is offered on Saturdays during the busy season. According to Kimberly Sass, Crowe's director of operations services, this program has proven to be popular with the firm's professionals and their children. "Kids enjoy the activities planned for them, ranging from arts and crafts to group games, and special guests like local firemen. Plus, they love the idea of 'going to work' with mom or dad," Sass said. "The parents can get their work done and still have lunch with their kids, without having to spend money on extra childcare."

Jodie Thomson, a senior manager in Crowe's audit and financial advisory group based in Grand Rapids, MI, has been using the babysitting program for six years for her children Luke and Katie, who are now 6 and 5, respectively. "Luke and Katie love coming to our work child care and ask me not to pick them up early," said Thomson. "It allows the kids to ride to work with me, and I get to see them at lunch. Plus, without the program, I would have to ask a relative to watch them on the weekend." Thomson added that she thinks the babysitting program is one of the many reasons that Crowe is such a great place to work.

Another program Crowe offers to help ease the pressure of being away from home is the Road Warrior program. For Crowe individuals who travel overnight more than 30 percent of their scheduled work days, this program aims to makes it easier when they are away from home. Program benefits include a weekend travel program to fly a significant other or friend to their location or the option to fly to a different destination instead of back home; hotel laundry/dry cleaning reimbursement; health club reimbursement; upgraded technology tools, and airline club reimbursement, among other benefits.

According to Joshua Lance, a senior staff member in Crowe's audit and financial advisory group based in Oak Brook, IL, the best perk of the Road Warrior program is the weekend travel program. "My wife has joined me for the weekend when I've been at a location for multiple weeks," said Lance. "It's great because it makes being out of town and away from family manageable. We get to have a little weekend getaway in places we might not have normally seen."

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