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Baker Tilly
Related Internships: 
Baker Tilly Accounting Internship, Baker Tilly Consulting Internship


Vault’s Verdict

Baker Tilly is ideally looking for hardworking, ethical, personable, positive, curious team players with strong critical thinking skills. The firm runs a valuable internship program for students, providing interns with a lot of hands-on experience, access to senior staff, and a clear look at what a full-time position is like. For its full-time staff, Baker Tilly provides extensive career development and growth opportunities, including good mentoring and training, quick promotions, early access to clients, and internal mobility options.

Although hours can be long and the work stressful and demanding during the busy seasons, a good work/life balance can be achieved the rest of the year. The unlimited PTO, schedule flexibility, and remote work options are very much appreciated by staff. Baker Tilly’s compensation and benefits package is competitive, although some insiders note that the bonus structure needs improvement. Meanwhile, the firm’s student loan repayment contributions get very good reviews, and the firm’s wellness offerings are generous. Baker Tilly offers its staff free counseling, wellness reimbursements, Disconnect Days (extra days off around three-day holiday weekends), and meditation, nutrition, and exercise programs, among other offerings.

DEI is a focus at Baker Tilly, and the firm is especially strong when it comes to diversity for women. There are many opportunities for women and many women in leadership positions at Baker Tilly. The firm also has employee resource groups for veterans, racial and ethnic minorities, and other groups. However, the firm could still improve when it comes to racial and ethnic diversity. As for the firm’s overall business outlook, Baker Tilly has been rapidly growing through acquisitions, and has a strong and transparent leadership team place. While some insiders say that the firm is understaffed, causing some staff to feel underworked, in general most insiders agree that the outlook for the firm is very strong.

Hiring Process

“The initial interview process is conducted online and is extensive. All subsequent interviews are short and quick. Callbacks can be expected between one week to one month for first-time applicants. The ideal candidate is hardworking, ethical, personable, knowledgeable, has critical thinking skills, and works well with others.”

“Our firm is seeking individuals with curiosity and initiative to perform their work efficiently and accurately, and with the basic skills or experience for the work to be performed.”

“The firm is selective in its hiring. When I came to final interviews, there were about 40 of us at the firm for interviews. Only about five of us were hired in the end. The firm is looking for people who are personable and can get along with clients, as this is a client-facing business. They also want intelligent people who can learn fast, and a prior internship experience definitely helps. For other than new hires, having your CPA or CPA exams completed is important, depending on level of position interviewing for. Integrity is also a must.”

“Our firm is seeking someone who has a positive aspect on life and work, and we are looking for someone who is curious and ready to learn. No day is ever the same, so if you're looking for a job that will be challenging, fun, and rewarding, this is your firm. You will learn so much from everyone around you, and you will appreciate how welcoming our firm is to its employees.”

Interview Questions

“Provide me with an example when you had to overcome adversity. What was the situation, and how did you overcome it? Provide me with an example when you had to take on leadership responsibilities. How did you manage to lead the group? What is your weakness in a business setting? How are you working towards making this weakness into a strength?”

“Why are you interested in a career in public accounting? What industries excite you? Do you work well with teams, what are some examples? What are your personal interests? What interested you in applying with our firm?”

“Tell me a little bit about yourself? When was a time you were proud of yourself? What did you do at your last job/internship?”

Tell me about a time you had an issue with a coworker or teammate. What was the issue and how did you overcome it? What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in five years? Tell me about your hobbies and interests. Tell me about your past work experience. Tell me about your educational background. What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness?”

Internship Experience

“I was able to gain experience working in both audit and tax projects, work with numerous different colleagues and clients, and get paid while evaluating the company as a future employer before accepting a full-time employment offer at the conclusion of the internship. Overall, it was a very positive experience.”

“Best part was getting to learn the process and do hands-on work. Although it didn’t happen often, the most challenging part was that I sometimes didn’t know what I was doing and people who could help me were too busy to show me how to do certain things.”

“I was partnered with a fantastic senior at the time who took the time to understand my level of understanding was and then work with me from there. Sometimes, though, I had to search for information myself and it was a bit ‘trial by fire.’ But I think that’s sometimes a necessary learning experience and I'm happy to have experienced it.”

“I did two internships and gained a lot of experience, so was able to determine whether or not I could see myself working in the position full time. There was not much client work to do in the summer time so I had a good amount of idle time during my summer internship, but this was not the case during my winter internship.”

Career Development

“The best aspects are we get assigned a buddy and a performance coach and we have ongoing training—both general and client-specific.”

“Quick promotions, immediate exposure to a variety of clients, helpful team members, able to move to other teams/areas in the company fairly easily. However, promotion/pay is often based more on time at the firm, as long as certain metrics are met, as opposed to overall performance (although strong performances are recognized, it can often go unnoticed).”

“Very open about skills needed to rise to the next level and coaching/development to achieve those goals if you so wish. Finding the time to engage in that development varies based on season and workload. It’s also necessary that you take ownership of your own career development.”

“If you’re not completely happy with your current position, the firm will go to great lengths to help you find another position within the firm that’s a better fit for you, though availability plays a factor. Promotions occur once a year, with the ability for mid-year ‘spot promotions,’ which in my experience are very rare. There’s an ‘up and out culture’ for associates, and lots of onboarding training for new interns and associates. Most training occurs on the job; otherwise, training mainly occurs as a large annual event besides CPE coursework and monthly job pertinent updates.”

Quality of Life

“The firm has great policies for work/life balance and vacation, but it becomes increasingly difficult to take advantage of these policies the farther along in your career.”

“Relationships with coworkers and clients are great. But the hours are still too many to maintain a good work/life balance the whole year. We seem to be consistently short-handed, and hours during first and second busy season are way too high.”

“The firm has certainly made every effort to give our team members the opportunity to disconnect and recharge, and continues to look for ways to break the mold by changing the way we work, to disrupt the norm of extreme hours during busy season, etc. I do think the firm is at risk for losing good talent, when those that are strong performers get tapped to do more and more, yet are unable to relinquish other responsibilities. There's often times a misconception about how much we are leaning on people, creating risk for burnout.”

“During busy season it is difficult to have a good work/life balance, but the firm tries to make up for it during less busy times of the year with different events. Probably the best aspect is the unlimited PTO. It’s great having the opportunity to use unlimited PTO during the non-peak seasons of the year. However, there’s no overtime pay. The paycheck is the same if you work 40 hours as compared to 65 hours.”

Salary and Benefits

“The best benefits are the student loan repayment contribution, the flexibility of hours and remote work, and the unlimited PTO that can easily be taken as long as you communicate with your teams. I would say that while the pay is competitive to other public accounting firms, it's not comparable to other positions when you have a master’s degree.

“My firm is very generous at adding perks during busy season. The worst is the bonus policy. You only get a bonus if you work certain hours, but you can only hit certain hours if you're given enough work.”

“We have a very good health insurance plan, and the employee-paid premiums are very reasonable for the coverage provided. It seems like our pay is lower than other similar firms in the industry.”

“Working remotely, I love having the ability to work from the comfort of my apartment. It allows me to save multiple hours that I would typically spent traveling into the office and client sites. However, when you’re not getting paid overtime, it can be discouraging to receive the same paycheck despite working extended hours to get a project completed.”

Wellness Efforts

“Baker Tilly is excellent at supporting employees’ wellness. There is a fitness reimbursement each year, and they provide a variety of counseling services and fitness classes. You can join programs through DIBs, which offers classes, running club, moms club, etc. They also offer programs through Silver Lineups, which offers yoga, mental health, cooking classes, mixology, and meditation classes.”

“BT offers everything: counseling, wellness reimbursements, meditation, nutrition, exercise programs, and they support these initiatives extensively.”

“Baker Tilly offers many opportunities to promote health and wellness of their staff. This ranges from spaces where staff are able to connect with likeminded staff and share in their feelings/thoughts/hobbies. As well as offering gift cards and tips/tricks when it comes to nutrition and exercise.”

“Disconnect Days are a huge benefit: They provided a three-day weekend almost every month of the year as well as put that next to a holiday when possible to have a four-day weekend. It gives an oasis of time to rest, be with family/friends, and attend to personal business. It has quickly become a part of our norm and is respected by all in the organization.”

Diversity, Philanthropy, and Green Initiatives

“Baker Tilly is very diverse, and provides a lot of opportunities for women. A lot of women are part of leadership, and that makes me feel like I have a good future and that my career is not limited because I am a female. It is very family-oriented and understanding of your family commitments. The firm and the people I have worked with are very inclusive and diverse in many different ways. The firm has many philanthropy programs and is involved in the community.”

“I think the number of women in leadership positions has significantly increased. For LGBTQ+, I'd like more emphasis on pronoun usage. I would also like to see a more robust recycling program in place. In my office for example, there is no push or direction on this.”

“We have our DIBS program (Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging & Societal Impact), which is our umbrella diversity program under which we have several more programs (GROW, for promoting the inclusion, belonging and equality of women; SOAR, which promotes supporting opportunities and recognition for all team members regardless of ethnicity and background; and NexGEN, which focuses on bringing generations within the workplace together). Besides the programs I've listed, we have other groups, such as veteran groups, sustainability groups, etc. There is also a partner in charge of D&I as his primary function.”

“We have lots of women in leadership positions. Women are in positions at all levels at Baker Tilly, valued, and encouraged to keep excelling. But people of Color are low in our firm, which I think it may be due to a lack of numbers going into the accounting profession.”

Business Outlook

“The company is continuing to grow and acquire new companies to expand our service offerings and geographical location. But it seems like the recruitment process is not keeping up with the expansion; as a result, the staff are constantly feeling overworked.”

“I believe the outlook is good. I think the biggest factors that could affect them are a recession and how that could affect their client base, the CPA requirement, how fewer people are trying to become CPAs than in the past few decades, and the requirement of working long hours in portions of the year and people choosing other careers because of it. I think Baker Tilly is already on the right track because these are things they’re already thinking about and have discussed these specific items in firm communications.”

“Business outlook is very strong. Good relationships with current clients, and the acquisition of other firms in geographic regions in which we did not have a footprint will increase value of firm and be able to support more clients. Also, we are doing things differently from other accounting firms in terms of placing the value more on the employees. We could, though, provide even more material to understand where the company is headed (trends, future changes, etc.)”

“The firm does a great job sharing results, being transparent, and keeping employees informed of how the firm is doing. The firm genuinely cares about the employees and keeps their best interests at the forefront of decisions.”

Baker Tilly

205 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (800) 362-7301

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Partnership
CEO: Jeff Ferro

Major Office Locations

London, United Kingdom
Montreal, Canada
Frankfurt, Germany
Sydney, Australia
Dubai, UAE