Recognized as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 23, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP was selected as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers (2023):
- Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP manages a peer-to-peer recognition program, awarding $100 gift cards to nominees on a monthly basis who demonstrate the firm's core values -- additionally, the firm launched a new award category called "Made My Day!" to enable staff to recognize someone who makes a point to brighten up their day
- Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP offered a one-time salary increase in response to concerns about inflation and to acknowledge the hard work of employees over the course of the past two years
- Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP supports employees who want to start a family with maternity and parental leave top-up programs, open to new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents (to 75 per cent of salary for 17 weeks)
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 4, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2022):
- Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP helps employees save for life after work with contributions to a defined contribution pension plan -- and lets employees share in the firm's successes through a formal year-end bonus program
- Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP encourages ongoing professional development through in-house and online training, formal mentoring, tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current positions, as well as subsidies for professional accreditations
Durward Jones Barkwell values work-life balance
By the time she joined Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP (DJB) in 2020, Alexis MacCallum knew what it took to excel in her chosen field. She’d not only obtained her bachelor’s degree and graduate diploma in accounting from Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., she’d also competed at the international level as an Irish dancer.
MacCallum’s accomplishments came with sacrifice, dedication and hard work, but she also understood the importance of balance in her life, and so did DJB.
With offices in the Ontario cities of Hamilton, Burlington, St. Catharines and Welland, DJB provides accounting, taxation and business advisory services to entrepreneurs, business owners, and organizations in areas such as agribusiness, construction, general contracting and manufacturing, not only locally but nationally and internationally as well, through membership with RSM Canada Alliance.
“DJB emphasizes work-life balance,” says MacCallum, who moved from a larger firm in Toronto to become a senior staff accountant in DJB’s Hamilton office. “That’s hard to find in our industry,” where many firms expect their junior staff to work disproportionately long hours.
“Balance is one of our firm’s core values,” says managing partner Mark Brohman, who works from DJB’s St. Catharines office. “We recognize that we can meet our professional commitments without sacrificing our personal needs.”
Along with a healthy work atmosphere, DJB cultivates a sense of family. “Most of our staff live in the area,” says Brohman.
Brohman himself joined DJB in 1985, immediately after he obtained his bachelor of commerce degree from McMaster University in Hamilton. “I graduated on a Saturday, started on Monday,” he says.
Except for a brief period in industry, he has never left the firm. “It’s been a central part of my life,” he says. “I’ve been mentored by some fantastic people, who’ve always been in my corner to help me along.”
That culture of mentorship underlies the career of everyone who joins DJB.
“From Day 1, everybody has a coach who helps you to set goals and ensures that you acquire the competencies to meet them,” says Brohman.
MacCallum herself is a coach for several co-op students at the firm. As she advances to the next stage of her own career, her coach will support her as she acquires experience in managing client relationships, a prerequisite for the role of manager.
“You become the client’s main point of contact,” she says. “You have to own the relationship, but it’s nice to have somebody at your back who’s been through it.”
In addition to coaching and mentorship, DJB provides learning & development opportunities at each stage of an individual’s career, assisting with program fees, if necessary, and providing the resources that individuals need to prepare for their chartered professional accountant (CPA) exam.
“We see it as our responsibility to get them through the exam,” says Brohman.
In 2021, at least, the firm’s efforts paid off. Historically, fewer than two-thirds of the people who write the CPA exam succeed in passing. But all of the nine DJB employees who wrote the exam passed.
“Hopefully they stay with us,” says Brohman, a prospect that doesn’t seem unlikely. “After all, a lot of our 24 partners started as co-op students.”
For Brohman, his time at DJB has far exceeded his expectations. “I’ve had a fabulous career,” he says. “As a 23 year-old McMaster grad, I certainly didn’t see myself ending up as managing partner.
“I even met my wife here.”