Fresh out of school, accounting degree in hand, any job in the field will do…but the top graduates often dream of landing a job with the Big 4. Back in “my day,” it was the Big 8, and somehow I managed to get hired by one of them. I thought I’d arrived. I was assigned to the Audit Division, and specifically the Entertainment Industry. It sounds glamorous, but in reality it was hard work, in back offices, making copies, running columns of numbers, determining if my small area of a big audit proved “reasonable.” Getting my arms around any of these businesses, understanding the big picture, would have taken years.

Thirteen years ago, new to the area, I interviewed with Charlie Bish and John Haffey. My experience was rusty after years staying home to raise a family. But they decided to take a chance on me, and hired me to work part-time with the understanding that I’d give them full-time hours during tax season. I told them I’d stay as long as I was having fun. I’m still having fun, so I haven’t left.

I’ve worked both ends of the spectrum from the number one accounting firm in the world, to this friendly, Northern Virginia firm of 42 professionals. Except for name recognition, the hometown team wins every time. New staff are exposed to and become experienced in all areas of accounting, audit, and tax. In a big firm, you specialize right away. You are a cog in a big operation. In a small firm, family is key, and we operate like a family. Every person here matters, and is groomed, mentored, appreciated, and encouraged.

Our clients are an extension of that. They are not SEC businesses. They are the backbone of our Washington DC Metro Area, representing all industries from politics to car dealers, food service to government contractors, not-for-profits and more. We work with them to help them start their businesses, turn a profit, account for payroll, file taxes, perform audits, etc. We partner with them to build their success. We are on a first-name basis, and they know every person in this firm who works with them.

Our mission at BSB is to do our job well, to serve our clients, and our community, and to be a happy place to work for our excellent staff. And hopefully we are spreading that commitment to excellence and happiness throughout Northern Virginia, and the world.

Alison Robinson, CPA