The Collaborative Culture at CK

In this video, Nick Ashmore, an in-charge accountant at Cray Kaiser, share his experiences and insights about working at the firm. He discusses the diverse opportunities, the supportive and collaborative work environment and the personalized growth plans that help team members explore different areas of interest.


My name is Nick Ashmore. My current position at Cray Kaiser is an in-charge accountant and I am a hybrid between the accounting services and the tax departments.  First off, there are a lot of opportunities and they want you to work on what you want to work on. So as I mentioned for the first years or people just coming into this firm they have an idea of what they want to work on or even if they don’t have an idea just try everything and Cray Kaiser will make that possible for them so that you can kind of really figure out what you’re good at develop a niche if that’s what you want to focus on and you could grow from there.

Every time I have an annual review or as we call them now growth plans we set goals for the year that you want to meet and you know you have the standard like billable hours and things like that but then you get to throw some oddballs in there and for me I usually try to include something I haven’t done before. So for instance this year is working on a nonprofit. I know that the nonprofit accounting is a little bit different. I have never done it. Maybe I’ll like it, maybe I won’t, but I at least want to try it and have a general understanding of it.

So they do a good job at meeting the things that you want, which in turn helps you grow because they’re doing things that you like to do or are interested in versus things you’re not interested in.

Their expectations of me were very clear but they also made the path to get them very clear. This stuff’s really easy to follow. As I said, I had a lot of different mentors for different challenges I faced. They helped me get over each and every hurdle. It’s very collaborative and I would also say empowering just because everybody wants to help you, you know, you don’t feel beaten up when you don’t know something. You have somebody you can go ask, they’ll sit with you and make time for you to really break it down and learn it. My learning style is not really being told how to do something, but it’s actually doing it with somebody kind of looking over my shoulder, guiding me through it. That’s how I learn. You know, somebody could tell me you just need to do this, this, and this, and I could get that done, obviously, but I wouldn’t fully understand it until I’ve actually taken and start to finish.

In accounting services, we all sit in the same section. That’s like, I guess, my home department, I would say. You know, we’re kind of talking back and forth over the cubicles, running ideas by each other. We all help each other out. We kind of all have our things that we have handled in the past, so when a problem arises with somebody else, you know, we can easily help them. So those are kind of the goals and values we have at Cray Kaiser here and I think it’s very beneficial for everybody.

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