Office Managing Partner
Warren Averett, LLC
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Industry: Professional Services
Kim Hartsock is office managing partner for Warren Averett, a professional services company offering help with audit compliance, tax planning, technology consulting and human resources solutions.
“I try not to ever be the smartest person in the room,” Hartsock said. “If you surround yourself with smart and capable leaders, you can generally arrive at a solution that works for your team.”
One of the biggest challenges for Warren Averett in recent years is a hurdle facing nearly every industry: finding and retaining talented people. Under Hartsock’s leadership, the company has approached the issue on a number of fronts.
Warren Averett rewards its top people by giving them top clients to work with, which gives those employees opportunity for growth and advancement. The company also gave employees two “stay” bonuses last year to remain competitive. Warren Averett offers paid maternity and paternity leave and sabbaticals every five years, for those who have been with the firm for 10 years. It offers Shipt and DoorDash memberships and began offering a stipend to build out home offices when remote work became the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even while it is difficult to recruit and retain A+ talent right now, that doesn’t reduce or eliminate our standards of maintaining quality and high expectations,” Hartsock said. “As a leader, you cannot ignore and tolerate those who do not buy into the culture and in fact could be toxic to the culture. Your job as a leader is to coach and provide feedback.”
Hartsock was selected as one of the Most Admired CEOs for 2022 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. She has made a priority of finding and diversifying the next generation of talent in the accounting profession, something she said the industry has struggled to do. Her team has volunteered at multiple Junior Achievement events to reach out to that next generation.
“We need to start showing the next generation what it looks like to have a career in accounting,” Hartsock said. “We need to tell them the stories of the ‘cool’ opportunities we have been given by this profession so they aren’t just being influenced by the tech startups and/or social media influencers.
“Accounting as a basis of a career can lead to so many other opportunities, but we have to cast that vision and show the students what lies ahead for them.”
Hartsock mentors several younger female professionals, attempting to show that it is possible to balance being a wife and mom while having a successful career.
“Young women need to see and hear from those of us who are doing it to see that it can be done,” she said. “Too many young women leave the professional world because they think it will be too hard. They need to have role models to follow.”
It was a great honor to be in the inaugural class of Georgia Titans! I feel tremendous pride in being included with such amazing leaders in my industry and across other industries in our state. As a mom, it is so meaningful for my kids to see my commitment being recognized. As a mom of a young lady, it is encouraging for her to see that she can pursue her passion for a career and not feel she has to give up her desire to have a family. So thank you for the opportunity!