Spotlight on Josh Budwitz: Why I Joined Accordion
A Q&A With Josh Budwitz, Vice President, Financial Accounting Advisory Services
After spending six years in public accounting, Josh Budwitz was craving a change and felt ready to tackle his next challenge. Enter: Accordion.
Though Josh didn’t have prior experience in the private equity space, he had built a strong accounting foundation and was eager to put those skills to work in a fast-paced, high-growth environment.
“Managing the relationship with both sponsors and portfolio companies in the private equity industry — that sounded anything but boring. It was something I had never experienced before, and it felt like an exciting balancing act that would make every day unique.”
Now, as a Vice President in Accordion’s Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) Practice, Josh gets to flex his creative muscles working on a wide variety of projects for private equity-backed companies. And that’s just one of the things he loves about working at Accordion:
Q. What are your favorite aspects of working at Accordion?
I love that I’m not doing the same thing each day. I get to work on a bunch of different client engagements — whether it be interim controllership projects, finance and accounting assessments, or IPO and audit readiness work. And what’s great is that teams across the firm collaborate on a lot of these. For example, I’ve been on projects where there are multiple workstreams with different departments constantly working together, getting ideas from each other, and bouncing questions off one another. It’s really cool to see what my non-accounting colleagues are doing for a client and increase my knowledge in areas outside of FAAS (like Sell-side Readiness, Strategic FP&A, etc.). By staffing cross-functionally, Accordion is able to deliver the best client outcomes, and colleagues are able to gain exposure to other practice areas — furthering our skill sets beyond our specific domains. Teamwork makes the dream work!
“At Accordion, I get to be creative, and I learn something new on each project. A question I get a lot from candidates is, ‘Can you describe a typical workday for yourself?’ And I’m always like, ‘I just can’t — every day is so different.’ It makes it fun.”
Q. What surprised you most about working at Accordion?
I’d say how transparent management is here. When there’s bad news, it can be difficult for leadership teams to be honest and open — but that’s not the case at Accordion. At the start of the pandemic, of course we were all concerned, because we saw layoffs happening at other companies and we weren’t sure how Accordion was going to respond. But management did a great job of being transparent and direct from the beginning, and regularly provided firm-wide updates. They established trust and comfort, which really speaks to the culture here. And the following year, in 2021, we grew tremendously; our numbers skyrocketed, our services expanded, and we acquired other companies. That was awesome to see, because when you’re in the loop about the ‘bad,’ the ‘good’ is even more rewarding.
“2020 was a difficult year, but management was transparent about any bad news the entire time. And while the hardships and setbacks were disappointing, I think their honesty really laid the foundation for a trusting relationship between employees and management that is still integral to Accordion’s culture.”
Q. Throughout your two and a half years at Accordion, what has been your favorite project?
The one that will always stick out — and my favorite project of my career to date — was my first interim controllership project. One morning, the FAAS Practice Lead gave me a call and said, ‘Hey, do you want to be Controller on this project?’ And I thought, ‘Are you sure you’ve got the right guy?’ I would have never thought I’d be first on the list. I was a first-year Associate, and it was definitely Vice President work. But the Practice Lead trusted me, and I was up for the challenge.
In the first month, the client’s Director of Finance took a leave of absence, which created complexities with getting up to speed on the client’s processes. On top of that, I was responsible for managing the Accounting Team while juggling the integration of new acquisitions and audits. It was overwhelming at first, but I was able to rely on the skills I learned throughout my career and utilize the great resources at Accordion. The project ended up being a success, and I was able to further strengthen my skill set along the way. When it wrapped up, the client invited me down to their board meeting in Florida on their private plane. Afterwards, we got to play a bit of golf and enjoy a nice dinner with the whole team. I still have a great relationship with them today, which has been really special.
“You’re trusted with a lot of exciting projects at Accordion, and it’s okay to admit that you don’t have all the answers; you’re not expected to have them. But if you’re someone that’s looking for a challenge, and you’re ready to do whatever it takes to find the answers for the client, you’re going to thrive here.”
Q. Accordion commits to offering a “better way to work in finance.” What does this mean to you, and how do you feel like Accordion delivers on this promise?
The industry norm is that you come into work, you’re hunched over at a desk, and you do your work. You feel like you’re just a number. But at Accordion, it feels different. Everyone feels valued; people enjoy working here because they feel respected by the people above them and around them. I’ve always had an open line of communication with my project managers, and we trust one another to execute on each project. We’re a team.
“Finance and accounting consulting roles have a reputation of feeling very black and white, whereas Accordion feels very colorful. There’s just such good energy here. People want to work hard because they genuinely like and respect each other and enjoy contributing to our clients’ success.”
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