'Sikich is much more than an accounting firm'

Q: Describe your company.

A: Sikich specializes in technology-enabled professional services. With nearly 1,200 employees across the country, we offer a uniquely crafted suite of services - ranging from accounting to technology to advisory offerings - to help businesses address challenges and maximize opportunities.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: Yes, we will continue to invest in our people and technology, across all service lines, to better serve our clients. We'll also continue to consider strategic expansion through acquisitions across geographies and service offerings.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: An ongoing challenge for many companies, Sikich included, is acquiring and retaining top talent. We're focused on creating a company and culture that best supports our employees. In 2020, Sikich transitioned to a flexible approach to work that allows employees to work where they are most effective and improve their work-life integration. We've also invested in employee engagement initiatives to preserve our culture.

Sikich's growth and success is dependent on our access to great people. Through our tech-enabled approach and workplace flexibility, we're prepared to face this talent challenge head on and continue to attract innovative thinkers and experts to our team.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: I see two trends making a major impact on the industry. The first is consolidation. Especially as the pandemic has weakened geographic barriers and allowed companies to explore new markets, smaller firms must invest heavily in their people and technology or they'll likely be acquired by larger firms that are already making these investments.

The second trend is automation. By using technology to its fullest potential, we cannot only reduce the amount of time it takes to perform a service, but we can also provide our people with a better experience by eliminating redundant tasks and allowing them to focus on strategic work. Sikich is aggressively implementing robotic process automation to improve efficiency, cut down on manual tasks and provide a more rewarding experience for employees.

Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?

A: Understand the difference between management and leadership and focus on the latter. True leaders will empower and trust their people to manage activities so that they can focus on strategy and provide inspirational leadership.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: "Develop your successors to enable you to progress."

Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?

A: Innovation is a key theme at Sikich. I look up to Steve Jobs because he was a constant innovator who revolutionized his industry.

Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?

A: Many people don't realize that Sikich is much more than an accounting firm. In fact, the majority of our revenue does not come from our audit and tax compliance offerings. Sikich offers a range of business services - including everything from technology consulting to investment banking to human capital, marketing and communications.

Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?

A: In 2002 I was deferred a year from making partner at a past firm due to the economic conditions and performance of the firm. It was a tough pill to swallow given I'd moved my family 4,000 miles to be a partner in the U.S.

I'd like to think I learned patience from that experience, though those that know me would probably disagree!

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I enjoy spending as much of my free time as possible with my family. I am also an avid Liverpool fan. When I am not with my family or watching football (soccer), I like to play golf.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: Right now I am reading "The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill During World War II" by Erik Larson. The book chronicles Winston Churchill's first year as prime minister.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: Since joining Sikich I enjoy uninterrupted sleep!

Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?

A: I really enjoy accounting, so if I was not in my current role I would likely be a CFO.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: My first job was working in retail, selling men's clothing at British fashion brand TopMan.

Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?

A: Without a doubt, I would put Sikich's name on Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club.

Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why. (besides your company)

A: Two people I recommend following are Elon Musk, because you never know what he's going to say, and Ricky Gervais, because he makes me laugh.

Antony Nettleton

Market leader of Northern Illinois and Partner-in-Charge of Assurance

Sikich LLP

1415 W. Diehl Road, Suite 400, Naperville, IL 60563

(630) 566-8400


Industry: Professional services

Annual revenue: Approximately $225M

Number of employees: nearly 1,200

Age: 51

Family information: Married to Diane. Three children: Chloe, Jared and Calum. Two grandchildren: Clara and Elsie.

Hometown: Naperville (originally from Yorkshire, UK)

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