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From mindset to execution, innovations and agility have allowed RSM Puerto Rico to adapt quickly to changes in market demands and to overcome challenges, both outwardly, to its clients, and inwardly, to its people. Many instances throughout the firm’s 45-year history prove that innovation has always been at the heart of RSM Puerto Rico, whether it manifests in new methodologies, approaches, or services.

All 10 of our partners in front of our office building

It all starts with curiosity, one of the five characteristics that make up RSM’s corporate DNA. We are in a constant process of analysis and adjustments. Staying curious about our client’s needs, as well as observant about market trends and opportunities, enables us to deliver on The Power of Being Understood and serve our clients proactively. This also requires critical thinking, another corporate characteristic embedded in our routine.

Doris Barroso, RSM Puerto Rico Managing Partner

Internally, listening to our people with curiosity has led to great ideas to attract and retain top talent, which has become a challenge for businesses all around the world. An example of innovation in the workplace has been granting paid paternity leave, increasing professional development opportunities, and establishing a flexible work schedule, among other initiatives. Our people had requested all of these, and we decided to implement them before the pandemic hit. Once it did, the remote work learning curve was not as steep for us as it was for many companies thanks to the flexible work schedule experience, which allowed us to remain agile and serviceable. We also used the learnings from our experience to help clients set up their remote work logistics.

Conference Rooms

The other three characteristics that make up RSM’s DNA are courage, caring, and collaboration. Over the last five years, RSM Puerto Rico has embraced these characteristics organically to overcome a series of challenges that most businesses would never encounter “in bulk”.

The current pandemic is the latest one in a streak of such events. In the months prior to the March 2020 shutdown imposed by the local government, the southern part of the island experienced a series of earthquakes that destroyed homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. Both clients and employees were impacted.

In the previous summer (known locally as Summer of ’19), massive protests led to the resignation of a dishonest governor, casting a shadow of insecurity in the entire local economy until a new governor was appointed.

Outside view of our office building

Perhaps the most impactful of the events were hurricanes Irma (Cat. 2) and Maria (Cat. 5) in 2017, which caused massive devastation. Hurricane Maria left the entire island without electric power. Some people didn’t have electricity for months! Telecommunication services were down too. Uncertainty was rampant. This situation went on for months until services slowly started to resume; it took at least one year for the economy to restart.

As a firm, RSM Puerto Rico was closed for about a week. When we re-opened, our focus was on helping clients and employees as much as we could. Employees who were able to come into the office used our generator-backed facilities to charge their cellphones (a simple thing that meant so much then!) and get a sense of normality amidst the chaos. Because of them, we were able to serve clients and support their recovery. Additionally, more than 20 clients worked from our office, powering up their operation with our generator, which earned us their respect and loyalty as well as new business referrals. This service leadership culture led us to build resiliency and grow in double digits!

It proves that innovation is expressed in everything we do at RSM. When we combine these five characteristics, everyone succeeds: our employees, our clients, and therefore, our firm.

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