Businesses that Make A Difference
Featured Company: MBAF
Executive: Tony Argiz, Chairman and CEO
Business Address: 1450 Brickell Avenue 18th Floor, Miami, FL 33131
Tell us about your business.
The story of MBAF is really about all the employees who drive us forward every day, the clients who trust and partner with us, and the community which we support and love. With that said, our primary mission as trusted CPAs and advisors is to learn about each of our clients, helping them understand and manage even the most subtle changes in their business in order to optimize their bottom line. We take all aspects of their goals into account – both personal and business – to deliver not just what they asked for, but recommendations on what is going to truly push their business forward.
What year did you open?
MBAF was founded in 1969 by Al Morrison in Miami with 12 employees. The firm has continued to experience exponential growth and currently encompasses 13 offices and over 650 employees.
How long have you been in business?
In 2019, MBAF celebrated 50 successful years in business. Since its opening, the company has made a name for itself across the nation with dozens of industry accolades and positive feedback from our clients and the community.
Today, MBAF is ranked nationally as a Top 40 accounting and advisory firm. We have been named one of the “Best of the Best” firms in the country by INSIDE Public Accounting for the past 18 years consecutively because of our demonstrated long-term consistency and exceptional performance.
Who is your team made up of?
MBAF is made up of more than 650 highly qualified principals and employees – we serve domestic and international clients across a broad range of industries and practices from our offices across the country.
Not only do we offer the expertise and institutional knowledge necessary to guide people through business decisions, but we speak to clients in a familiar way no matter who they are, what language they speak or where their business is located. Our professionals speak more than two dozen different languages and our understanding of international business and the cultures that drive it are second to none.
I believe our diversity is what continues to set our business apart and makes MBAF a more interesting and desirable employer.
Tell us why you do, what you do, for a living. What is your company culture?
MBAF’s mission is to be a recognized leader of accounting and consulting services and to empower clients to achieve their financial and business goals. We strive to be the employer of choice for our staff, the provider of choice for our clients and the corporate citizen of choice for our community. With this goal-oriented mentality, MBAF has earned its reputation for trust and integrity through its commitment to high standards, old-fashioned customer service, and admirable guiding principles.
When it comes to environment and culture, MBAF is not your typical accounting firm. We’re a family that fosters caring, creativity, and innovation and we remain committed to providing employees an environment where they can grow and succeed. As a result, MBAF’s turnover rate is 16 percent, which is lower than the industry average of 17 percent among larger firms, (one in six experience rates above 20%), according to Inside Public Accounting. We have also been named a Best Place to Work finalist by the South Florida Business Journal for the past three consecutive years, as well as a “Best Accounting Firm” finalist by Accounting Today in 2018 and 2017.
How do you help your community?
We have a culture of giving at MBAF that I am very proud of. To date, MBAF has one of the most robust corporate philanthropy programs in South Florida. Just this past year, through cash contributions as well as in-kind, we gave back more than $1.85 million to a variety of organizations that support the communities where we live and work.
MBAF also encourages employees to volunteer their time physically by organizing and participating in volunteer days/activities and to find a cause they are passionate about. Aside from myself, many of MBAF’s senior employees hold leadership positions in organizations including the United Way of Miami-Dade, the Orange Bowl Committee, and Camillus House, to name a few. They put their professional skills to work serving on the Audit and Finance committees of these organizations.
Our efforts are recognized annually in the South Florida Business Journal’s “Corporate Philanthropy” list, where it is ranked within the top 10.
Special assistance to individuals, customers, or the community-at-large in connection to the COVID-19 crisis?
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to unfold, there are many things that remain uncertain. However, while this pandemic’s effect on our society cannot be ignored, MBAF’s resilience is undeniable. One example of our efforts is around the CARES Act, which classifies nonprofits as qualified small businesses. Due to this, MBAF mobilized quickly along with our affiliate FMA to ensure nonprofits benefit from this government assistance. Additionally, numerous principals and team members are working with nonprofits both as volunteers and through engagements that contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Internally, MBAF is strictly following social distancing guidelines to protect its clients and employees. For example, we shifted all 650+ of our employees to working remotely. Client meetings have been moved to virtual meetings or calls. We’ve asked clients to use our secure file-sharing platform to send us their documents electronically. We are in frequent communication with all team members to ensure they have everything they need to work remotely, are healthy and safe.
What advice would you have for others in the business sector trying to make it day after day?
The Seven C’s of Leadership are values that have helped me be that person in times like these. I’d like to share them in hopes that they may do the same for other business owners feeling the effects of the pandemic:
• Confidence: Be confident in your own strength and the capabilities of your colleagues.
• Calm: We must calm ourselves and think with a level head. Remember, the night is always darkest before the dawn, and our circumstances will inevitably improve.
• Collaboration: The best results are only possible through collaboration; we are our greatest strength.
• Common Purpose: We share the common purpose of serving our clients and each other the best we can.
• Courage: Be courageous in the face of adversity and others will do the same. Our greatest challenges bear our greatest lessons.
• Compassion: Show compassion to others, be understanding and be kind; helping someone else is no different than helping yourself.
And last, but not least:
• Commitment: Leadership is a commitment to others, not yourself.
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