Advisory firm EisnerAmper challenged its staff members to bring their new business ideas from the drawing board to the boardroom in its first-ever “Innovation Challenge.” Modeled after ABC’s popular “Shark Tank” television show, staff members submitted plans surrounding new product or service offerings for clients along with new technologies to streamline and automate internal processes and improve clients’ EisnerAmper experience.
With the event open to all staff, this year’s winners had a strong New Jersey presence. The Innovation Challenge saw dozens of submissions that were reviewed by an expert panel of EisnerAmper judges based on the entries’ level of detail, value proposition, practicality and implementation feasibility, and the quality of presentation to the judges.
First-, second- and third-place finalists received special cash prizes and incentives. Every submission was entered into the firm’s innovation/transformation pipeline, and all participants received a recognition reward and are also eligible for additional rewards through the firm’s year-round incentive program.
“A vital part of EisnerAmper’s culture is that everyone plays a part in propelling innovation. All of the participants really rose to the challenge,” said Jay Weinstein, EisnerAmper vice chair of growth and innovation.
“These wonderful ideas will greatly enhance both internal operations and our client experience. Congratulations and thank you to all of this year’s participants. I can’t wait to see next year’s submissions,” added Christopher Loiacono, EisnerAmper vice chair of services.
The three finalists were:
- First Place: Client Dashboard — a centralized, secure online site and mobile application that provides visibility into the project data collection process and milestone dates. This solution will enhance project collaboration between the engagement team and clients using real-time status dashboards, notification alerts and a calendar view of important milestone and task dates. Submitted by Andrew Bigler, Katharina Rada, Patricia Kiziuk and Crystal Shin.
- Second Place: Cloud FP&A Accelerator — implements an AI technology-driven software that generates a five-year budget and cash flow forecast based on a client’s data in QuickBooks Online or Xero. Submitted by John Delalio and Heidi Robbins.
- Third Place: Firmwide Downtime Pool — a solution that identifies colleague availability for short-term projects based on availability and expertise. Submitted by Walter Zinenko, Michele Epstein and Jennifer Wuensch.