Employee-Owned Spotlight: Creative Financial Staffing

Randy Mueller




Certified EO is excited to spotlight Creative Financial Staffing (CFS), a 100% employee-owned staffing firm — the largest one founded by CPA firms. Headquartered in Boston, MA with 30+ offices across the country, CFS has nearly three decades of experience in helping its clients attract and hire accounting, finance, and IT professionals.

Founded in 1994 in South Bend, IN, CFS experienced rapid growth in its first few years by cultivating a network of major regional CPA firms. CFS now serves most major markets in the U.S., connecting companies with talented candidates of all tenure levels nationwide.

In 2014, CFS established its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and became employee-owned. Since becoming employee-owned, CFS has made great strides in building an ownership culture and helping employees understand what it means to become an owner. Led by its ESOP Committee, CFS hosts events, activities, and other programming to help make the multitude of advantages of being employee-owned resonate in day-to-day life at CFS.

CFS provides a strong case study for how an employee-owned company can tackle several challenges that Certified EO’s Members are often facing, including engaging tenured employee-owners as EO champions, staffing an engaged and effective ESOP Committee, and developing a culture of ownership across a distributed workforce. A transition to employee ownership can generate uncertainty and skepticism, but the sooner employees understand the upside, the more opportunity there is to capitalize on the benefits.

The evidence for CFS’ success lies in the testimonies of its employee-owners.

“Employee ownership means that I have a personal interest in the company’s success. What I do daily impacts not only myself but every single employee that works for CFS. We create financial wealth for the company and ourselves,” said Cindy Morton, Senior Managing Division Director at CFS on the company’s blog.

“Employee ownership to me means taking responsibility and knowing that every action I take today will impact my financial future tomorrow. As I watch my statement grow over the years, I feel even more motivated to work with intention in hopes that my efforts will continue to contribute positively to CFS’ growth,” said Mariam Adamakis, CFS’ HR Manager.

Along with financial benefits, employee-owners also take part in a collaborative team culture and enhanced job stability as the company grows.

In 2016, the company established CFS Technology, a new division dedicated to providing staffing services for IT professionals. As the pandemic led to dramatic changes in workplaces throughout the country, CFS Technology was well-positioned to help its clients adapt to the new environment. Having grown from a team of one to now over 20 individuals, CFS Technology’s success reaps benefits company-wide.

CFS’ collaborative team efforts have been recognized on a national scale. Staffing Industry Analysts recently listed CFS as one of the “Largest Staffing Firms in the United States” and CFS was published on Forbes’ “Best Professional Recruiting Firms” four years in a row.

CFS became a Member of Certified EO in 2019. If you are a Certified EO Member and would like to see your company’s story featured in a future spotlight article, please contact membership@certifiedeo.com.

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