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Chalking up a positive experience with Praxity’s secondments blackboard


International secondments feature high on many professionals’ wish lists and Praxity participants are clear that exchanging experience can not only build an individual’s skills, but also their own firm’s technical knowledge and its service to clients.

Praxity’s new secondments blackboard aims to ensure both individuals and firms can enjoy the rich benefits of these capability-building opportunities, as soon as they arise.​

Kim Grieves, a 30-year-old senior tax manager in BKD’s Dallas office, is a huge advocate now having spent two months last autumn at Italian firm Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati. Describing it as a ‘pinch me’ experience filled with cultural contrasts, her greatest takeaway from the Praxity exchange was philosophical. “There’s rarely one right way to accomplish something,” she says, echoing BKD’s focus on Principled Innovation. “It’s important to broaden your horizons and consider other perspectives. I learned to appreciate what I have and to keep an open mind. After all, there’s a lot of world beyond Texas!” BKD Dallas are reciprocating by hosting a Pirola tax manager for two months.

On its careers website, ShineWing Australia lists the true international nature of its business – including overseas work opportunities and love of diversity – as the number one reason to work with them.People and Culture Manager JessicaMcCartinfeels that “secondments provide the opportunity to achieve career goals and accelerate professionally whilst facing new challenges and pushing comfort zones”.

Rob Wagner, Managing Partner for BKD’s International Tax Services practice started talking about an employee exchange with Pirola’s managing partner after meeting him at a conference.  “We wanted to give our employees opportunities to experience the culture of other countries in a professional environment. Staff exchanges help BKD develop stronger relationships with other Praxity firms and can also lead to new business opportunities”, he said.

Kim’s coach, Rick, recognises both the employee and business benefits. “These connections help enhance BKD’s reputation for serving clients worldwide.  Plus, they demonstrate to our employees that opportunities within our firm are abundant and expanding.”

The idea for Marco Muth’s secondment from FALK to Plante Moran’s Auburn Hills office was also the result of a discussion at an event – Praxity’s Global Tax & Fiscal Conference in Vienna – “to help both companies establish closer cooperation”.  Marco’s experience “with both its risks and challenges, gave me new perspectives that helped me grow both personally and professionally, particularly since I intend to sit for the CPA exam”. 

In exchange, his external perspective and German tax know-how were invaluable to his hosts. “My time at Plante Moran was rewarding not only in gaining a deeper understanding of their working practices and organisational structures, but also in using my experience to support them in advising clients with German parents or subsidiaries when it came to German GAAP and the German tax jurisdiction”.

Secondments are rewarding for both visitor and host, giving everyone the chance to develop valuable, lasting professional and personal relationships – so crucial to the continued success of a global alliance that depends on seamless cross-border collaborations.

If you could do with an extra pair of hands to help you through a particularly busy period, have quiet times where staff could be utilised by other firms, or want to nurture your best people by helping them acquire new skills and expand their experience, then Praxity’s new secondments blackboard is just what you need.

It’s split into two sections so firms can promote available positions and individuals can showcase their skills to firms seeking assistance. Ithas been designed to help firms find and advertise their secondment opportunities and help you look for personal openings or candidates for your firm.

You can access the blackboard when you’re logged in to the Praxity website under Connect in the Resource Hub and anyone with the appropriate authority from their firm can create and advertise a position, or include themselves in the list of candidates available. Firms agree terms and create contracts between themselves as they would during normal recruitment. 

You can learn more about using the blackboardhere​ and Praxity’s executive office is always happy to offer tips to those who are new to secondments, or answer any questions you may still have after reading the guidelines.  You can contact the team​