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You joined Bronswick Benjamin in late 2012 after running your own firm for 34 years. What brought you to the team?
You certainly don’t take the possibility of making a big transition like that lightly. But in BB, I saw the opportunity to be surrounded by people who have the skills in many other areas who can complement my strengths. It’s a powerful thing to offer a wealth of resources in all areas of business accounting and tax. Plus, I think we have the ability to pivot and move in a flexible manner that businesses need today. It’s harder to do that in a very large firm.
Let’s talk about those strengths. You’re both a licensed CPA and a Certified Financial Planner. How do you combine those areas for the benefit of small businesses?
Closely held companies demand extensive experience in dealing with audits and tax planning. I bring several decades of public accounting knowledge to the table for that purpose. But our clients at the executive level also need a true consultant for the financial issues they’re facing, whether it’s a compensation arrangement for a new hire in the near future or longer-term considerations such as retirement and estate planning. My title here is Partner and that’s exactly what I see myself as for our clients – a partner in planning to help them evolve through all the complexities of growth.
With ever-changing compliance matters, how do you stay up to speed on both the accounting and financial worlds?
Besides the information I absorb on my own, I find another smart way to get ahead of the potential challenges around the corner for our clients is to actively participate in a number of associations. So I am a current member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants, the International Association for Financial Planning, and the Institute of Certified Financial Planners. I consider involvement in these types of groups a must for giving my clients the insight they need – after all, they’re focused on so many other matters in their day-to-day operations. And frankly, that’s what you want in a CPA and financial planner. Not just someone to ensure you’ve dotted your “I’s” and crossed your “T’s.”
What is the one thing that not everyone knows about you?
Prior to beginning my career in the small business and tax divisions of a large public accounting firm, I proudly served for four years in the United States Air Force as a Weather Technician. I also taught various tax courses at Oakton Community College and DePaul University in the Master’s in Taxation program.