Cole & Company, PC
Position: president and CEO
Number of years serving business owners: 21
Motivation to help business owners: To see a client’s goals for their company achieved and exceeded because they were relentless in their pursuit of their vision and dreams.
Obstacles you help entrepreneurs with: Providing them with education on how to understand the accounting concepts that are the foundation of their business model and implementing those concepts as a tool to continually improve the business.
Best advice for small-business owners: Build a business vision that is a reflection of your core values and then surround your business with the trusted staff and professional advisers to create that vision.
Biggest mistake you see business owners make: 1) Straying from their personal core values with their business and 2) co-mingling personal and business assets.
Number of years serving business owners: 36
Motivation to help business owners: The “Bam” effect. When you have helped a business owner understand the cause and effect of his decisions and in reflection you get a feeling of satisfaction, confidence, self-gratification, joy, etc. Call it what you will; I call it the Bam effect.
Obstacles you help entrepreneurs with: Compliance. Everyone is well aware of all the compliance issues that a small-business owner has to deal with. Everything from common tax collections and filings to unique issues of a particular client due to their business operations and obligations – they all must be dealt with correctly and on time.
Best advice for small-business owners: Get and keep accurate and timely records. Good and timely financial information is one of the most, if not the most, important factors for a small business. As I mentioned before, there are many facets to running a small business, and almost all of them depend upon your financial records. The more accurate and timely this information is, the better it is for completing tax forms and keeping stakeholders apprised of results.
Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP
Number of years serving business owners: 37
Motivation to help business owners: Small-business owners are the backbone of our communities. Our economy benefits greatly when they are healthy and profitable. The problems that they encounter are as varied as the small businesses themselves. I get great satisfaction from working through and solving these problems with the owners.
Obstacles you help entrepreneurs with: Tax planning and compliance, business planning and organization, design and implementation of accounting systems, and estate planning.
Best advice for small-business owners: Plan for success. Review your results on a routine basis and then adjust your plan accordingly. Have a passion for what you do. And finally, keep a positive attitude.
Biggest mistake you see business owners make: Inadequate accounting systems, as well as poor accounting practices, make it difficult to assess how you are doing as a business and even more difficult to plan for the future of the business. In addition, a failure to surround themselves with the right people in order to build a team capable of achieving the business’s goals.
Position: managing partner
Number of years serving business owners: 30
Motivation to help business owners: It’s rewarding to serve as the trusted business adviser for businesses – large and small.
Obstacles you help entrepreneurs with: Business structuring, accounting, tax, ownership changes, improving efficiency and profitability.
Best advice for small-business owners: Connect with business advisers who have a proven track record with helping emerging businesses.
Biggest mistake you see business owners make: Not spending enough time developing, adjusting and shaping their business plan as well as working on growing the business.
Anders CPAs + Advisors
Position: partner, audit and advisory services
Number of years serving business owners: 21
Motivation to help business owners: Helping to solve critical client problems is what I find most rewarding. Becoming part of my clients’ financial service teams and helping them drive strategy and success is enjoyable and where I bring the most value.
Obstacles you help entrepreneurs with: As a full-service accounting and advisory firm, we help clients in all areas of their business – from the basics such as bookkeeping to tax strategy, audit and internal controls to valuing what their businesses are worth. And if they need assistance in moving their technology to the cloud or developing a financial or operational plan for the future, we have advisers who are experts in those areas. Personally I help entrepreneurs allocate organizational responsibilities in order to keep them focused on their business. I work with owners to allow others within the organization and financial teams to utilize their strengths to keep the daily operations of the business moving forward.
Rickhoff & Associates Ltd.
Number of years serving business owners: 19
Motivation to help business owners: There are really two major influences in my strong desire to help small-business owners. First of all, my parents started the firm in 1974 with a very small group of clients operating out of the basement of our home. They continued this for several years until they outgrew our home. In 1976 they purchased a Comprehensive Business Services franchise, which helped provide the guidance to serve their clients and maintain their growth. But it was ultimately their hard work and dedication to customer service that helped them succeed as a small business. And during this time, while “growing up” in the family business, I also saw how my parents and their staff helped so many other small businesses. Over the years, some of the most rewarding moments have been when a client thanks me or tells me how my parents and our staff assisted in their success. Oftentimes we get to see client success stories in the news, providing another level of satisfaction knowing we played a role.
UHY Advisors MO Inc.
Number of years serving business owners: 25
Motivation to help business owners: Creating value for clients through tax and consulting services.
Obstacles you help entrepreneurs with: Identify opportunities for minimizing tax liability, business acquisitions, business succession planning to next generation or to third party, estate planning, state and local tax, sales and use tax, audit defense, best practices, and management consulting.
Best advice for small-business owners: Regularly communicate your goals and plans with your CPA and other advisers so that they can be proactive in helping you succeed. Work as a team with your professional advisers.
Biggest mistake you see business owners make: Not communicating with CPA and other advisers because the business owner is worried about incurring professional fees.
Abeles and Hoffman PC
Position: principal and co-founder
Number of years serving business owners: over 35
Motivation to help business owners: It’s satisfying to see entrepreneurs succeed.
Obstacles you help entrepreneurs with: Managing their income tax and estate and gift tax challenges and burdens.
Best advice for small-business owners: Plan ahead. They should look beyond the present and prepare for the expected and the unexpected in every aspect of their business, whether it’s revenue growth, cash flow issues or employee issues. The list is limitless.
Biggest mistake you see business owners make: Don’t be complacent when business is good and assume it will continue indefinitely. The business environment will change and they must plan and prepare for those changes.
Hochschild Bloom & Company
Position: staff accountant
Number of years serving business owners: 2 years
Motivation to help business owners: I enjoy helping others find solutions to their problems and helping them to understand how to solve them in the future.
Obstacles you help entrepreneurs with: Clients know their business, but do not always know the proper accounting treatment. That is where we come in. HBC offers a range of services from tax and audit to basic bookkeeping.
Best advice for small business owners: Do not be afraid to ask questions. Accountants are resources to help your company. We would rather eliminate an issue beforehand, than discover one afterwards.
Biggest mistake that you see business owners make: Not investing in their people. If you take the time to train and teach your employees, then they will grow and learn. And in return, they can grow and maximize your company. Your company is your people.
Submitted 7 years 309 days ago