I am a very hands on accountant. In order to advise a client regarding the most appropriate tax and operational issues it is vitally important that my staff and I have a clear understanding of your business. We often do site visits to clients in order to be able to understand your location, your customers, staff, products and processes. When you are describing your business to me I need to be able to picture exactly what you’re talking about. It’s not unusual that a suggestion made looking purely at financial statements or tax returns doesn’t reflect the practicality of the situation. You have to be familiar with the facility, staff and products in order to be able to thoughtfully and artfully advise your clients.

All of our business clients are small closely held entitites; our largest client has gross revenue of about $2.5 million. When meeting with a client, particularly a client with a business or substantial assets to pass to family members, it is very important to discuss the dynamics of the family. You have to understand the intricacies of the family relationships because decisions made inside the business or with personal assets affect these family members as well. I always like to have as many facts as possible on the table, and ask the sometimes difficult questions, so that I know who all of the players are and their roles. This is also true in situations, which we encounter more and more frequently, in regard to elderly parents and their care. Many many times it is very important for me to know when to bring in the right legal counsel and investment advisor so that the client has the appropriate and full information to make good decisions about the health and safety of their loved ones. I feel that this is an extremely important aspect of my practice.

Also, I always welcome a team approach, coupling the client, their attorney, their financial advisor and their insurance agent with myself, in order to make the best decisions for the client. 2 heads are always better than 1. If all members of the client’s team are informed and bringing their perspective to the table, it can only help the client make the best decisions possible.