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A Lesson in Value: Special Feature from Steve Bankler

  • 25 March 2014
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 3382
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A Lesson in Value:  Special Feature from Steve Bankler

Have you ever wondered: What is my true value to my clients or customers? We answered that question from a CPA’s perspective recently in a publication by the American Institute of CPAs®. The topic was on adding value for clients, and what we shared with other CPAs nationwide offers insights into our operations and philosophies. I’d like to share some of these thoughts with you.

You may be surprised to learn I began my career in finance, not accounting. In fact, I spent my early years in mergers and acquisitions for a publicly traded nursing home company. All the while, however, I subscribed to an information service for tax professionals simply because I enjoyed keeping up on the latest tax laws. What’s more, my siblings and I grew up talking business at the dinner table with dad, who along with my uncles operated La Feria Department Stores. The original business was started by my grandfather in 1917, and sold by the third generation in the late 1980s. It’s no surprise my two brothers and my sister also went on to become business owners themselves. Entrepreneurship was in our blood. That’s why, when the market crashed in the early ‘70s, my father recommended I merge my two passions—entrepreneurship and taxes—and become a CPA.

Switching careers at this point wasn’t easy. By then, my wife and I had three children. For a time, I became “Mr. Mom” staying at home with the kids while I picked up accounting hours and built up my practice. But approaching my career from this vantage point came with remarkable advantages. For instance, I didn’t enter the profession through an internship with a “Big Four” accounting firm like other CPAs so often do. My skills as an accountant are more self-taught and less constrained to textbook thinking. My experience on the stand as an expert witness contributes to this way of thinking. It’s allowed me to reverse-engineer tax returns to really, truly solve problems for my clients. 

These experiences have all led me to where I am today: focused primarily on putting money back in the pocket of business owners and operators. Whether for corporations or individuals, our tax returns are nearly all affiliated with business owners. By focusing in this specific area, my firm is best able to provide timely and relevant business consulting expertise from asset protection and entity structures to exit strategies to help our clients get the maximum value from their business.  It’s not about being something to everyone; it’s about offering services to a select few who you know will benefit the most. 

If you have read or have been featured in one of our Client Spotlight articles, you know we like to share our success stories with our client community.  There’s always something to take away from how someone else struggled, or rose to meet the challenges the business may have faced.  These challenges ultimately add to your value, creating a better understanding of how to best serve your clients and customers.

When it comes down to it, what is important to you? To your business? Do you find that your own business values match ours? If so, that’s no mistake. That’s the value we strive to uphold year after year. 

Image credit: mch67 / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

 

 

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