Services

Attest Services

Our firm specializes in providing audit services to privately held companies. At this time we do not provide audit services to public companies.

In addition to audits we also offer review and compilation services. Our Attest Services Department is peer-reviewed and has received an “unqualified report” consistently since the peer-review process was introduced by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Taxation

Our Tax Department provides services to virtually all of our clients. We are experienced in the preparation of all income and transactions type returns. We prefer to offer our clients tax planning services in addition to compliance services. Our clients include large companies having revenues in excess of $100 million and smaller companies and startups with little or no revenue.

Since we specialize in providing services to businesses, their owners and investors, we excel at tax planning for multiple entity taxpayers. Our tax planning services are combined with other consulting services, resulting in our ability to analyze transactions or transactions under consideration from economics through taxes and ultimately to after tax cash in our clients’ hands.

Business Consulting

We provide a variety of business consulting services designed to assist our clients in realizing their goals. Sometimes this comes in the form of an occasional meeting to look at trends or a transaction under consideration, such as the sale or purchase of a business entity or a significant investment asset. Sometimes our business consulting services are more precisely defined.

Some specific consulting services we provide:
Strategic Planning

During the tech boom of the latter 1990s one of the hottest topics was “business plans”. It seemed (according to some articles) that armed with an idea and a business plan, you could get funding and start a business destined to become the next hot IPO. Software companies offered “business plan creation software” which claimed to facilitate creation of credible plans.

Time and experience has demonstrated that to be effective a plan must be strategic—meaning focused on the long term, with careful consideration of customer trends and the competitive environment. Studies have shown that companies that consistently and strategically plan grow faster than those that don’t.

Our managing partner Paul Polito has teamed up with Don Sando of Strategic Results Group to provide Strategic Planning services to our clients.

This collaborative service combines the talent and an excess of 60 years in combined business experience. Paul has owned, operated, and sold several small businesses before he became a CPA. As a CPA he has helped over one hundred closely held companies improve and grow their business. Paul’s manufacturing expertise has been a plus in serving businesses that develop or make products. He also owns or serves on the boards of several small manufacturing companies. As a managing partner or our firm he has directed expansion plans and opened new facilities.

Don Sando was a director of Strategic Planning at Hewlett-Packard during its incredible growth as a tech powerhouse through the 1980s. Don’s principal role was to organize and facilitate the strategic plans and annual plan updates for several business units within HP. After leaving HP, he became the director of marketing and sales for a high-tech manufacturing company, a job he held for approximately 10 years.

Hewlett-Packard developed an extremely efficient process for creating and updating strategic plans. We guide companies through this process, erasing years of learning curves and false starts in the process.

We collaborate in facilitating strategic planning for companies not experienced with this powerful tool. No outside consultant can create a strategic plan for another company. The company’s management team must do this work. Time and time again we have seen costly business plans prepared by outside vendors gather dust on a bookshelf because the management team was not engaged in the process and never bought in to the plan.

Quarterly Management Meetings

As a follow-up to the Strategic Planning process, we developed a process whereby we take management through a quarterly review of operations. This review goes beyond a review of the enterprise’s financial statements. We work with our clients to develop critical success factors and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) applicable to the client’s business. We then prepare a series of reports that reviews the company’s operations against the critical success factors and KPIs. Usually, particularly near year end, we incorporate tax planning into these quarterly meetings.

Estate and Gift Tax Plannings

Having advised many wealthy clients over the years, and having prepared extremely large and complex estate tax returns, we believe that we offer incredibly valuable estate tax planning services.

In all but rare cases, these services are collaborative, involving other professionals, estate planning attorneys, investment advisors and bankers, insurance professionals, and the like. One feature of our services that our clients really appreciate is our independence. We do not participate in any way in the commissions earned by others involved in your estate tax planning. By remaining independent from the product sales side of things we can be truly objective, an impossible position if the firm advising also receives commissions.

Our primary role in the estate planning process is the development of strategies based on years of experience and hundreds of millions of estate dollars. Because of our extensive experience we can refer the appropriate level of attorneys to prepare documents and collaborate on the development of the estate plan. We do not profess to know it all, but we know who to ask, where to go, and how to assemble a great estate planning team.

Bookkeeping, Write Up, and Accounting Services

We collaborate with trusted and efficient bookkeepers. In addition, we assist clients occasionally by preparing payroll, sales and use tax, personal property tax, and similar tax returns.

Software and Systems

Through our many professional relationships we can assist in the selection, acquisition, installation of accounting software, and in the establishment of a system of internal controls to compliment your new software. In addition we can, through our referral network, provide excellent training to your team members. If a need arises requiring customized software, we can help you develop specifications and select efficient programming services.

Our Sweet Spot

No firm can be all things to all people. We find that the clients that we serve best are companies generating revenues from one half million to $150 million annually. Generally these businesses are dynamic, either growing or divesting, have complex tax structures and “thin financial management” meaning they need additional bandwidth on their management team. We are a great provider of additional “financial” bandwidth and depth of experience. We also serve smaller clients with more basic needs, many of whom are in development-stage business activities.

Our non-business owning investor clients tend to have substantial net worth and multiple investment activities such as rental properties, irrevocable trusts, managed portfolios, etc.

We have an excellent referral relationship with most of the banks throughout Southern California.

What we are not

We do not seek to build a large individual tax practice. About 10 years ago we realized that the need to complete a large number of individual tax returns impaired our ability to serve the customers who need us year round. Since we do not employ a large “tax season staff” we cannot adequately serve a large number of individual clients. Thus, we referred out of our firm over 350 individual tax return clients to other firms specializing in that area of tax practice.

Pricing

We do not compete on price. We pay our professional team members well, spend an enormous amount annually on continuing education, and pride ourselves in providing a high level of professional service.

Most of our clients prefer our fixed price agreements.

Sometimes when the scope of service cannot be clearly defined we work for our clients by the hour. Our standard rates range from $110 to $325 per hour depending on the personnel and complexity of the work.