Large Financial Advisory Firm Searches for Audit and Tax Partner to Go Beyond Basic Compliance

The Client

The Firm originated as a provider of financial advisory and investment management services to primarily state and local governments and non-profit institutions. Today, the Firm is a national group of companies consisting of financial advisory firms, asset managers, and a broker-dealer, providing a broad array of products and services.

The Opportunity

Several years ago, this $72 million growth-oriented firm was looking to maintain their progression and hone their ability to quickly adapt and respond to changing market opportunities and challenges. The Firm was seeking a new audit and tax compliance partner that could go beyond just providing a basic audit opinion and tax returns. They wanted a partner that could respond quickly to the unique needs of their growth-oriented company and add value as they went through various growth phases, forms of business enterprises, and ownership changes.

The Solution

The Firm was initially referred to Kreischer Miller by their industry contacts. They were impressed by Kreischer Miller’s commitment to understanding their business and providing proactive advice and counsel. The Firm decided to engage Kreischer Miller, which was the start of a long-term audit and tax compliance partnership.

Far beyond meeting all of the Firm’s bank, regulatory, and tax filing deadlines, we demonstrated our commitment to being a long-term partner in areas such as:

  • IRS examination assistance: We assisted management in guiding IRS examiners through the Firm’s accounting complexities, which resulted in minimal adjustments.
  • Tax notices and estimates: By providing ongoing tax advice, consultation, and assistance with quarterly income tax estimates and resolution of tax notices, we kept disruptions to the Firm’s team to a minimum.
  • Financial statement wants vs. needs: Although the Firm wanted separate entity audits, we recognized they were no longer needed and advised them to switch to a single consolidated audit. This led to significant cost savings for the Firm.
  • Education: We helped the Firm navigate and implement changes in the broker-dealer reporting rules, including the agreed upon procedures required by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and other internal control and exemption reporting requirements.
  • Control recommendations: We provided recommendations to strengthen policies and procedures in areas such as cash disbursements, cash receipts, fixed assets, general ledger entries, and operations matters, including project level time detail, employee timesheets, and client engagement letters.
  • GIPS: We educated the Firm’s asset management team in understanding the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS), its impact on institutional investors, and how GIPS compliance could impact the Firm and their ability to generate revenues.

The Outcome

Over ten years later, the Firm remains a Kreischer Miller client. Throughout the relationship, the Firm experienced minimal turnover with Kreischer Miller’s audit and tax team. This not only saved the Firm from the burden of having to continually train new staff, but it allowed Kreischer Miller to provide proactive advice and guidance, thanks to our deep institutional knowledge of the Firm.

Since the beginning of our relationship, the Firm has grown to more than $120 million with offices in more than 25 states, and they are continually seeking more growth. While the Firm’s success sits squarely on their shoulders, Kreischer Miller has made a difference. Our role has gone far beyond merely fulfilling the Firm’s compliance needs. We have served as an advisor and continue to add value as part of our services.

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