The terms “quality” and “value” are ubiquitous in CPA firms’ descriptions of their services and what sets them apart from their competitors. It’s less common to find concrete examples that demonstrate how firms deliver quality and value. It may be that it takes more than a quick sound bite to convey when service goes from “as expected” to “exceeds expectations.” Following are several recent examples that summarize exactly what WBL means when we say that we provide exceptional service, extraordinary quality and exemplary performance.
- Disagreement with national firm’s opinion leads to removal of potentially costly rule change in national tax law. Last year when the House bill on the new tax law was passed, WBL’s tax department carefully reviewed it to see if any of the provisions would negatively impact our clients. We identified one provision that would have significant negative impact on one of our clients and their industry. We pointed out our concern to our client and they, in turn, checked with other major players in their industry. Their largest competitor told our client that their national CPA firm’s Washington D.C. expert had reviewed the House version of the bill and concluded that there was nothing to worry about. We reviewed the proposed bill again and could not agree with the national CPA firm’s conclusion. Our client shared WBL’s analysis of the bill with their representatives in Washington and was able to demonstrate why the law change as proposed would not meet the policy goals that Congress intended. They were able to rally others in the industry to contact their representatives to advocate for the removal of the potentially costly tax change. The Senate and House conference committee ultimately removed the detrimental provision from the final tax bill.
- Careful review of an IRS provision helps settle unresolved issue headed for appeal. A new tax client’s former accountant had been trying to resolve an issue with the IRS for more than six months and it was heading to appeals. The client was frustrated but was also concerned that changing CPA firms while the matter was pending would further delay resolution. WBL reviewed the IRS’s position on the major item and realized it was not correct. We contacted the IRS appeals agent and demonstrated why his position was not correct. The matter was settled satisfactorily for the client within two weeks.
- When reputation precedes you–in a good way. After a partner facilitated a panel discussion recently, a CFO came up to introduce himself to the partner. The CFO said he’d been hearing for years from a colleague in a key financial role at one of WBL’s significant clients about the great work WBL does for them. He said that although our client is approached frequently by large CPA firms trying to lure them away, our client does not engage them since they have been so happy with WBL. He said he just wanted to meet the partner and pass on what he had heard about our firm.
- Rigorous review procedures increase confidence as well as quality. When WBL hires associates with experience working at other local and national firms, we often hear from them that WBL’s quality control and review procedures are significantly more rigorous than what they had experienced at their prior firms. Many have said the firm’s increased attention to procedure and review has increased their pride in their own work and confidence that they are delivering better quality products to their clients.
Being committed to quality and value isn’t always easy, but it pays real dividends to our clients. We know that no one is perfect and there is not a partner or manager in the firm who does not need the firm’s quality review process to ensure our final work product meets the firm’s high standards and our client’s expectations. WBL invests time and resources in reviewing new rules, policies and procedures to make sure we understand exactly how they’ll affect our clients. We present analysis to clients along with recommendations to ensure they can create proactive plans for the future. Our clients (and others) notice the quality of our work and appreciate that they don’t have to worry about surprises.