See What People Are Saying About Us
We enjoy and respect the relationship so much, we have nearly doubled the work in the last couple years. We are very satisfied with the quality of work, attention to detail, the extremely knowledgeable and responsive staff, accessibility to partners, and WBL's familiarity with our industry.
Controller of a Regional Real Estate Development Group
To any business owner planning to sell your company at some point, and that's pretty much all of us, I say that having Williams Benator & Libby doing your accounting all along will put you in a very good position. We worked with WBL for many years before we were ready to sell and they helped us put together a five-year exit plan. The first thing any buyer is going to do is to scour your P & Ls. We had five years of good clean books that were presented very clearly. We transacted the deal with very few complications. They gave us great advice to change from [one type of corporation to another] about two years in advance of the sale which put us in a much better tax position. We got a lot of guidance all along the way. I knew that if anything in the deal was challenged, and very little was, they were right there with me.
Sellers overlook the benefit of your accounting firm and law firm working well together. WBL had worked with our transaction attorney for many years. Because of that close relationship, when WBL caught a potential error that could have cost me 10% of the sales price at closing, they were able to work quickly with the attorneys to address it. It was a manager at WBL who was handling the day-to-day details of the deal who did a great job catching the potential error and making sure everyone understood how we should move forward. I think it says a lot about how a firm is organized and managed when a manager has that kind of skill and confidence.
Owner of a Software Company
I've been the CFO of a large healthcare staffing business and many of its operating companies for a little over 11 years and WBL has done our audit and tax work that entire time.
They tell it like it is
I don't want an accounting firm that will let us influence what they do. They need to do the right thing. If there are any differences of opinion, I want to have a good discussion about the issue and to have positions explained clearly and properly, especially when it gets into technical issues. It's important for me and my staff to understand the "why" when there's a difference of opinion. We don't have a lot of disagreements but with WBL I know that we can discuss difficult issues without hard feelings. I know they will tell it like it is and not tell me what they think I want to hear.
They minimize disruptions
WBL's people are easy to work with and interested in meeting our needs but still doing their work properly. They are professional but at the same time friendly. I've appreciated that the audit staff takes great pains to do their best not to disrupt our operations. I'm a former auditor—I worked with ["Big 4" firm], where I started my career—so I know that it can be a tough balance to maintain. They've got their own time pressures and budgets for the audits. They need to come in and get things done quickly and efficiently. WBL's audit staff does their best not to get in the way of the things our people need to do. They do a real good job of that and they always have.
The personal touch
There's got to be more to the relationship than simply good quality audit and tax work. Frankly, I expect those kinds of things from any quality accounting firm. I think the personal touch, their personal service, is much more effective with WBL and it's the thing that distinguishes them from other firms, especially the bigger ones. With big firms, sometimes you get the feeling that you're just not that important to them.
Going above and beyond
WBL has gone above and beyond for us several times. On our last acquisition, they helped us look at a company in [another state] and did a great job on that. We've had some audit challenges with some of our operating companies and they've been very accommodating and produced good results. I've been very happy with how they've worked through some very challenging audit issues. Even in areas that aren't closely related to audit, tax or business, they're good people to bounce ideas off and bring things to our attention that may be happening in the industry or literature.
Bigger isn't necessarily better
Apart from WBL, most of my experience with CPAs is with the bigger firms. We continue to use some of them for really big due diligence projects. But for a majority of our accounting needs, I don't feel there's anything we need that we're not getting. If you compare WBL's fees and quality to those of a larger firm, WBL delivers really good quality, comparable to what you'd get with a larger firm, and the fees are much more reasonable than [the other larger national firms]. I'm very happy with the relationship and with what Williams Benator & Libby does for us.