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AP 1 | Tax Advisory

 

The industry of tax advisory is constantly shifting and changing. Firms need to do their level best in order to stay at the top of their game and make sure they’re getting their clients the most value possible. Staying knowledgeable about everything that’s happening within the industry ensures that your firm not only survives the shifting tides, but thrives in them. Jason Giordano is a Managing Partner and Shareholder at JGSPC Accounting Tax Advisory. Joining Brian Powers, Jason shares how his firm has managed to stay at the top of their field while giving their clients the most bang for their buck. In any field, learning from the best paves a way for you to reach the top, so don’t miss this opportunity to pick up lessons from someone who’s enjoying his view from the summit.

Listen to the podcast here:

Staying At The Top Of The Tax Advisory Field With Jason Giordano

Our Guest JGS Managing Partner Jason Giordano, CPA, MST, CVA

Welcome to our first episode. The goal of this podcast is to bring our knowledge-base of topics about tax, accounting and overall business advisory to our audience, but also open up our network of attorneys, bankers, financial advisers and offer their knowledge-base on topics and even the nonprofits that we work with. We’ll tell you more about what they’re doing in the Hudson Valley and beyond and offer our network. It would be only appropriate and the only person that could sit in that chair for the first episode would be our managing partner, Jason Giordano. Welcome, Jason. Maybe give us a little background on you, when you joined the firm and then we’ll talk about a few other topics.

Thank you, Brian. I joined the firm back in 1997 as a graduate of Bentley University. I joined Deloitte and worked in a lot of their department for about two years. I then realized that I wanted to transition into more of a tax specialty consulting and work with a smaller regional firm. I decided to leave the big four and then joined JGS back in 1997.

You have some specialty certifications. You’re a CPA but what are some other specialties? You have a newer one too.

I received my CVA, Certified Valuation Analyst from NACVA, which allows me to do accredited evaluations and reports. In addition to that, I hold a Master’s degree in Taxation. I specialize in Tax Planning and Strategy for Closely-Held Businesses and High Net Worth Individuals.

Your specialty is tax. What industries?

It’s pretty much a wide range you’ll see at a smaller firm. I handle construction, manufacturing, distribution, healthcare and any different type of business that we come across at JGS. We went into financial services, lawyers, professionals and things like that. We run the full gamut of industries.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the firm. We said at the beginning full service. That means we do a lot of things for our clients. Tax, accounting, audit, overall business advisory brings the umbrella, but maybe we can talk about some of those industries that we hit. You mentioned one was medical and professional services would be another, but what are some others that we service?

When you plan for your clients, you also have to plan for yourself and the firm. Click To Tweet

We have a specialty in the beer distribution. There’s a heavy focus on that segment and that’s a team approach. It’s handled by multiple partners and multiple staff levels. It’s a team approach on those types of larger accounts. On the manufacturing side, we cover a lot of manufacturers, both large and small. We’ve focused on that. We’ve had manufacturing since the beginning of our time here in 1932. Our first client firm in 1932 is still a client now and it’s in the manufacturing business. We have a lot of experience in that area.

That’s 88 years. Retention is big for us.

It’s huge.

What would you think makes that happen? What are some of our tactics? We focus a lot on planning here.

We plan for our clients. When you plan for your clients, you also have to plan for yourself and the firm needs to plan. It doesn’t stay around for 88-plus years by accident. The structure here has always been to have the next generation move up and have a good variety of partner ages among the firms. As we stand here with six partners, we cover the full age group. If you’re in 60s, 50s, 40s or 30s, we’ve got it all covered. That’s how we’re able to survive and be successful in our planning here at the firm.

Bonnie, who’s one of our more seasoned partners, doesn’t like when I say that. We’re meeting with people that we run the gamut on age groups, but it’s something that makes us different and allows us to stand out from our competition in an industry that’s starting to have a lot of merger and acquisition activity. There’s not a need for us to merge into a larger firm right now based on the fact that we have our own internal succession plan.

If you have an internal succession plan, you can stay independent for as long as you can. There was a lot of consolidation that went on in our industry as there are in every industry. It’s the way of the world. Those are the things you always have to keep at the forefront and be mindful of. One of the things that we did to keep our independence is the BDO Alliance membership. We’re part of the BDO Alliance, which offers us the ability to have that big firm background and experience and still stay local and service our clients.

AP 1 | Tax Advisory

Tax Advisory: If you have an internal succession plan, you can stay independent for as long as you can.

 

As we said, M&A has taken over our industry. Local firms like us, because they didn’t have a succession plan, they feel the need to merge in. There wasn’t the need there and we were able to still expand our toolbox per se by going to BDO. The BDO Alliance has 225-plus firms throughout the country. It allows us to stay independent as JGS as our own, as we’ve always been. With BDO being international, we are allowed to access all those resources, not only for our own people to continue their education internally, but bring a lot of added value to our clients.

It brings both internal structures that a small firm can’t necessarily always offer. We have a lot of more training capabilities, conferences, going out and see what else is going on in the industry besides just here in the Hudson Valley. You can see what’s going on across the country, the firms both your size, bigger or smaller for the Alliance group, then at the BDO level where the higher level of things are being done like technology and investment AI. You get to see what’s coming down. It always trickles down from the big firms down to the small firms. We’re now going to be at the forefront of what’s going on the industry on the technology side.

For us, you mentioned artificial intelligence. It’s starting to take over in our industry when it comes to tax and audit. It pushes us more to do what got us to where we are now. That’s the advisory and being the trusted advisor to our client and coming more as a consultant than anything.

In complement, what we do now, which is a lot of compliance work still, the compliance work will still be done. It will be done faster, more efficiently and allow us to focus on things like this advisory and consulting with our clients.

That’s the added value. That comes to mind when we talk about the fact that we’re in the BDO Alliance. We look forward to continuing to do that. Maybe we could go back a little bit to the history of the firm. It’s 1932 here in the city of Middletown, Orange County in New York. We’ve had four managing partners. You’re 1 of 4. Jack Judelson founded the firm, Marie Rosen and then it was your father that took over as well. He and Bill Siegel were both named partners and served for 40 years. We go back to the fact that planning generational business, similar to a lot of the businesses that we have in our portfolio.

It mirrors us. It’s very similar. You can see their personalities and philosophies are in a lot of our clients as well.

I can see that and it makes it easy to talk about and makes it for an easy sell when we bring it out to prospects. Let’s talk a little bit about the podcast. We’ve taken a little bit to get it off the ground, but we’re excited and want to bring our knowledge to the audience in subjects of tax, accounting and overall business. Maybe talk a little bit about what we’re thinking about for those topics, just a few.

Being part of an alliance brings internal structures that a small firm can't necessarily offer. Click To Tweet

Some of the topics are coming back again with some new changes in the laws on R&D credits. We’re revisiting that for a lot of our clients. We can just show videos and expertise on the R&D credits, cost segregation with a lot being picked up in construction especially here in the Hudson Valley. Our cost segregation is important for our clients when they’re building something new. We always want to look at that. We’re staying on top of those changing laws. The opportunity zones, we have talked about before with our clients. While it’s a little complicated to get into for this podcast, opportunity zones offer some great tax benefits for people in the real estate business looking to maybe the person gains into some real estate. Those are things that we’re looking at and talking to our clients.

I think you’ve said before, it’s 1031 Exchange on steroids. That will be a whole episode in itself.

The Wayfair applications. A lot of people have heard about this Wayfair case and its implications on the state filings. That’s created its own little focus of looking at clients’ sales by state and determining whether or not the Wayfair case is applicable to them and registration in other states. It’s required a lot more consultation and digging into the weeds with the client to make sure that they’re compliant with all the new changes that are going on.

We’ll be able to keep ourselves busy talking about a lot of those topics. We have a big Rolodex of people that we exchange business with, bankers, attorneys, financial advisors that can bring to the table their expertise and want to talk about a lot of what’s going on in their world. That will be a whole other piece to this. A lot of us are involved in nonprofits. You’re on the board of Access: Supports for Living. They have a lot going on and a lot of growth going on there. We can also use this for some good to let them highlight themselves and see what’s going on with a lot of the nonprofits in the Hudson Valley and even beyond.

We’re excited about this. Hopefully, we’ll pump out one per week. It’s a lofty goal but I think I’ll be able to hit it. We invite everybody to subscribe. Make sure you hit subscribe and get the updates when new episodes come out. Make sure to follow us on social media, JGSCPA. Our website is JGSPC.com. If you sign up on all of those channels and give us your email address, you’d be able to get plenty of updates, plenty of content that we put out and find out when the new episodes are coming out. Jason, thank you. The first one in the books.

Thank you, Brian.

It wasn’t as painful as we anticipate it. I’m sure you will be on again soon.

I look forward to it.

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