Archive for May, 2014

I hope you’ve enjoyed this long holiday weekend, which marks the unofficial start of summer.  Hopefully, you’ve taken full advantage of the extra day off by relaxing and spending quality time with family and friends.

More importantly, however, let us remember the real reason why we celebrate Memorial Day, which is to honor the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the military to protect our country. This day also provides a great opportunity to extend your appreciation to those who have served, or are currently serving, in one of the armed forces.  I’d like to take this time to acknowledge a few members of the WS+B family who have served in the United States military:


˜  Howard Aronson

˜  Bill Cadmus

˜  Sam Dyckman

˜  Matt Goldsmith

˜  Allan Gross

˜  Al Lehner

˜  Wil Lissak

˜  Ed Mendlowitz

˜  Stanley Millner

˜  Ron Petrics

˜  Jim Rockwitz

˜  Jay Sexton

˜  Doug Sonier

˜  Bill Stahl


On behalf of the firm, Gentlemen, it is a great honor to be able to thank you for serving our country.  We are grateful to the many brave men and women who have fought to ensure our safety and the many freedoms we as Americans enjoy.



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Now that busy season has been wrapped up and as we head into the summer, we are reminded that our clients are the core reason why we are a thriving professional services firm.  They need and require the services we provide, but choose to remain WS+B clients.  CCH published an Accounting Firm Client Survey which provided this list of top client responses as to why they chose to no longer work with their current service provider. I think it is a good list to review, offering a solid reminder of what matters most to them…

The Top 10 Reasons Clients Leave:

  1. The firm did not regularly check with me on my changing needs.
  2. Staff were not able to efficiently find the information needed to deliver the services I needed.
  3. I believe the firm was charging more than the value I was receiving. (note this is a PERCEPTION that we need to avoid by demonstrating value time after time)
  4. It became apparent that the firm was not leveraging technology to deliver the best services possible.
  5. The firm did not keep me up-to-date on regulations that directly affected me.
  6. I became concerned about the firm’s financial stability.
  7. The firm no longer specialized in the types of services I needed.
  8. I lost trust in the ability to deliver the quality services I needed.
  9. It became apparent to me that the firm was not acting as efficiently as it should.
  10. The firm had difficulty recruiting or retaining talented employees.

As a Firm, we make every effort to do our part in the client retention process: by hiring the best and the brightest talent possible; by providing education and training to our staff; to implementing cutting-edge technology for ease of client communications; by conducting bi-annual client surveys to keep a pulse on their needs (we did these last year so they won’t go out again this year).  But, the rest is up to the individual professional.

Regardless of how much pressure we are under to make client deadlines, it is important to be respectful of the valued relationships we have developed and nurtured with our clients, so that they continue to be clients for many years to come.

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I have some exciting news to share.  Because we were a part of the Crain’s New York Best Places to Work in NYC program last year, we were invited to participate in the 2014 New York State Society for Human Resource Management’s Best Places to Work in New York State.  Upon submission of the application and photos, we were soon informed that we were a part of the list and were invited to participate in the awards program held in Albany, NY.

We are very proud and happy to announce we made it to the very top of the list, ranking at an astounding #2 in the Large Firms category!  In doing this we surpassed many of our NYC competitors, such as Rothstein Kass (#26, Large), Grassi & Co. (#21, Small/Medium), Baker Tilly (#18, Large) and Anchin (#11, Large).  In fact, we can boast we were the #1 accounting firm overall.  Click here for the full list of Best Companies in New York State; we were certainly in good company!

Created seven years ago, this annual program evaluates and ranks the best places of employment in the State based on employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies, with 75% of the ranking formula based on the employee survey conducted last summer.

Thank you for your support, New York!  The cornerstone of our success is the loyal and talented professionals who work here every day, dedicating themselves to our clients, to our communities and to each other. The excitement you have created in NY since the merger just three years ago has surpassed our expectations. As a team you have all shown a dedication to growth and the firm overall. We are all very proud of this accomplishment and you should be also.

Keep up the great work!!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

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I trust everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day by relaxing, enjoying the great weather and showing appreciation for your mother.  For our women friends of the firm that are mothers I trust your children pampered you and showed the appreciation you deserve.

For this week, I’d like to continue expanding upon the ten traits described in the Withum Way, all of which define our culture and the behaviors which best exemplify our people.  Today we will cover our final attribute:

10. LIVE LIFE PASSIONATELY.If you don’t love what you are doing, then why bother doing it?  Be zealous in your pursuit of living.

At some time in your life, you’ll feel the magnetic attraction to something you’re meant to do.  Whether a sports team, a hobby, the mission of a charity or being wholeheartedly dedicated to your family, having ‘passion’ for something empowers us to live and communicate with unbridled enthusiasm.  Passion enables us to overcome obstacles and to see the world as a place of infinite potential.

I witness quite a bit of passion within our Firm.  Whether it is in your hobbies like skiing, motorcycle riding, traveling, taking dance lessons, coaching little league or being involved with the PTO.  I also see how your offices or cubicles are awash with photos of your kids or the colors and logos of your favorite sports team.  And, I see it in the relationships you have with your clients, genuinely caring about them, showing an interest in them, and serving them as a true partner in the success of their business.  Our Firm is full of incredible people who demonstrate an enthusiastic attitude in everything they do, in and out of the office.  It’s a reflection of the passion you have for life as a whole. You are LIVING life, and not just existing.  Kudos to you!

Have a great week!

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The Partner-in-Charge of our NYC office, Mike Stallone, sends out a regular “inspirational quotes” email to his office staff.  I thought this one was exceptionally good and wanted to share it with everyone this morning:

The winner is always part of the answer

The loser is always part of the problem

The winner always has a program

The loser always has an excuse

The winner says “let me do it for you”

The loser says “that’s not my job”

The winner sees an answer for every problem

The loser sees a problem for every answer

The winner sees a green near every sand trap

The loser sees two or three sand traps near every green

The winner says “it may be difficult, but it’s possible”

The loser says “it may be possible, but it’s too difficult”

After reading this, it occurred to me that there is an underlying personality trait held by those who can embrace such perspectives… having a great attitude.  It’s about keeping a positive outlook on things, even when in tough situations.  Remember that enthusiasm is infectious, and a smile and a pleasant attitude can work wonders making a difficult tasks seem easier, and helping calm stressed nerves that may be evident all around you.  Successful people perpetually keep in mind that life is good.  Whether with your clients, co-workers, or even your own family or circle of friends, demonstrating a positive, cooperative attitude will help you reach your own personal pinnacle of success, making you a true winner!

Seek to innovate… possess a vision for growth… maintain a cooperative attitude.

Have a great week.

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