Running a business, whether small or large, always will have a need for accounting services.
From managing budgets to tax preparation, keeping finances in check is imperative to the well-being of a company.
One of the largest accounting firms in the region, Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP in Wyomissing, primarily serves privately held businesses, including many family owned and closely held entities in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Here to answer this week's "Behind the List" questions is Chuck Fabian, managing partner of RKL.
Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP been operating in the Greater Lehigh Valley and what are its primary services?
Chuck Fabian: RKL has been serving clients in the Greater Lehigh Valley since 1979, when we opened an office with nine employees. Currently, we have almost 100 team members in our Wyomissing office and approximately 300 firm-wide.
We started by providing traditional tax and accounting services but, as the needs of our clients grew, so did our range of services. Today, in addition to the more traditional accounting services, we provide business consulting services such as business valuations, litigation support and fraud/forensic accounting.
We also have several subsidiaries providing investment and financial advisory services, investment banking and strategic advisory services and IT [information technology] consulting.
LVB: Are there certain designations to achieve to become a registered tax preparer?
Fabian: In our world of public accounting, the Certified Public Accountant designation is the most recognized within the U.S. Attorneys and CPAs, by nature of their credentials, are authorized to prepare tax returns and represent taxpayers before the IRS.
Earning the CPA designation takes a lot of discipline. It is a difficult exam separated into four parts that must be completed within a certain time frame upon starting. The candidate also must complete 1,600 hours of actual on-the-job experience in various tax and accounting services.
Once the license is obtained, 40 hours per year of continuing professional education each year are required to keep the license. Because of our high standards for quality service and our specialization in different industries, our firm makes sure that our team members go beyond the minimum requirements to stay current with regulations that impact their clients.
LVB: What strategies does Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP implement to stand out among its competitors in the region?
Fabian: We take a team approach to serving our clients. From staff level to the partner in charge of any engagement, clients have direct access to a team that is proactively looking to go beyond just completing tax returns or financial statements by using their expertise to deliver value and recognize opportunities. Our broad scope and depth of services, coupled with our dedicated team members, are what really makes the difference.
RKL also has industry groups that specialize in some of the key business segments throughout our region, including manufacturing and distribution, real estate and construction, health care, credit unions, government and not-for-profit organizations.
LVB: What have been some of the biggest hardships and opportunities your firm has encountered throughout its years in business?
Fabian: Our continued growth and success has created some growing pains over the years. The operations of a small firm are much different from that of a large, regional firm.
With a variety of backgrounds at RKL, we have worked hard with all our team members to identify what we consider to be the "best practices" in the delivery of all firm services and final products.
Keeping up with rapid advancements in information technology is critical to RKL's ongoing operations. We utilize the latest and most efficient hardware, software and wireless options available.
Our growth over recent years has provided us with tremendous opportunities by not only expanding our geographic footprint, but also providing us with more areas of expertise from our growing team members to add to our broad range of services.
LVB: What does the future look like for your firm on a local level?
Fabian: We are excited to be the go-to business partner and adviser for so many companies throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley and look forward to partnering with them and additional companies to help them move forward, seize untapped opportunity, realize efficiencies and maximize their potential.
As a leading regional accounting firm, we are proud of the fact that we are able to provide the same caliber of service on par with larger CPA firms and still operate with all local decision-making.
As we grow, our level of expertise coupled with our culture will continue to benefit our clients and allow us to attract and retain outstanding new talent for our team. As always, we will continue to live our mission of "enriching the lives of our clients, our team and our communities."
Compiled by christopher holland