Accountant Spotlight

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Accountants are important for much more than just bookkeeping and tax preparation. In fact, an accountant with a professional designation has expertise in finance, taxation, technology, and business management.

Hiring an accountant can help avoid many headaches. It can be very important for both your business and your family to have a good accountant. Your accountant should have a stake in the success of both you and your business, and he or she is the advisor and counselor whom you can depend on to deliver objective advice.

Meet some of the top accountants in Columbus and learn what makes them unique and authorities in their fields.

Darci-Congrove-CoverDarci Congrove
Federal tax

How long have you been a CPA, and when did you join your firm?
I started my career and became a CPA in 1992 after graduating from Miami University. I have worked in three accounting firms, joining GBQ in 1998.

What made you want to become a CPA, and do you have a specialty?
I realized in the introductory accounting classes in business that it all just made sense to me, while many of the people in the room were completely frustrated. The Ohio limited liability statute was passed when I was just starting my career, which caused me to focus on partnership work, specifically with real estate developers. I am currently assisting business owners who want to take advantage of the new Qualified Opportunity Zone tax provisions.

What makes you and your firm unique?
GBQ was founded in Columbus with the focus of engaging our team members and helping each to find his or her own path. This results in highly motivated people who provide great client service. We are unique in the number of deep specialty groups we have for a firm of our size, which makes us competitive across the spectrum of firms in our market. We bring people together in our office for educational and community events more than 50 times per year.

What do you enjoy most about your profession?
Accounting is a people business. I spend every day engaging with people, which is what gives me energy and passion for my job. Our firm is focused on working with entrepreneurs. They are good people providing a great environment for their employees and their clients, often while doing meaningful work for others.

What advice can you share with our readers who might have a need for your services?
At GBQ, we think technical competence and expertise are just the starting point. We do our best to get well beyond the numbers. We spend time with our clients to build real relationships so that we can have open, honest dialogue with them about business strategy, threats, worries, hopes and dreams.

Darci Congrove
GBQ Partners
230 West Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
614.947.5224
www.gbq.com

Jeff-Clark-CoverJeffrey Clark
CPA

How long have you been a CPA, and when did you join your firm?
After a few years in the industry, I moved to my hometown of Columbus in 1992 and joined Toukan & Company. We started with five team members, and in 1998 we expanded into a new office building in Westerville and now have twenty members on our team.

What made you want to become a CPA, and do you focus on a particular industry or speciality?
After taking an accounting class at Otterbein, I found that I really enjoyed the field and made it my major. Many of my clients are also involved in real estate in some capacity (investors, developers, and construction). I spend a lot of my time in the tax area, in both planning and compliance. I am joined by three other partners with diverse backgrounds that cover auditing, business valuation, non-profits, estates and trusts, and medical practice specialties.

What makes you and your firm unique?
Our firm’s motto is “Going Beyond the Numbers.” We go beyond the technical areas and strive to be accessible, responsive, and timely. We are relationship- oriented and offer customer care and personal attention. We use state-of-the-art software technology, and we have a highly secure network and skilled team members. Our alliance with Plante Moran gives us an additional resource to provide our clients with highly specialized solutions such as international tax compliance/planning, cost segregation studies and more.

What do you enjoy most about your profession?
I enjoy educating my clients on the changes in tax laws and accounting, whether it’s showing them how to improve the health of their businesses, what the tax impact of a transaction will be or helping them plan for retirement.

What advice can you share with our readers?
I can’t overemphasize the importance of having a plan. For annual taxes, for retirement, for debt reduction and for when you aren’t around anymore. Know where your income comes from, the value of your assets and how much your liabilities are.

Jeffrey Clark
Toukan & Company
575 Charring Cross Drive
Westerville, Ohio 43081
614-901-7100 x 207
www.toukan.com

KarianneMunstest_coverKathy Warnick
Accounting Consultant

How did you get started, and when did you open your firm?
I was employed by various companies in the legal and construction industries doing bookkeeping and accounting. I worked with a consultant to sync software programs, and that encounter put me on the path to becoming a certified consultant. I started Warnick Consultants 23 years ago.

What has influenced the types of services you offer to your clients?
Small business owners are some of the hardest working people I know, and they have passion for the products and services they offer to their customers. When they understand how money flows into and out of their businesses, they can make more effective decisions.

What makes you and your firm unique?
Not only do we offer bookkeeping and accounting services, but we also train and assist our clients with setting up processes that allow them to get up and running, and stay up and running. We can work remotely for a client or provide services on site. I am a small business owner, and I understand the challenges small business owners face. I am proud of the benefits I offer to my employees and am confident I can help our clients do it too. I have a vast network of colleagues I can refer my clients to, such as business bankers, attorneys, IT consultants and tax preparers.

What do you enjoy most about your profession?
I thrive on problem solving. I enjoy helping clients understand the power of good financial and administrative processes and how it will help them take their businesses to the next level. I have an affinity for women-owned businesses. That affinity has been nurtured for the past 15 years through my involvement with the National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

What advice can you share with our readers?
We want to be the partner who makes it possible for business owners to focus on what they love. We position ourselves as an extension of what these entrepreneurs have already built. We will ask clients to think differently. Our services will ultimately provide freedom to business owners for more family time, and can even end up right-sizing a business.

Kathy Warnick
Warnick Consultants, LLC
9916 Brewster Lane
Powell, Ohio 43065
614-889-5014
Warnickconsultants.com