What does your company do?
Tax and accounting services for corporations, as well as business advisory services primarily. Also do personal taxes for Canada and the USA.
How did you come up with (or why did you want to do) this idea/concept/product/service?
Since a very young age, I have been enthralled with business. Providing these services gives me a window into many different businesses in several different industries, as well as being an integral part to the businesses success in achieving their objectives.
How did you decide on your company name?
The company was formerly Bekken, Bickford & Associates. We were referred to as “BBA” for some time; when we introduced additional partners, rather than adding last names to the company name, we decided to officially become BBA Accounting Group.
Who were your first customers?
This is a tough one as the firm has been around for almost 30 years, and I joined after the firm was formed.
What's been a good way of growing your customer base and sales?
Most of our growth is from our existing clients referring us to their friends and families. We rely on our good reputation to fuel our continual growth.
What did you wish you knew before you started your company?
How much I would enjoy business advisory services. This is becoming a focus of my practice and is a service which is in dire need in most growing businesses out there. Most accountants think their work will be related mostly to tax compliance work.
What sets your company apart from your competition?
When compared to other highly technical firms, we surpass them in service. Our clients walk away with not only sound technical advice, but an understanding that advice, as well as information required to understand alternatives. This allows our clients to participate in the tax/estate/asset protection arrangements. Through understanding, they are more likely to heed that advice.
What do you think most small business owners should know but don’t?
It’s ok to ask “why?” of your accountant. So many business owners I meet have no idea why they are paid a salary vs. dividends; or why they had to incur substantial legal costs to add their son as a shareholder, etc. If you don’t know why, your accountant hasn’t done a good enough job explaining it to you; and if they can’t explain it well, they don’t know the subject well enough.
What are you looking forward to in the next week/month/quarter or year? Or what are your aspirations for your company?
With the growth of our firm, we are moving to a larger location in late 2021; into a space owned by the partners. A goal of mine for some time.
What three words describe you as a person?
Problem-solver, professional, extrovert
What is the last book you've read that you would recommend others read?
Stephen Hawkings “Brief Answers to the Big Questions”
What is an unusual thing can you not travel without?
Pocket knife and a murse; never useful in town, but won’t travel without them
Where is your favorite place in the world?
This is a tough one. Portofino Italy…with access to a boat.
If you had an extra ten minutes per day, what would you do with them?