When a firm has been in business for 20 years and is still growing, it’s a sure sign they are doing something right. As VSH Certified Public Accountants celebrates its 20th anniversary, partners and emerging leaders are focused on using their winning formula to serve the business community for another 20 years.
The firm, with locations in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, believes in doing more than just issuing financial statements and preparing tax returns for clients. A large part of their formula for success is building comprehensive client planning strategies that look at all the areas impacting their business. The company strives to advise clients in areas of business that aren’t wholly tax- or accounting-related to be a resource for them. They focus on the whole cycle of business, from inception to exit and everything in between.
VSH managing partner Chris Sullivan explained, “VSH has always been progressive in the services offered — providing business advisory services, consulting on how to start a company or increase value in the company, working with a business on a merger or acquisition, and assisting owners with their exit plan.”
Such a wide scope of service requires a wide scope of expertise. And that is another part of the VSH formula. The company is committed to building and retaining a team of highly skilled professionals, each with their own specialties and areas of expertise. VSH believes in serving clients with teams, where they have multiple contacts and the right mix of experts advising them.
“We’ll bring in a different partner, with a different set of skills and expertise, or a group of managers who have different skills and expertise, to service the client”, said VSH administrative partner Jessica Waggoner. We have many clients who have a variety of needs, and because of our team based approach our clients receive knowledge and expertise that makes a difference for them.” In this way, clients can take advantage of the skill set of all the partners and emerging leaders. They don’t just rely on one person.
Some of the various skillsets within the firm include business valuation and exit planning, international tax and consulting, financial statement preparation, tax services, and estate tax planning. In addition to their breadth of knowledge, the firm specializes in several niches.
In addition to their team-based approach, VSH also spends a great deal of time with their clients. “Relationships are the basis for everything we do as VSH,” said Chris Sullivan. “We believe in spending the time to get to know our client personally and communicating with them year-round.”
Quality expertise requires more than just in-depth knowledge. It requires experience and administrative skills. To carry the firm forward into the future and to offer continuity to clients, VSH is currently developing a team of emerging leaders from a select group of individuals.
“At VSH we really focus on recruiting and retaining highly intelligent and ethical professionals who are always learning, honing their skills and sharing expertise with our clients,” said company marketing director Diana Kralovic. “We know that investing in our staff helps build staff satisfaction and involvement, and in turn means that we have staff that stay with us long term.”
The emerging leaders program is just a one part of a culture of succession at VSH that extends out to all levels of staff. The firm is diligently focused on creating the best work environment, the best employees and the best business. This is how they they’re able to offer so much more to their clients.
“We work with businesses in the same way that we do VSH,” Sullivan concluded. “We want VSH to excel and be successful and that’s how we look at our business clients. We want to be their partner in their growth and their success.”
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