For many companies doing business in multiple North American locations, the thinking used to be that only the large, national CPA firms with offices in several cities had the sufficient expertise to handle complex tax or other business issues that “crossed the line” into other state or national jurisdictions.
But a group of mid-sized, independent CPA firms – including one in the Boston area – has turned that conventional wisdom on its head. They’ve started pooling their collective local knowledge to match the cross-border tax experience of the “big guys,” and in addition are offering their services at a more affordable price.
Operating as the Russell Bedford Tax Services Group, the network of seven local CPA firms across the U.S. – and one chartered accounting firm in Toronto, Canada – is touting its knowledge of local tax laws, legislation and litigation to help growing companies cope with the complexities of doing business in multiple regions of the U.S. and Canada.
In the Boston area, the group is represented by Rucci Bardaro & Barrett PC, a 35-person CPA firm providing tax, auditing, valuation and business consulting services to companies in a variety of industry sectors. The group also has affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and Austin, TX. All of the firms participating in the new Tax Services Group are members of Russell Bedford International, a global accountancy network spanning more than 70 countries.
“As medium sized independent firms acting locally in our own markets, we are as familiar as any of the big national firms with local tax and business planning issues,” said Bill Rucci, president of Rucci Bardaro & Barrett.
“We’re used to moving pretty quickly on local issues as they come up, whether it’s complying with local tax regulations, preparing for an audit, structuring for growth or valuing a company’s worth,” said Rucci. “So we think it’s a better alternative from a speed, efficiency and value standpoint.
“The other difference is that all our members operate with less overhead, so clients who use us rather than a large national firm tend to benefit from a cost standpoint, too,” he added.
As an example, Rucci recalls the recent case of a manufacturing client that needed to move one of its warehouse operations from Virginia to Canada. With the help of the network’s affiliate in Toronto, Kestenberg-Rabinowicz Partners, Rucci’s firm was able to bring its client up to speed on Canadian registration and tax filing requirements, help expand the client’s record-keeping systems to include the new cross-border entity, complete and file the required provincial tax returns and prepare claims for tax refunds due.
Closer to home, Rucci cites another example of a business colleague who came to him with an auditing assignment for a well-known mutual fund operation. Since the fund is based in Seattle, Rucci referred the assignment to the group’s San Francisco affiliate, PMB Helin Donovan, which has a satellite office in Seattle. The audit is currently underway, aided in part by the local knowledge and insight that PMB’s Seattle office is providing.
“The fact is, we all know each other and have collaborated within the Russell Bedford global network for quite a while,” said Rucci. “Creating the Tax Services Group simply formalizes us as a focused network of independent firms in North America working together around one of today’s most critical business issues – taxes.”
For more information about the Russell Bedford Tax Services Group, contact Bill Rucci at (781) 321-6065.