The professionals at Grassi and Co. are specialists in their line of work – and not just in the financial realm. As certified public accountants (CPAs), they know financial statements, budget sheets, and tax preparation practices, but they also immerse themselves in the industries their clients work in.
In fact, Steven Goldstein, partner and White Plains office market leader at Grassi and Co., says when he came to the firm he was asked to pick a ‘major,’ an area of expertise into which he could dive deep, research, and ultimately become an expert. This is necessary to live and work by the company’s vision to create true value for the people and companies they work with.
Grassi and Co. is an accounting and success consulting firm. Its CPAs go beyond tax preparation and balance sheets to suss out pain points of their customers, and then dig in to see what can be done to alleviate them.
Goldstein says the only way to really add value for clients is to improve their businesses. “It’s not just tax returns and financial statements, which we’re pretty darn good at as well,” he says. “We can help them be successful and save money and plan their life plan.”
“Contractors are really good at what they do,” he says, and he wants to let them focus on doing the work while he helps improve the business.
Carl Oliveri, partner, construction practice leader, and NYC office market leader at Grassi and Co., says knowing all about a client’s business through an operational review, including attending site tours, reading manuals, and talking to employees, allows the firm to identify
weak spots, kinks, and bottle necks, so a member of the team can give clients strategies on how to fix them.
“When you sit down with an owner and you help them improve their processes, you’re creating value for their whole operation which translates to their bottom line,” he says.
“You’ve got to get outside the debits and credits,” Oliveri says. For instance, right now a lot of contractors are concerned with remaining compliant on safety training for their workers. “All workers have a certain level of safety training before they step on the job site,” he says. “It’s not an accounting issue, it’s an operational issue.” He says Grassi can identify industry partners that can help improve their clients’ businesses so that they stay on the right side of legislation.
He says this not only helps keep workers safe and well-trained, it also helps employers avoid hefty fines that can accompany non-compliance. “If you don’t follow the letter of the law, there can be sledgehammer penalties,” he says, which can be crippling for the financial position of a contractor.
Becoming an expert in the field requires a lot of research, and the professionals at Grassi do their homework. They ask a lot of questions. They are involved in industry associations, they talk with outside consultants and executives in the field, they keep ears to the
ground to establish industry standards and then use that knowledge to help their clients exceed them. In fact, Grassi is currently conducting an industry survey, asking business owners how they’re coping with some of the more complex issues in the marketplace, to learn current best practices.
To participate in the construction survey and receive a copy of the finding, visit Grassicpas.
“Our firm really allows us to take that leap into the industry and really understand the issues that get contractors up in the morning,” Goldstein says.
Grassi and Co. develops key relationships with experts in other fields, too, so that the company’s reach extends beyond its own capabilities to help clients out. Goldstein says recently he was able to refer clients to a qualified intermediary on a real estate deal, so that the team could work together to save the client millions of dollars in potential taxes. He says that sort of help makes the firm ‘sticky’ to its clients, meaning they continue to come to Grassi and Co. for good advice.
Goldstein says he appreciates the expertise he’s developed, because it allows him to really understand how to deliver value. “I may not be able to build, but I know what issues they’re facing and I can help solve them,” Goldstein says.