CPAs for Hire: Helping Chesterfield Businesses Grow
By Carol Enright
CPAs for Hire is in a growth mode — not only for itself but for the many small businesses it serves.
“Chesterfield business owners need as much support as possible to keep the Valley thriving, especially after coming off of a rough couple of years,” says CPAs for Hire Founder and President Dennis Fry.
The accounting, tax and advisory firm recently opened its second office at 115 Chesterfield Towne Center in Chesterfield Valley, which Fry views as a strategic location for the firm.
“There are a lot of small business owners in the area who could benefit from our services,” he says.
One-stop shop for financial services
CPAs for Hire, which Fry owns with his business partner Dave Zaegel, is truly a one-stop shop for small business owners seeking help with their taxes, accounting and financial planning.
While accounting and taxes are the core services, CPAs for Hire also offers small businesses part-time CFO services through its brand CFOs for Hire. The business model is designed so that small businesses that start by using the accounting services can access CFOs for Hire services as their needs become more complex.
Operating out of the same offices, but separately led by Zaegel who is both a CPA and certified financial planner, is CWOs for Hire, which provides financial planning for businesses and individuals.
"We focus on small businesses and their owners - from sole proprietor all the way to businesses who need a part-time CFO"
- Dennis Fry, founder and president CPA's for Hire
“We’re a fiduciary wealth planner that has taxes in mind at all times — whereas most financial planners aren’t fully aware of the tax impact related to the things they’re suggesting to their clients,” explains Fry, who is vice president of CWOs for Hire.
“It’s pretty rare to find financial planners who also have an interest in taxes — and can do all that under one roof,” says Zaegel. “Whether they’re running a business or in retirement, taxes are one of people’s biggest expenses.”
Combining accounting services with financial planning, says Zaegel, is the best of both worlds.
“If you just work with a CPA, a lot of times they’re focused on that year, especially with taxes. And if you go to a traditional financial planner, a lot of them aren’t focused on taxes at all. Whereas we can focus on all the financial planning, all the investments, everything that people need throughout the transitions in their lives — and we’re also looking at taxes, not only for now but for many, many years down the road. That’s the combination we offer: It’s not either-or; it’s blending those pieces together.”
Small business focus
While CPAs for Hire serves many personal tax clients, including professional athletes and high-net-worth individuals and families, the firm’s niche is serving small businesses and their owners.
“We focus on small businesses and their owners — from sole proprietor all the way to businesses who need a part-time CFO,” says Fry.
And Fry says his accountants are “all very knowledgeable in small business accounting.”
“What I look for in hiring is not just CPAs who have public accounting experience. I also look for corporate accounting experience and, if I can find someone who also owned a business, that’s the trifecta.”
Fry’s own experience mirrors what he seeks from his staff. His experience includes public accounting with both local and Big 4 accounting firms, senior leadership in corporate accounting and finance — and owning and operating a small business.
“I owned an indoor soccer facility and a soccer retail store in Dallas,” he says. “When I was running that business, I kept doing the accounting because I know how to do it. However, my time could have been better spent running the business — getting new teams to join our facility or building relationships with teams who needed uniforms. Instead, I was spending an hour or so a day making sure the accounting was up to date.”
That motivated Fry to open a firm focused on small business accounting.“I saw an opportunity to help small business owners focus on doing what they love and grow their business, while we handle the financial side of things,” says Fry. “Because I’ve faced many of the same challenges as the business clients we serve, I love playing a part in helping them succeed. And our CPAs really take pride in helping our clients successfully grow their businesses.”
More than taxes
Fry is quick to point out that CPAs for Hire approaches each client from an accounting perspective, with an eye toward far more than tax-related issues. “If you ask our clients who have worked with a
CPA before, one comment we often get is ‘I’ve never been helped with our accounting before. It’s always been tax related,’” says Fry. “We’re doing their accounting as if we are their controller or CFO — even if it’s only for a couple hours a week or a few hours a month.”
Some clients question whether it makes financial sense to just hire a bookkeeper at a lower rate per hour.
“Rates are relative to time spent.” says Fry. “If we, as CPAs, can get it done in less time, especially when dealing with more complex accounting issues, the cost difference is negligible. Plus, if we’re doing the tax returns, it makes sense to keep it all together under one roof.”
And that, says Fry, is where the company really differentiates itself from the competition. With its monthly subscription-based packages, a small business can get QuickBooks Online, accounting and tax returns done for them, and advisory time for in-person or virtual meetings, all for an affordable monthly fee.
“It’s really CPAs and CFO-level people doing the
Another benefit of working with a team that has public accounting experience?
“Public accountants are generally very process and workflow oriented,” says Fry. “So, if we see things that we think should be done a little bit differently, we will suggest that to the client so they can get things done more quickly.”
Check out the complete suite of services and subscription plans at CPAsForHire.com. You can also find a wealth of information about retirement planning in Dave Zaegel’s Retire With Confidence podcasts at CWOsForHire.com.