I Now Run a Million-Dollar-Plus Firm

By December 3, 2019 February 24th, 2020 No Comments

I didn’t go to college intending to become an accountant. Then I asked one of my professors what accountants actually did. He told me that they prepare tax returns, they prepare audits and they defend clients against the government. That last bit got me hooked. I am a fighter and in 25 years of practicing, I have never lost a case. To date, 74 knockouts and 0 losses.

My record as a practice owner, however, wasn’t nearly as consistent. During college, I worked full time at a mid-town Manhattan law and accounting firm and in my junior year, one of the partners helped me open my own financial services firm. After graduation, I continued working part-time for that Manhattan firm while building my own practice. To gain business experience, I added a third job as a controller for an auto dealership, but by 1997, my practice had grown enough to require my full attention.

Everything was going great for the next five years. Well, at least I thought it was. Then my world turned upside down and I realized that I needed help for the first time in my life. I reached out to Sterling and I could tell that I was speaking to someone who really cared about me and wanted to help. I could also tell that they knew more about running an accounting practice than I did and so I immediately signed up to receive some practice management training.

I learned a tremendous amount during those two weeks and used those skills to double my company’s income in just 16 months. I now run a million-dollar-plus firm. Although I am busier than ever and making significantly more money, I am not stressed out or working long hours. By applying the management principles that Sterling teaches, I am able to get more done in less time. Sterling also helped me hire and train a very productive team that I can trust to get the job done without me looking over their shoulders or constantly correcting their work.

Tax season is now a breeze. My team and I no longer work Sundays and sometimes even wrap things up early so everyone can take April 15 off.

I also take far more vacation time than I ever could before. In June 2013 I spent four months out of the office – even more than that this year – while continuing to grow my practice. In addition to having time for family and community activities, I am learning to drive NASCAR race cars at an amateur level.

It is almost ten years since I first gave Sterling a call, and my practice, my finances, and my personal life keep getting better. I really admire all that Sterling does to help its clients. They are an inspiration for me to strive to attain those same standards in my own practice. Sterling taught me what I’d been missing. Now I’m enjoying my practice.

Frank Arlia, CPA