When Tragedy Strikes Your Family Firm You May Need a New Accountant 

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Bill has become a favorite client of MGA for many, many years, but it all started when tragedy struck his family and his business, and he needed a hand.

For the past 18 years, Bill has run a very successful construction business founded by his father. It had expanded and was serving a broad geographic region around Houston, Texas. Like so many of MGA's clients, Bill helped his dad build this family firm. Then, one day, without warning, Bill’s father had a severe heart attack. It is difficult to imagine the impact of such a tragedy on the family and the firm. Without warning, Bill was catapulted into the role of CEO. It was something he realized all too quickly that he was not well prepared to assume the leadership of the company, in more ways than he could have realized in advance.

Years of experience working in the company but no idea how to run it

Bill didn’t know anything about managing the financials of a business or how to organize it for growth. With the Houston region growing by leaps and bounds, the company’s client base was increasing rapidly. In a panic, Bill and his wife searched for an accountant and business advisor who could help them get control of what felt was a fast-moving train flying off the rails. They needed the right Houston accountant.

How do you find the right accountant, particularly when you need them fast?

Bill’s wife found three companies to consider. They interviewed the first two, then visited Miller Grossbard Advisors (MGA) to meet with Russ Miller, the founding partner. It’s been over 18 years now, but the couple remembers that first meeting vividly: “We went to Russ’s office and just liked the feel of the place. And we loved Russ, one of the smartest men we’ve ever known. He is able to simplify all that complexity for us so we can understand it.”

“Boy did I have a lot to learn”

After partnering with MGA, Bill discovered how drastically his business needed to be reorganized. It wasn’t even a partnership; he wasn’t a signer on the checks. “Russ helped us through this big transition and showed us how it would work best for our family and for me,” recalls Bill.

Tasks at hand included running the business, managing its growth and revenue streams, and planning for the future. There was the need for tax planning. Equally important, Bill's wife joined the firm so it required a new structure. Most of all, Bill needed someone to confide to, speak with, and trust, so he could concentrate on building his business.

True to form, as Bill and his wife began to buy land for development, acquire rental income properties, and invest in other longer-term investment options, MGA was there every step of the way, helping the firm grow stronger, wisely.

Once the present was secure, Bill needed help planning for the future

During the company’s successful growth stage, Bill concentrated on building his management team and getting them better equipped to self-manage. Then, he started thinking about how to place a value on his business should he find a buyer.

Now, whether Bill continues to run the company or begins to build an exit strategy, he knows he does not have to do it alone. It is too complex. That’s why he has Russ to strategize with him about the many twists and turns that lie ahead, from tax planning to leveraging investments to intelligently responding to new tax laws.

Without question, as Bill will tell you, MGA provides him, his wife, and his team with an advisor who sees the bigger picture and can anticipate what is coming next. His partner is not just a smart tax accountant but a business consultant and a colleague. For Bill and his company, that has made all the difference.

We hope you never have a tragedy in your family or your business

But if you ever find yourself in a very complex situation, we are ready to help you find the right solutions. If we can be of help to you and your company, please give us a call.

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You may also be interested in reading more about Russ Miller or how we work with other construction clients, like Bill, and how we help them look beyond the buildings.

December 17, 2017