Company: Gail Markham started out as a tax and accounting company with her as its sole practitioner 40 years ago. The firm, back then, provided typical services one would expect from a CPA firm. Today, it has expanded greatly with 48 employees in two office locations — Naples and Fort Myers — and its services now include much more than just tax preparation and bookkeeping. The firm offers business, medical, dental and nonprofit consulting; litigation support; forensic accounting; family mediation; IT support; and more. Tami Cindrich, who became a partner in 2017 and has been with the company for 21 years, says the firm has been growing an average of 10% annually for the past several years. It did $6.26 million in revenue in 2018.
Opportunities: Cindrich says the firm has more competition today due to artificial intelligence and computer software that makes filling out tax returns faster than ever before. In response, the firm has embraced and focused more on the relationship side of the business. “We don’t want to just do tax returns; we want to be part of your team, and A.I. can’t do that,” she says.
Cindrich also says the company has been approached by larger firms looking to either merge or acquire it. But executives aren’t interested in becoming or being part of a huge business because “you lose the one-to-one relationship with your clients.”
Threats: Both the firm and the industry have been dealing with a shortage of CPAs, Cindrich says, so they have been working on recruitment efforts at area colleges like Florida Gulf Coast University. She says they bring in and mentor at least two interns every year before tax season and fast track them into careers at the firm if they like their performance.