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Archive for the “Werner & Co.” Category

Helping clients from Allentown to Australia

August 14 2017

Lehigh Valley Business feature Lists & Leads:
Behind the List with Kristofer M. DePaolo of Werner & Co. CPAs

(republished with permission, Lehigh Valley Business)

Owning and operating a successful business is no easy feat.

Managing operating costs, retaining good employees and many other factors are vital to success. And with all of the dollars flowing in and out daily and with the importance of long-term financial planning, it’s imperative to have an accountant.

Throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley, there are accounting and tax preparation firms equipped with the resources to help your business thrive.

One firm that has a significant presence in the region is Werner & Co. CPAs in Lower Macungie Township.

Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions is Kristofer M. DePaolo, CEO of the firm.

Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Werner & Co. CPAs been operating in the region and what are its primary services?

Kristofer M. DePaolo: Andrew Werner opened the practice in 1988, initially from his home office. Almost 30 years later, we have a location in downtown Wescosville on Hamilton Boulevard and another on West Broad Street in Bethlehem.

We focus primarily on tax planning and preparation for business and individual clients. We work directly with the IRS [Internal Revenue Service] on offers in compromise, installment plans, notices and resolution of a broad range of other difficulties for clients having IRS troubles.

Consulting, bookkeeping and payroll services help round out the primary boutique services we offer to our business clients with an emphasis on consulting and planning.

LVB: What have been some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that Werner & Co. CPAs has encountered throughout its years in business?

DePaolo: One challenge has been finding qualified staff. Our firm is unique in that we invite the clients to ask questions and interact with all the staff members, and we need knowledgeable, personable people to help guide our clients.

Our emphasis for staff is work/life balance, and the fact that we have flexible hours and the technology to work from anywhere helps a great deal with that balance.

In the ever-changing world of technology, the paramount issue for us is security.

Like all CPA [Certified Public Accounting] firms, we handle a tremendous amount of sensitive data for our clients and we don’t take that trust lightly. We outsource our information technology and data security to a technically forward-thinking local company that monitors and manages our network 24/7, continuously updating software, virus protection and making sure everything is sound and secure.

By embracing technology, our firm has grown, and now helps clients anywhere from Allentown to Australia.

LVB: How does Werner & Co. CPAs directly stimulate the local economy? How does it get involved with the local community?

DePaolo: I believe small businesses are the lifeblood of communities, providing employment opportunities, understanding their customers on a personal level and innovating service and delivery methods.

Our firm is also a small business, so we understand the information small businesses need to operate effectively. As we develop information for our clients’ required filings, we try always to apply that information to better manage the business and help the owners improve.

By helping our clients generate usable management information, we try give them an advantage within their own segments of the Lehigh Valley economy. We appreciate the loyalty clients give to us, and, whenever we can, we look for opportunities to reciprocate that loyalty.

Our staff all live and work here in the Lehigh Valley and look to give back in any way they can. Some of the ways we contribute are service on boards of local nonprofits, being active within the local Rotary chapters and volunteering time and energy for several causes.

For example, altogether we have dozens of years of board participation with Camelot for Children, Equi-librium, The Swain School and KidsPeace.

LVB: Does Werner & Co. CPAs provide its services solely in the Lehigh Valley, or does it expand into other markets? Who are some of its most notable clients in the region?

DePaolo: Many of our clients are here in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding counties. We do have clients in manufacturing and professional services and the retail industry operating in multiple states and/ or living across the country.

With the changes in technology, we can do business anywhere there is an internet connection.

In addition to the industries just mentioned, we serve the real estate industry, financial advisory firms, craft brewers, landscaping companies and private medical practices.

LVB: What does the future look like for Werner & Co. CPAs? Does it have plans for growth?

DePaolo: The future of our profession in whole is bright, and while there will be plenty of changes as automation grows and becomes more involved in all our lives, I don’t believe there will ever be a substitute for client interaction.

Computers can do many things to make our lives easier, but by sitting with clients and helping them with their business, we gain insight and build strong, trusting relationships. In turn, that helps us use our experience to help them avoid problems we’ve seen in the past.

For those and many other reasons, there will always be a significant human element to our practice and the accounting industry.

As for growth, we welcome that small-business owner looking to learn new things, grow their business and take some of the burden off their already overflowing plate.

Werner & Co. in the Media: PA Taxes and Gov. Wolf’s Budget

March 25 2015

For the last few weeks we have been inundated with discussion of Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget legislation in the newspaper, on TV and social media. Gov. Wolf promises to rebuild the middle class in Pennsylvania with his “gimmick-free budget.” He plans to balance the state budget by cutting property taxes and increasing the sales tax and income tax rates.

Werner WFMZPennsylvania has not seen an income tax rate increase since 2004. Coincidentally, that was also when then Gov. Rendell proclaimed that casinos would be responsible for the largest property tax relief in Pennsylvania. Well, here we are a little over 12 years later, and property taxes in PA are back or above those 2004 levels.

We had the chance to discuss Gov. Wolf’s proposed plan with Channel 69 News Anchor Jaccii Farriss and why Pennsylvania is ranked in the top 10 for states that pay the highest taxes. You can view the TV interview here.

Here is the text of Ms. Farriss’s interview:

Tax time can really sting for folks who find themselves in the red, but when it comes down to who pays the most, you might be surprised.

Pennsylvania is in the top 10 for states that pay the highest taxes, according to a pair of new studies. According to a study done by MoneyRates.com, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states with the highest per capita federal tax burden. Why? Pennsylvania has a larger population, with some of the nation’s highest earners.

In another study, Wallethub.com broke it down in terms of state taxes. The numbers stay pretty consistent with the federal figures, with one noteworthy item. Lower income Pennsylvanians pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than other residents, nearly 12 percent, while middle income residents pay roughly 10 percent and higher income individuals pay around 9 percent.

Werner WFMZ2So how does this happen? “The reason our taxes are high, I believe, is because we live in the northeast. We expect a lot from our government, and things cost more here than they do in Alabama,” said Andrew Werner, a certified public accountant with Werner and Company in Allentown.

Werner said it’s simple economics. Because lower income residents have less money, they use a bigger percentage of it for taxes.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is trying to ease the tax burden on residents by cutting property taxes and offering $3.8 billion in relief, but at the same time, he is proposing to raise the sales tax.

While food, clothing and prescriptions would be exempt, Kristofer Depaolo, a certified public accountant, said the higher tax could be a hardship for lower income Pennsylvanians.

“Anything of necessity that you or I would spend out money on because their income is a lower, a greater percentage is spent on that compared to a high income earner,” said DePaolo.

A spokesperson for Wolf said the governor wants to ease the blow for some residents by raising the income tax exemption from $32,000 to $36,500 for a family  of four.

In case you were wondering, Pennsylvania is one of five northeast states to make the top 10 lists for taxes paid per capita.

Copyright 2015 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A New Home for Werner & Co.

August 26 2014

Our renovation dust is soon to settle. We are pleased to announce a new office for the “accountants you like as much as you trust.”

Werner & Co. is moving to our historic new home on September 1st. It’s in Wescosville, on Hamilton Boulevard near Brookside Road. We’re so excited that we’ve already signed in! (see photo) We love this building. The architecture is interesting – a mid-19th Century church, in fact. We completely renovated it, and our architects (Bonsall Shafferman) designed a great interior.

We're moving soon. The handwriting is on the wall!

We’re moving soon. The handwriting is on the wall!

The building is historic, but also new. Even the signage treatment on the outside of the building is an interesting blend of old and new aesthetics. That echoes our own special blend of old school values and new school methods.

We expect our new office to serve our clients and ourselves (plus a tenant, Express Sign Outlet Inc) very well. We hope that you will enjoy it as much as we do. Come visit. Bring friends. Bring new clients! Tours depart hourly.

Look for an invitation to our Open House in a few weeks.

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