Douglass + Liebig is a Sacramento-based accounting firm that provides consulting, strategic planning and tax planning to small and medium-sized businesses and their owners.
They do this through multiple meetings over the course of a year with business owners to analyze their particular situation, build tools and templates to track their performance and then chart the success of the efforts by reviewing the various templates and tools they created.
At the end of the year, they know where that particular client is finishing and have constructed a plan that helps to minimize their tax liabilities and maximize their cash flows.
We recently sat down with partner Jeff Liebig to discuss the company’s business, and its relationship with CoreMark.
CoreMark: What are the biggest challenges in achieving your objectives/running the company?
Our two biggest challenges are hiring staff and staying on top of the various tax code changes. Of those two challenges, I would say that staying on top of the tax code is easier.
We’ve been doing it for years and it’s what we are hard wired to do. However, finding the right staff is our biggest challenge and it is the same challenge we hear from most of our clients.
We feel we have a great staff in place at the moment, but we are growing and as we do, we will be faced with the challenge of finding that person who has both the skills and personality to work with us and our clients.
And the biggest rewards?
Being masters of our own destiny is probably the biggest reward for having our own company. We get to decide how we approach challenges and how we reward ourselves for the work we do. We also get to decide which clients we ultimately work with.
Because of that, we have a great clientele that we look forward to working with each day.
Do you have a particularly proud moment when your outcome for a client was especially positive?
When I think about proud moments with clients, a client who initially came to me while they were in an IRS audit comes to mind. Their prior CPA had not been responsive and the IRS was starting to expand the initial scope of the audit.
The client and I met and set a strategy for working with the IRS. By reaching out to the auditor and outlining our plan of action, I was able to scale back the audit and significantly reduce the exposure for the client.
The client and I then started tax planning for the future years and were able to drastically reduce their tax liability moving forward. That client is thrilled with the results and has been a great source of referrals ever since.
What are the top reasons businesses should work with you?
Our clients choose us for a number of reasons. But I would say that the top reasons are that we focus on a few specific areas and are really good at them, we have the expertise and proven ability to get a business back on track and we are strategic advisors and business owners ourselves with decades of experience successfully working with small to medium-sized businesses.
Why did you choose CoreMark as your employee benefits partner?
We chose CoreMark based on the relationship developed with Cerrina Jensen. Just as our business relies heavily on developing a relationship with the client, so does CoreMark’s. I’ve seen Cerrina and her team in action and they always take that extra step to make sure communications are understood and that client needs are met.
Is there a particular example you want to share where our partnership was especially beneficial?
Partnering with CoreMark has provided us with a wonderful resource not only for our own company benefit plans but also a resource to send out clients to. As CPAs, our clients look to us as that “trusted advisor.”
When we refer them to another business, we want to make sure that the business we refer them to will treat them with the same care that we do. CoreMark has consistently exceeded our expectations when providing their services to our clients. Every client we have referred has been extremely pleased with the results.