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Richard Janover decided to hang out his shingle as a practicing CPA. The name of the firm was simple and to the point: Richard Janover, CPA. And so was his philosophy: to provide his clients with the finest quality of personal attention and accounting services available.
That was 75 years ago, in 1938. In the years following, Janover’s reputation for superior, individualized service grew and attracted other, small accounting firms to join him and take part in his approach. The Janover firm expanded vigorously.
So did its specialties and services, until today the organization – a multi-division firm now known as Janover LLC – offers services in such areas as tax planning and consulting; estate and trust planning; retirement planning; business management; compliance; and accounting and auditing – for the most part for high-net-worth individuals.
With offices today in Manhattan and Garden City, the firm’s client base, too, has grown substantially, and now encompasses such industries as real estate and construction, sports and entertainment, retail, professional practices, non-profit, and family business.
Among the firm’s many specialists is senior partner Alan Hoffman, whose career has focused on real estate and construction. “Here at Janover,” he said, “our philosophy centers on service. There’s an image I use that illustrates it. Say you’re going out to dinner, and you go to a restaurant. You make a reservation for 7:30 in the evening. You arrive on time, they greet you by name, your table is waiting. They serve you and your companion your favorite cocktails. When you’ve finished your appetizer, the main course arrives, and it’s great. When dinner is over, you’ve had a fine, personal experience.”
“Now take another evening,” he continued. “You go to a different restaurant. The reservation is also for 7:30, but when you get there, there’s no table available. In fact, they don’t seat you until 8:30 – and the food doesn’t come until 9:30. The meal is very good! However, by the time you’re out of there, it’s 11:30. My question is: on your next night out, which restaurant will you choose to go back to?
“My guess,” said Hoffman, “is that it will be the one where you get the personal service and attention, where they treat you like you belong there, where you are made to feel that you matter. At Janover, that’s precisely our philosophy. At Janover, you matter, and our goal is to give you that personal service, that personal attention to detail.”
“Janover has made its reputation by being more than just Certified Public Accountants,” he commented. “We become our clients’ trusted advisors. Their money, their assets – these are the foundations that preserve their families’ way of life. We strive to be the people our clients can depend on, the people they first come to for advice and who provide the solutions they need.”
Formerly head of Real Estate for the New York Office of American Express Tax and Business Services (currently known as RSM McGladrey), Alan Hoffman also served on that company’s National Operating Committee. Joining Janover in 2007, he has contributed to the firm’s doubling in size from that time to one today with $18 million in revenues.
“Success is not something that is easily attained,” Hoffman noted. “At Janover, the keys to our success have been service, trust, responsiveness. Consider, for example, that it’s time to pay your quarterly estimated taxes. We call you in advance, to remind you to gather the appropriate documents; we prepare the forms, we double-check appropriate details, we may ask questions. We complete the forms and mail them on your behalf. But consider, in the process, that you have a question. You call us. At Janover, we call you back – promptly! – and we provide exactly the counsel that pertains. Our experts are accessible 24/7. We care. We are not just your accountants; we are part of your business team. Our goal is to give you the utmost service, precisely when you need it. It’s one aspect of what differentiates us from other CPA firms.”
The key to that differentiation is people. “Throughout our decades in business, Janover has strived to recruit the brightest and most qualified candidates, men and women who display the exceptional abilities, drive and commitment that are the essence of the firm,” said Janover’s Managing Partner, Mark K. Goodman. “To maintain that edge, we have made continuing education and training a hallmark of our company, providing in-house seminars on the latest changes in tax laws, audit and accounting updates, technological improvements, and more.
On top of that, we offer the continuity, stability, technical skills and expertise of the partners of Janover, who are involved in every account.”
“At Janover, we offer a number of key ingredients,” said Hoffman. “We work with our clients to develop and tailor original ideas and innovative approaches to their needs, in collaboration, as needed, with clients’ bankers, brokers, attorneys and insurance professionals. We work to develop flexible strategies that will strengthen a client’s existing financial controls while anticipating the continuing changes in the business landscape. We lay out the opportunities and the risks, with the goal of maximizing our clients’ profit potential as well as supporting whatever velocity of growth they want to attain.”
The firm’s tax services include consulting and planning to minimize federal, state and local taxes; representation as needed before the Internal Revenue Service and other tax and regulatory authorities; guidance regarding the tax implications of acquisitions, mergers, reorganization and other business combinations; the development of executive compensation packages, retirement and pension plans, estate and gift taxes, and more.
“A key area of our expertise is the creation and administration of trusts and estates,” Hoffman noted. “It’s not unusual, certainly including in the real estate industry, that one generation creates the basis for the wealth of the next one. Our goal is to make sure that the wishes of the earlier generation are carried out – that, for example, such aspects as property ownership, retirement distributions, paying estate taxes, life insurance, and all the other, complex planning initiatives are handled properly. Clients look to us for expert, objective counsel and expertise. They look to us for that personal consideration, that personal touch, the answer to the question, ‘what would you do?’
“One client phoned me very recently,” he recalled. “She is the widow of the founder of a real estate business that we had served and subsequently helped sell. She now has an income of $1 million a year. She was calling me from an auto showroom, where she was looking at a car that was selling for $300,000. Could she buy it? I gave her the options and their costs, on the spot. Armed with information, she was able to make her decision then and there.
“In a way, our firm is like the restaurant I mentioned – the fine one!” said Hoffman. “We know who you are, we know what is special about you. To bring the analogy into the business world, we know who our clients are, we know their companies, we help them go about their lives and their businesses with knowledge and confidence.”