CPA Firm Bober Markey Fedorovich Marks 50th Anniversary Milestone
AKRON, OHIO—June 22, 2009—Bober Markey Fedorovich (BMF), one of the region’s oldest and largest accounting and business advisory firms, is celebrating its 50th anniversary, a record of strength and stability few companies in the accounting industry, or the general business community, ever achieve.
BMF was founded by Stanley Bober on May 1, 1959, when he first opened his doors as a sole practitioner in Akron – a time when The University of Akron was a small local college, employment was centered around the region’s factories, and the BFGoodrich tire company was a few years away from building new corporate headquarters in downtown Akron.
Today, those same downtown offices house one of BMF’s first and longest-standing clients, GOJO Industries. BMF Founder Stan Bober points to the firm’s work with those early clients as laying the values that drive the firm still today.
“I’ve said this many times, that in order to be successful, I believe that a professional has to consider their client’s problems to be their own and deal with them accordingly,” he said. “I’ll give you an example. Walter Mirapaul, a long-time client of the firm, once introduced me to someone by saying, ‘Meet Stan Bober. He’s my conscience.’ I think that was true. We’re a conscience to our clients and one of their most trusted advisors.”
As trusted advisors, a core value that drives the firm is a continuing commitment to remaining independent, according to Managing Partner Richard C. Fedorovich.
“I’ve always been passionate about remaining both independent and unaffiliated with any side ventures that could affect the objectivity of our advice,” he said. “Selling investments or other financial products calls into question the quality of the guidance we provide and whether we might have a vested interest in a client’s decision. I’ve always said that we should never give advice that can benefit us financially. We earn our living based on fees alone, and while that may be a tough way to make a buck, it’s the only way to do it.”
Achieving its 50-year mark can be tied not only to its strategy but to the ongoing investments BMF has made in technology and hiring of quality professionals, Fedorovich said. While acknowledging that both the firm and its clients are navigating uncharted economic waters this year, he noted that “our firm is fortunately well positioned. I am confident with where we are and in the opportunities that lie before us.”
The firm, Fedorovich reported, “successfully achieved all of the goals we set for ourselves in the three-year strategic plan we adopted in 2006 in terms of revenue targets, developing and maintaining sustainable, healthy relationships with clients and referral sources, development of a lifetime culture of learning and technology improvements.”
His key to success? “Prepare with a laser-like focus on customers, passionate concentration on the fundamentals of business and attention to cash flows — in short, the same things we’ve told clients to do all along. The reason we’ve remained successful is that we follow the same advice that we give our clients – to aim for a strong balance sheet and good cash flow.”
Perhaps the firm’s most visible achievement during the past few years was the opening of its new headquarters, a true watershed moment in BMF’s history, according to Fedorovich, whom Bober named as the firm’s second managing partner in 1996.
Preferring organic growth to acquisition, BMF has fashioned a recent record of achievements that has redefined and expanded their services and areas of expertise beyond the traditional accounting, tax and advisory services for large and middle-market clients. Some of these include:
• SEC and public company services – this practice area continues to grow as companies seek high-value accounting partners beyond their current auditors, as required by Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX 404) regulations. In fact, Bober Markey Fedorovich has created a new SEC Advisory Services group within the firm to focus on the unique and complex needs of these clients.
• Transaction advisory services – BMF’s Transaction Advisory Group has established a national presence completing more than 100 transactions in the past three years (35 in 2008).
• Employee benefit plan audits – the Employee Benefit Plans Group at BMF continues to report significant growth providing audits of qualified plans as well as starting consultation and planning for 403(b) plan audits that will be required next year.
• Bankruptcy and restructuring – BMF Advisors LLC, an affiliate of BMF, began its second year of business in April with a growing client list specializing in bankruptcy, restructuring, corporate finance and business regeneration.
Fedorovich and his associates are treating the firm’s golden anniversary as a particularly special milestone, even in these uncertain economic times. “While we can’t control the macro-economic issues driving the global economy, we can control our own firm and intend to charge ahead with preparations for a variety of accounting industry issues that will affect our clients, such as the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS),” he said.
Fedorovich is quick to add that the firm’s philosophy of serving others benefits not only clients and staff but the community as well. “We encourage all of our employees to support their community however they may see fit – whether through volunteerism, board leadership or through monetary contributions. Community service is one of our core values and an ongoing source of pride for our level of involvement,” he said. “It’s been a hallmark of the firm since we were founded.”
Currently, approximately 90 community organizations benefit from the involvement and, in many cases, leadership of BMF associates and partners. These include the United Way of Summit County, Akron General Health System, American Red Cross of Summit County, Boys and Girls Club of Western Reserve, Community Support Services, Jewish Community Board of Akron, Project GRAD Akron, Habitat for Humanity and the Akron/Canton Foodbank.
Fedorovich said he looks to the firm’s next 50 years with the same optimism and energy that he attributes to the first 50, based on the quality of the people working at BMF. Regardless of any challenges, he’s confident that the right foundation combined with the right philosophy of client service will always win out.
“Innovation and customer service will always rule the day for us,” Fedorovich said, “and the coming years will be no different.”
Founded in 1959, Bober Markey Fedorovich is one of the largest independent CPA and business advisory firms in northeast Ohio with national and international reach, primarily serving greater Akron, Cleveland and surrounding regions. Its clients span a variety of industries, many with multi-state and global operations. The firm specializes in accounting, audit, tax services, litigation support, valuation and transaction advisory, with focus on private equity, privately held business and SEC companies.
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- Director, Business Development
- Bober Markey Fedorovich
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