It was a Saturday during tax season in the WDE&A Selinsgrove office. The halls were bustling with a few employees and the last of the day’s clients were departing. The candy basket was all but raided, Sports Center was on in the background, and Ken and Brian were both chatting with clients via cell phone. The conversations were mixed with talk of tax deductions, baseball games, 1099s, and new grandchildren. It was a work day for Ken Wagner and Brian Elsasser (partners at WDE&A), but over the years, the office had become more like a welcoming home.
“Do you remember general stores?” Ken and Brian asked me. “We feel like that’s sort of what we are.” Brian continued, “our clients come to us for all of their accounting needs, like a one stop-shop. They start as customers who come in for one or a few items. Over the years, they purchase a few more things and eventually we know each other so well that they turn into family.” Ken nodded in agreement.
Brian’s uncle, who Freeburg natives referred to as “Bob,” operated Shaffer’s Community Store, which opened more than 75 years ago. He has fond memories of cleaning shelves, organizing the store, and watching his uncle build relationships with his customers “He seemed to have one of everything in his storehouse,” Brian continued, “often before customers even knew they needed it.”
Bob (and many general store shop keepers) knew their customers by name, offered personalized service, and was always reliable. Brian even remembers his uncle speaking Pennsylvania Dutch to some of his Amish and Mennonite customers. “Bob worked long and hard hours”, Brian continued, “but he treasured his general store and the relationships he formed with his customers.”
“Like my Uncle Bob’s General Store with shopping needs,” Brian mentioned “We offer a place to come for all of your accounting needs.” WDE&A provides a variety of tax and accounting services for every stage of life for an individual and a business including (but not limited to): Business entity formation, Compilations, Reviews, Audits, payroll services, business valuations, succession planning, estate & gift tax returns, and individual & corporate tax returns.
Many customers, Ken stated, “have started off as clients and are now friends. We care about your business, but we also want to know how your son’s first season of baseball is going or how your vacation to Daytona was last year.” Like a customer in Bob’s general store, Ken & Brian want you to become a member of their family.
Clients for Decades
One such long-term client is Michael Wagner, former owner of Middleburg Pharmacy (and current personal tax client of the firm). Mike speaks fondly of the first time that he met Brian. “I never knew Brian before, but it didn’t take long before I counted him as a friend (even more than a business contact).” Michael continues “Brian gave me the confidence I needed to run my business well. He provided insight into my business that I wasn’t even aware of (and I worked there every day!)”
Many of Brian and Mike’s conversations would start out as quick business questions and turn into a discussion of the weekend’s sports highlights. But with anything that Mike called Brian about, he always felt better after he bounced it off of Brian. Michael continued, “I always had a feeling of reassurance after talking to Brian. That was a really big deal.”
Terry Cromley of Kleckner’s, another decade-long client of WDE&A, comes to the firm for all of his accounting needs, both personal and corporate. “I feel like I can call Ken whenever I need him (and I’ve done it multiple times!).” Terry spoke fondly of his experiences with the firm and mentioned that WDE&A services “all of his business needs.”
Ken and Brian have worked tirelessly to form a team of experts to be able to meet all of their client’s accounting and tax needs. “We don’t standardize our service when it comes to our clients,” Ken mentioned, “We will never be nor want to be a Wal-Mart accounting firm. We want to have a relationship with our clients. We don’t want them to feel like they are just another client of the firm. We want every client to feel as if they are our only client with the attention we give them.” Just as general stores provided their communities with the utmost excellence and reliability, WDE&A will be there to serve you with a warm welcome and a personalized service.
Contact Us Today!
Are you interested in meeting with one of our 11 CPAs? Whether you are focusing on retirement, launching a start-up, running a professional practice, or simply looking to have your personal tax return compiled, WDE&A can help. With offices in Selinsgrove, Lewisburg, Milton, and Benton, WDE&A is focused on meeting you where you are at. Find us on the web at wdeapc.com or call our Selinsgrove headquarters at (570) 743-2030.