A Beacon for Small Business
Ted Funk, CPA and shareholder of VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm.
Photo by Wes Battoclette
Small businesses are often referred to as the heartbeat of America – the country would be a very different place economically without them. But whether locally or regionally owned, small business ownership is risky. Regardless of the industry, all small businesses need a sturdy support system to see them through a multitude of growth hurdles and speed bumps. One critical piece of this support system’s foundation is the accountant. Without a client-focused, forward-thinking and trustworthy accountant as part of the business team, some small businesses simply wouldn’t exist. From tax compliance issues to funds management, and often as a most trusted advisor, the role of an accountant in a small business growth story is a critical one.
For more than 30 years, Ted Funk, CPA and shareholder of VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm, has worked to help regional small businesses in Greater Cincinnati keep their business thriving. Having helped businesses through numerous recessions and recovery cycles throughout his career, Funk has seen innumerable scenarios and solutions. As such, companies and nonprofit organizations alike in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana call on his expertise and insight in good and rough times to keep them steadily growing and side-stepping risk and financial adversity when possible.
Like most shareholders at VonLehman, Funk works on tax issues, audits and many other financial aspects of his clients’ business. In addition to having widespread knowledge about the profession, Funk specializes in working with construction and real estate companies, and nonprofit organizations. This specialization allows him to help his clients in a more intimate manner, providing solutions to problems that might stump other accountants.
“There’s a whole separate set of standards,” he says. “Obviously, nonprofit organizations and construction companies are under different kinds of government regulations. There are intricacies that you learn in these industries that are not common for other types of businesses.”
This specialized skill and knowledge helps Funk be efficient and effective with his clients. Because it’s important for a business owner to trust that their accountant knows what’s best, Funk has to be able to pinpoint or predict issues that are specific to specialized industries.
“You have to know where to spend your time, where issues will be and understand the best practices for that industry,” says Funk. “It saves time and effort when you already know how to handle an issue when it comes up – you shouldn’t be learning on the job.”
Because Funk and his colleagues at VonLehman work with a wide variety of businesses, there are plenty of opportunities to bring them together to help one another solve problems as well.
“If there’s a problem we can’t solve, or something unrelated to accounting a client might be having issues with, we can match them up with other VonLehman clients,” says Funk. “We try to support our clients by using their services personally and to refer them to other clients. This helps the companies we work with build revenue, which is better for them.”
For example, Funk says if a client needs help with financing or rehabbing an office space, he’s able to build a relationship between them and another client, which benefits everyone involved.
For small businesses looking to gain a foothold in today’s economy, Funk advises entrepreneurs to consider surrounding themselves with quality connections like the ones he’s able to provide
“The people you surround yourself with are important,” he says. A strong connection with other business owners is vital for both learning and growing a fledgling company. Funk also advises business owners to be absolutely sure they stay within their means as the company grows.
“Companies should focus strongly on being good corporate citizens in their areas,” says Funk. “The accountants at VonLehman can help companies further their mission and help them through the startup, but there are always changes. Standards and tax regulations will always change.”
Despite inevitable changes in the financial and economic landscape, accountants work hard to keep afloat the small businesses that buoy America. Accountants at VonLehman, like Funk, work with businesses and organizations throughout Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana to guide them through these changes and road bumps.
VonLehman has offices in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. You can reach them at 800.887.0437, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.vlcpa.com.