3 min read May 2022 — Matthews and Nulty is an accounting and tax service firm located in East Brunswick, New Jersey. In an interview with Invest:, Partner Michael Nulty discussed the increasing need for tax advising post-pandemic, technological innovations in accounting, as well as attracting and retaining talent through promoting work-life balance.
What have been some important milestones for Matthews and Nulty this past year?
Our biggest success was helping our clients through these turbulent times. Most of our clients are small businesses, which took a big hit during the pandemic. We helped to guide them through various challenges, especially concerning issues about PPP and EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) applications.
What differentiates your firm from other players in the North and Central Jersey region, and are there any future projects or expansions in the pipeline?
It is personal service that differentiates us. We don’t like to overextend ourselves, so we aren’t going to take on a client unless they are the right fit. We like the soup-to-nuts approach, which means we want to handle all of a client’s needs, such as bookkeeping, payroll or personal business taxes, planning or budgeting. We want to give them the full array of services to be successful.
In terms of expansion, we recently purchased a firm in North Jersey and we are looking to do that again. We are looking to grow as much as possible, but also, we want to be strategic with that growth. We want to make sure the clients we acquire are a good fit for us.
How does demand for your services compare to that of pre-pandemic levels?
The demand for our services has gone up, so the future is bright. There were a lot of changes to funding and the tax structure during the pandemic. This has created more work for us but we are working in more of an advisory role regarding tax changes or government credits. The needs of our clients have evolved. More clients need a hand-holding approach, which sets us apart from the rest of the marketplace. We want to help put our clients in a position that makes them successful by making sure we account for every detail.
What are the most exciting technological innovations in your field?
We have pumped a lot of money into technology in the last few months. We invested in platforms that aren’t run-of-the-mill tax programs, as well as software that allows us to better interface with our clients. The pandemic opened things up, so we can reach more clients in other parts of New Jersey but also potentially clients around the world. This required us to invest in CRMs that address needs such as client security and file exchange. The upgrading of technology has helped our business tremendously, not only in growth but also in client services. We are always looking to stay on the cutting edge.
What are some of the defining characteristics of North and Central Jersey that make it a great place to do business?
North and Central Jersey are hubs because they are close to Manhattan and Philadelphia. As a whole, it is a perfect spot to cultivate and grow your business. It is also a diverse area with people from many walks of life. It allows business owners to give back to the community but also to have a vast number of potential clients.
I think the growth in the professional services sectors in these regions will continue to be strong. The building of distribution centers throughout the country will continue to help develop growth. The pandemic has allowed businesses to have a greater reach and it has caused people to spread throughout the United States because they can work remotely. These factors will allow many opportunities going forward.
How has the move to the virtual workplace impacted the workplace and your client interactions?
Virtual meetings have helped us grow our business quite a bit. We were already moving in that direction and we had a process in place but the pandemic just sped up this movement. We were positioned to take the leap and we are looking to cut down even more on in-person meetings, where possible.
What are some of the strategies that your firm uses to attract and retain quality talent?
We are growing, so the work from home model is going to be the way of the future. It is here to stay and offices are developing a much smaller footprint. A lot of younger people coming out of college are looking for that flexibility where they don’t have to commute 40 minutes to work. We are working on a hybrid schedule and we have some full remote workers, as well. It is important to accommodate good talent if they prefer to work remotely.
How will you avoid employee burnout during these challenging times?
In terms of burnout, we are trying to keep the non-tax season hours under 40 hours a week, so we are trying to establish a healthy work-life balance. Also, it is important to have open lines of communication with our employees. Employees should feel comfortable letting us know when the workload is too much or when they need some time off. Work is a huge part of one’s life, but it can’t be the only thing in life.
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