Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas
2 min read September 2021 — Scott Kopecky, managing partner at accounting and advisory firm ADKF, spoke to Invest: about the challenges inherent to facing the pandemic and how they were overcome. The firm was prepared, as it had already invested in digital integration. Kopecky also discussed the benefits and optimism surrounding the San Antonio market.
How did ADKF grow or evolve over the course of the pandemic?
In the past year and half, it has been amazing to see how fast things have accelerated and changed. Given the plans we already had in place adopting and implementing IT solutions into our firm, we actually felt like we were well-positioned with these IT integrations along with the way we structured client response teams to handle increased client needs. Once the pandemic settled in — I’ll admit there were a couple of weeks of scrambling — but, really, in quick order, we found our rhythm. We had our growth model already in place, as we are always planning a couple of years down the line. We always try to look at what our needs are, from staffing to hardware to office space, and make sure we are keeping up with that plan. Thankfully, in the years leading up to the pandemic, we had made a concerted effort to make sure that we were on an integrated platform for our firm.
What are the general issues and features of the accounting and advisory market in San Antonio?
We have a very diverse market here in San Antonio. I’ve lived here my whole life and it’s been amazing watching this city expand and grow the way it has. This is a very business-friendly and economically vibrant community. Therefore, we find a lot of businesses and people moving here, whether to retire or to start a business. As a result, we’ve found that our advisory business is, more than ever, in high demand. The issue for the accounting and advisory market is there has been a lot of tax legislation passed in the last year and a half, and at this time there is a major piece of legislation — The Infrastructure Bill – Revitalizing and Rebuilding America — making its way through the House. This has only amplified the amount of consulting that our clients are looking for. They are looking to manage their growth models and their tax bills. We have clients we are assisting with multigenerational planning, and the impact recent and proposed tax legislation would have on the transfer of their business. There are so many different considerations and there are a lot of opportunities for us to assist our clients with.
How has demand for your services shifted?
We already had plans to expand a number of departments that we’ve accelerated to meet the shift in service. We have a tax controversy department that we’ve been putting talent into. It handles the federal and state issues that different clients face. They’re talking about trying to get the IRS’ budget up to audit high-net-worth individuals, which is a large portion of our client base. We’re gearing up that department, knowing that we will likely have an increase in demand in that area and with the goal of making everything go as smoothly as possible. The other thing that we’ve done is expanded our services to include valuation services as we look to implement different plans that we’ve proposed to clients. This will apply to estate / gift taxes and mergers and acquisitions. We are offering and expanding that line of business as we move forward.
What are some of the unique aspects of doing business in San Antonio?
San Antonio is a very diverse city with regard to business and people making the accounting market unique and varied. Even talking in a broad sense, we are more diverse business-wise than we’ve ever been. Before San Antonio was known as a military city and healthcare focused. In the last few years there has been a lot of business moving here. Most recently we have become a hub for cybersecurity. Now there aren’t many industries that are not represented here. There is a great talent pool, also. You have UT Austin up the road, A&M and a lot of great universities all around us like UTSA. It was not uncommon for many years, for talent to leave for other markets. Now, they’re staying in San Antonio because we have those opportunities here and we have diverse industries locally for them to choose from.
What advice would you give young accountants entering the industry?
This industry has been a little bit difficult because we haven’t portrayed ourselves correctly. My advice to young accountants would be not to get bogged down by the misconception that they will be stuck in a room with a bunch of papers doing data analytics all day. We’re very relationship-based and love meeting with our clients. If you like problem-solving, there is no better industry than public accounting because we work with such a wide variety of clients. It really stretches your thought process. I think young people should be aware of how interesting and rewarding this profession can be.
What is your outlook for the next three to five years?
Over the next three to five years, we want to make sure we are keeping up with the times, as our clients will be evolving also. The accounting profession is always evolving and changing. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary at ADKF this year and are excited about the future as we explore and expand our services. We’re trying to make sure that, as we look at everything from our client’s needs to new staffing models, that we’re looking into future technologies. We’ve really only started to touch on AI, for instance. There are a lot of interesting technologies being brought to market. We want to make sure we stay ahead of this as we move into the future to enhance both our client experience and integrate efficiencies for our professionals to service our clients.
For more information, visit: