Interview with Loni Woodley of Woodley Hilderbrand & Sanders LLP

CPA Firm Colorado Springs

Company Name: Woodley Hilderbrand & Sanders LLP
Owner Name: Loni Woodley
Year Business Established: January 2010
Phone Number: 719-634-2815

Description of your business? “Full service CPA Firm that provides accounting tax and consulting services.”

Services offered: “We offer full accounting; Outsourcing accounting, Income tax preparation, Consulting with small to medium sized business, Business evaluations, Forensic accounting, Audits, Reviews. All the traditional service that a public accounting firm does offer. Plus, I think one of the biggest things, is that we will strive to be a little bit different in the sense that most of our people have been on the client’s side of the equation. We can relate from a business owner, business accountant, book keeper, and CFO’s perspective. Because most all of our staff has struggled through the different things that our clients have been through. So we can help them on whatever stage their business is in.”

How did you get started in this business? Why this industry? “The biggest thing for me personally was the passion I have, even as far back in high school. I just pursued that passion and I love what I do because we get to help a lot of different individuals and businesses.”

What challenges as a business owner did you face when starting this company? “Like everything it’s a lot to do with making sure you have the right people in place, the right systems in place. Also, being able to adapt to the changes in our environment, and in our industry. We had to make sure that we’re being proactive and developing great client relationships. We struggled with just trying to make sure we had those in place. This even includes the firms that we’ve acquired.”

What challenges do you see now in 2016? “So we see the same type of struggles, I think more so today though, it does revolved around making sure we are staying in front of our clients and being more proactive with them, which includes listening and serving them. We have another struggle too with just the changing in our work force. Our industry is known for having long hours, so it’s not as desirable as other jobs. We have a lot of new people coming into it that want to have a family life mix. We’re in the process of restructuring what we do and how we do it to a certain degree, so that we meet the needs of our newer work force.”

What is the #1 way you quire new clients today? “Most of the time it’s through client referrals. We are trying to get more information out through our social media and our websites. We’re also trying to just get out into the community more often. The biggest thing I find is through client referrals and centers of influence referrals is how we really get a lot of our newer clients.”

Has the internet played a big role for you as it becomes more prevalent? “Absolutely, the internet, it’s so difficult to understand sometimes where they get the information. If you’re not there your customers can’t get the information they need. We’re intending to do various things with our websites and one of the things we are trying out is to just educate our clients. It doesn’t just have to be our clients but even companies who want to know more about various topics. It’s to be used as a teaching tool and to help set the stage for who we are as a company.”

Where do you see yourself in business 5 years from now? “Personally I don’t plan on stepping away for a long time. This has more to do with making sure we have the right people that are in front of our clients who can truly help their initial needs, and help them grow. I think 1 – 5 years from now we’ll still be doing the things that we’re doing today, and doing them for more clients. We will continue to grow through some acquisitions, but we’ll also grow just within the local community. Our goal is to be more involved in the communities.”

Why would you say your customers select you over your competitors? “I think one of the things that we have, is that we’ve been on the other side of the equation. We can relate differently than other CPA’s because we’ve been there. So when a client comes in, and they have a HR issue, or a cash flow issue, we have it on the back of our mind for the most part that we’ve been there so we can relate more. In addition, we have more resources available than most smaller firms. So we compete with the bigger side of our industry, and we also have a local presence. We are there for the client and we’re able to provide more resources than what they would get from a smaller firm.”