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The Elder Group's client success strategies and success stories and Interviews

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the firm Leaf, Saltzman, Manganelli, Pfeil & Tendler and we are talking to Donald Saltzman who is the firms managing partner. The firm consists of 45 people and continually is listed in the NJ Biz top 50 accounting firms.

The firm is a proud member of Integra International, an interactive global network of independent accounting, tax, business valuation and consulting firms dedicated to exchanging information and advising growing businesses and professionals.

Mr. Elder: Don, I have known you and your firm for a number of years and have heard from many companies and professionals about the excellent service you give and the firm wide philosophy of proactive planning eliminates reactive solutions. How do you and your partners achieve this?

Mr. Saltzman: I am blessed to have partners who combine a number of laudable attributes. We are not only great technicians but understand our client's expectations and then exceed them. We maintain open lines of communications with our clients, and by keeping in touch regularly, rather than waiting for them to call us, we involve ourselves in all facets of their business such as assisting them in strategic financial and tax planning throughout the year.

Mr. Elder: You have spoken about your partners, how does your staff contribute to the overall firm's mission?

Mr. Saltzman: Our staff is both key and critical to providing the service demanded by our clients. They are involved at every level with our clients from planning stages to the execution of the engagement. They know performing the work timely and accurately with the least amount of disruption to the client's every day operations are essential. They also act as the eyes and the ears for the partners and provide invaluable information to us. We are proud that our staff retention is among the highest in the profession.

Mr. Elder: What are your firms areas of expertise and major industries covered?

Mr. Saltzman: Each of our professionals is cross trained to provide value-added advice in a wide variety of areas including: accounting and auditing, tax and financial planning, general business consulting, estate and trust planning and accounting, entity structuring, litigation support, forensic accounting, and business valuations. We have developed a practice area for the fields of construction, distribution, franchises, insurance agencies, law firms, manufacturing, not-for-profit, physicians, real estate, trucking and the solid waste industry.

Mr. Elder: How does your firm find and attract new clients?

Mr. Saltzman: Andy, as you know, we are not of the country club set. We get most of our referrals from existing clients who can attest to our overall service and value added performance. We also network, and get referrals from other professionals who have worked with us over the years as they appreciate what we can offer their clients...

Mr. Elder: What changes do you see coming in both financial and tax areas in the next few years?

Mr. Saltzman: There are major changes in financial reporting coming over the next few years known as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). This will be the convergence of what is known as GAAP, our current reporting standard, into the international standards of accounting. The basic result will be a change from historical cost to market value reporting of assets. It will be major. In the tax area I see significant personal and business tax increases to cover the vast spending programs currently underway.

Mr. Elder: Would you be so kind as to share a success story about one of your clients (name of course to be withheld)?

Mr. Saltzman: Our practice consists of primarily family owned businesses and as a result we often advise clients in the restructuring and exit strategy to pass the ownership from the current generation of owners to the children entering the business.

We have a client whose owners desired to sell the business to their children. Originally the transaction was anticipated to be structured as a stock sale. After a through review of all of the facts and the desires of the family, our recommendations resulted in the restructuring of the entities that saved the children over $2,000,000 in after tax dollars at no cost to the parents. This savings of company capital and our involvement in the financial mentoring of the children enabled the company to double the volume of the business in four years and pay out their parents in a time frame shorter than originally anticipated.

Mr. Elder: Would you like to make a closing statement that best sums up your clients and your practice?

Mr. Saltzman: Our clientele consists of family owned and closely-held businesses, ranging from those with no staff to large corporations with in-house chief financial officers. We pride ourselves on having close client relationships and work diligently to earn the trust and respect of our clients, becoming not only the accountant or auditor, but more importantly, the business advisor, management consultant and friend. Please visit our website at for a bigger picture of who we are.

Don Saltzman, CPA & Managing Partner of Leaf, Saltzman, Manganelli, Pfeil & Tendler, LLP

Office: (973) 808-9500 Website: