December 18, 2015

Ending on an Up Note

Ending on an Up Note

December 18 — where did the last three months go?! I would have sworn it was Labor Day just last week. This quarter has been a blur for me. Perhaps it’s the unusually warm weather we’re experiencing in New York — by all accounts, it still feels like late September, with a prediction for 65 degrees on Christmas day — ? Or could it be that the last three months might just have been the busiest ever for Marcum?

We’re about to “close the books” on 2015 and usher in 2016 (I needed to get some accounting terminology in there). This is usually when I start to reflect on the year that’s about to end and what next year is likely to bring.

Certainly, 2015 was a record year for Marcum. Many of what I consider to be the year’s highlights happened in the past few weeks, although the strategies, seeds and planning started months, if not years, before. We successfully completed three mergers, adding Chicago, Nashville, Orlando and center city Philadelphia to the Marcum footprint, while at the same time deepening our Firm-wide industry expertise in healthcare, construction and advisory services, just to name a few. We added approximately 50 new partners and about 200 other team members. We welcome all of them along with the clients that have joined the Firm as a result of these transactions. We look forward to doing business with you all in the months and years to come.

Another highpoint of 2015 was our first annual Marcum Day of Service, held the day before Thanksgiving in conjunction with the Marcum Foundation. The response both within the Firm and from clients and friends exceeded our sincerest hopes. Our people really enjoyed the experience and felt good about spending a day giving back, and it definitely helped that our clients understood why we weren’t answering phones or emails that day. Look for a repeat next year, with the day before Thanksgiving as Marcum’s Annual Day of Service for the foreseeable future.

Also in 2015, Marcum entered the advertising big leagues, bringing television into the mix for our branding campaign. Our “Ask Marcum” TV commercials can be seen in all the markets where we practice, on networks such as CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business News and ESPN. I get steady anecdotal feedback pretty much every week from people who see our spots and like them. The campaign seems to be working, and as a result, more people are getting to know who we are and what we do.

Of course, these are just a few of this year’s highlights.

Despite 2015’s stock market volatility and Wednesday’s 1/4-point interest rate increase by the Fed, business for the majority of our clients seems to be good and cautiously getting better. The recession that started in 2008 and lasted until sometime in 2013 (depending on who you talk to) seems to be well behind us, and it appears that the current economic recovery and expansion, while not as robust as some of us would like, seems to have more wind left in its sails. When our clients are doing well, and need us for more than just tax returns and financial statements, we in turn do well.

So now it’s time for the thank you’s. First, to our clients: We deeply appreciate the confidence you have placed in Marcum. We’re honored to be part of your success, and we’re grateful for your trust, confidence, friendship and business. Next, to our friends and referral sources: Thank you for continuing to think of us when opportunities arise and for helping us build the Marcum brand. We truly appreciate it every time you put your personal credibility on the line by referring new business to us. We won’t let you down.

To all of the Marcum team members: Public accounting is truly a team sport, almost 100% reliant on the people on the team. In this highly competitive labor market, we know you all have choices and are honored Marcum is the team you choose to play on.

Lastly to my partners, new and old, who continue to allow me the privilege of leading our firm: It’s a job I’ve had since 1990, although the job description has changed dramatically. I feel honored every day by the faith and confidence you’ve placed in me as the architect of our strategy and vision.

On behalf of the entire Marcum organization and the Weiner family, we wish you all a joyous holiday season and health, happiness and success in the New Year.

Note: This column will be on hiatus through the holidays. Look for my next posting on January 8, 2016.