Wipfli expands construction and real estate practice with addition of Milwaukee-based Benes & Krueger
10000 Innovation Drive
Net Revenue (FY16): $227 million
Total Employees: 1,825
Wipfli’s Construction & Real Estate Industry Leader: John Schwab (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Tell us about your business. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wipfli has been serving businesses in Wisconsin for over 87 years. From a one-person office in Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1930, the firm has grown exponentially over the years into one of the Top 20 largest accounting firms in the United States with more than 1,800 associates in 43 offices across the country and India. Wipfli provides private and publicly held companies with industry-focused assurance, accounting, tax and consulting services to help clients overcome their business challenges and plan for the future. The firm primarily focuses on seven industries including the construction and real estate industry.
- Describe your construction and real estate industry practice and how you serve contractors and real estate developers? Do you provide any specialty services to clients in this industry? Wipfli’s construction and real estate experts have delivered a breadth of solutions to more than 7,300 construction companies and real estate developers. We offer insight and provide answers to just about every area of commercial construction and real estate with the goal of helping our clients to meet their goals and stay profitable. Approximately 40 experienced professionals who are focused on serving business in the construction and real estate industry help clients solve critical issues and prepare for the future. Our professionals provide a range of services including audit and accounting, compliance consulting, cost segregation services, customer relationship management, information technology services, mergers and acquisitions, research and development tax credits, state and local tax services, valuation and litigation support services.
- What is new at Wipfli in Wisconsin? One of the recent highlights for Wipfli involves a combination with Benes & Krueger, a well-respected niche firm in the construction and real estate industry that is based in the Milwaukee market. As part of the combination, Benes & Krueger’s 10 associates, including the firm’s two co-founders, joined the firm and are now based in Wipfli’s Milwaukee office. Established in 1990 , Benes & Krueger provided a wide range of services to the construction industry including dispute resolution, litigation support and forensic accounting, computer system selection and implementation, operational audits and reviews, business planning, audit and tax. By combining forces, we greatly enhanced our combined audit and tax teams and can bring outstanding consulting expertise to the construction market that will position Wipfli to be a full-service asset to our current and future clients. One of the areas that Benes & Krueger historically specialized in is litigation services. As such, Wipfli is now able to help construction and real estate clients with dispute resolution. The firm’s Dispute Resolution Services help clients to efficiently and expertly gather, evaluate, and report the financial data necessary to prepare their position. After discussing a client’s needs for each individual situation, the firm’s professionals tailor a program to meet those needs. The firm’s consultants help clients gain a complete understanding of the financial implications of the situation. In addition, if a client’s negotiations could benefit from a formal written report, Wipfli’s construction industry specialists will prepare one. If negotiations fail and formal proceeds are required, the firm’s CPAs and business advisors can provide testimony. Since Wipfli is an independent party, our professionals’ opinions and input are always objective.
- Are there any other recent developments at Wipfli to share? In addition to the addition of Benes & Krueger in Milwaukee, the firm has experienced significant growth recently in our Chicago market. In the past 13 months, the firm has acquired four Chicago-based firms in the past 13 months, adding breadth and depth to our resources and services in the Chicago market. Those firms include Steinberg Advisors, Ltd., Weltman Bernfield LLC, and BIK & Co., LLP, which added five offices in the Chicago area to our firm.
- Provide a recent example of how you have helped a construction and real estate company to succeed. We have a great story of a Wisconsin based company that we helped recently that is a multifamily housing management company. The company manages apartment communities consisting of over 6,000 apartment homes in Wisconsin and has been a Wipfli tax client for many years.
As tax services were provided to the client, Wipfli’s tax team recognized the gap in our client’s technology solution related to the way they shared information with their investors or clients and Wipfli. The company was using multiple disparate ways to share documents with their investors and tax preparers. The domain information was also stored in multiple systems.
Wipfli’s information technology (IT) consultants who specialize in the construction and real estate industry were brought in to evaluate and ultimately suggested the client consider developing a new platform. The client agreed, so after further evaluation and dialogue with the client, the Wipfli team set the following objectives for the platform:
- The platform needed to speed up the time and increase certainty of when information would be available to stakeholders.
- The platform needed to provide the client with the ability to share documents with investors throughout the year.
- The platform needed to allow the client to more easily collaborate with Wipfli for tax preparation.
- The platform needed to serve as a single source of record for all investor and property information.
- The platform needed to allow users to access it from anywhere at any time, while securely protecting the information exchanged or stored in it.
Considering these objectives in our strategy, the Wipfli team created a technology platform that provided a solution for the client’s existing needs, but with the ability to easily build upon it over time. The user-friendly and intuitive solution works on desktops, tablets and mobile phones. Further, it is a cloud-hosted solution that does not require any of the client’s time for server and infrastructure management or maintenance and it is secure with an encrypted site and database. Our client is thrilled with the new platform as it is has increased their effectiveness and efficiency.
For more information on Wipfli or the firm’s Construction & Real Estate practice, please visit wipfli.com.