Location: Smithtown, NY
Industry: Professional services
Michael T. Hanley, CPA
Michels & Hanley CPAs, LLP is an accounting firm that serves small businesses and self-employed individuals to help them strategically minimize their tax bills, reduce their audit risk and protect their personal assets. Managing partner Michael T. Hanley says the firm’s competitive edge in the market lies in the hands-on work mentality of its owners. “Every small-business tax return, along with the personal tax return for those business owners, is prepared by the owners of our firm. We do not have junior accountants preparing tax returns, with the owners simply reviewing and signing off on the returns. This ensures the highest possible quality,” he says.
Quick Tip: “One of the most critical things to have is a solid system of procedures. Your staff should know how to handle most situations.”
In the early days of the business, Michels & Hanley’s owners drove business through face-to-face networking, but once growth began to take off, networking became more of a hindrance than a help. “Taking a step back, I realized that all the time, money and energy I was putting into networking to generate additional business was taking away from the practice, rather than adding to it. I decided to do a 90-day experiment where I completely cut myself off from face-to-face networking,” says Hanley. As a result of the experiment, the company was able to improve its onboarding process, and provide deeper advice to existing clients. The experience led Hanley to develop a streamlined pipeline system and a detailed new-client checklist.