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advocacy community education
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Q. Besides fraud cases, where litigation is involved,
what is another circumstance where a CPA and attorney
should collaborate in the client's interest?
HC: When a lawyer prepares a stockholders' agreement, it
is important to have an accountant review those sections of
the agreement relating to valuation issues e.g., how to
determine the book value of the corporation's stock (and
which valuation methodology should be used) when it is
sold to new stockholders or redeemed from departing stock-
holders, what depreciation schedule should be selected for
depreciable assets, etc.
DR: That's an excellent example. In fact, we are currently
working with an attorney to update a shareholder agree-
ment. My client's family-owned business is substantial.
There was a sudden passing of the parent who established
the business, and it left the children in the business in a
position of urgent need for legal expertise. We resolved that
as a team very well, in the face of the additional family rela-
tionships that can complicate business dealings.
Q. What ways do you feel are most effective in building
your referral base of CPAs and attorneys?
HC: Well, participating in an article like this is an excellent
opportunity to reach a broad base of CPAs who belong to
the state association and read this publication. And, of
course, working with a CPA, such as David, gives me confi-
dence referring him to my clients.
DR: I agree with Hugh that directly working together makes
it likely we'll work together and refer clients to each other in
the future. I also find that the nature of my long-standing
relationships with my clients naturally puts me in contact
with their other advisors, including their attorneys.
Q. What advice can you give to attorneys and CPAs who
are not comfortable with networking?
DR: We should accept that networking is part of the business
landscape. It's necessary in order to do the best job for your
client and to feed new business into your pipeline of oppor-
tunities. Learn to play golf if you think you'll enjoy it. Then,
golf with lawyers and other professionals. You'll develop
business relationships and have some fun. Also, get on com-
mittees and boards in organizations that are important to
you. It's a great way to meet other professionals and do
something for the community that you feel good about.
HC:
Although I think it's important to network with your
peers, bar association committees and events allow you
only to meet other lawyers. That's probably very good for a
CPA, but not as good for me. My focus is on finding, as
David said, organizations and committees that I feel con-
nected to and enjoy. Then, you start off with something in
common with the others in it.
Jill M. Kovalich is the Director of Practice
Growth at Konowitz, Kahn & Company, P.C.
in North Haven and Middlebury. She has
more than 25 years of experience in market-
ing, sales, and business development.
Contact her at JillK@konowitzkahn.com.
David L. Reynolds, CPA, CFE is a princi-
pal of Konowitz, Kahn & Company, P.C.
He serves as the firm's human resources
principal and oversees staffing needs,
compensation models, and overall hiring
practices, and also leads the firm's
forensic and litigation team. He is an
alumnus of Quinnipiac University. Contact him at
dave@konowitzkahn.com.
Hugh W. Cuthbertson, Esq. is a partner at
Zangari Cohn Cuthbertson P.C. in New
Haven. He represents management in the
defense of employment, discrimination,
retaliation, harassment, wrongful dis-
charge, breach of contract, and various
tort claims. He holds a B.A. from Case
Western Reserve University and a J.D. from the Boston
College Law School. Contact him at 203-789-0001.
Looking to network with
attorneys and other
professionals?
CSCPA wants help!
The CSCPA Advisory Council recently assembled a
Networking/Affiliation Opportunities Task Force to
explore ways that CSCPA can provide members with
more networking opportunities with attorneys,
bankers, state and local officials, regulators, and
other professionals.
Two "success stories" they'll be looking at are the IRS
and DRS Liaison Dinner Meetings CSCPA organizes
throughout the year. See page 50 of this issue for a
wrap-up of the most recent meeting.
If you have any suggestions for the task force or would
like to be sure you hear about any upcoming programs
or events, please contact Membership Director Julie
Carroza at juliec@cscpa.org or 860-258-0218.
CPAs and Attorneys
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