Professional Services
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Client Profile – Professional Services

  • Law firms ranging in size from one lawyer to 250, including contingency-based plaintiff firms
  • Architectural firms
  • Real estate brokerages
  • Insurance agencies
  • Healthcare provider groups

Key Industry Contact

Steve Metzenthin

Ricky Rhine

As members of a leading accounting and consulting services firm, we live in the professional service provider’s world. We understand the challenges and opportunities that professional service firms face, and how to maximize profit – particularly in a recovering economy.

We relate to the same issues that our professional service prover clients face – business and relationship transitions, succession planning, ownership, non-compete agreements, malpractice insurance, trust management, and more. We tailor our audit and tax services to our clients' needs with full confidentiality. Our first concern is for trust and then the quality of our work.

The Whitley Penn professional will be a long-term and trusted member of our client’s management team. They have ready access to the insight and experience of our senior partners, who will share ideas and strategies that have made our own firm successful.

Specialized Financial Audits

Although many professional service organizations do not need a standard full audit, we can undertake agreed-upon procedures for any business, and handle specific compliance needs if required by financial institutions to extend a line of credit professional services organizations can present our reports to their stakeholders with confidence. With the growing presence of third-party investors, we can conduct due diligence and financial statements reviews that meet the requirements of private equity or hedge fund investors.

Employee Benefit Plan Audits

If a firm has more than 100 participants in an employee benefit plan, we excel at all aspects of plan audits; including preparation and filing the required Form 5500 tax return and related audit report for the federal government.

Taxation and Tax Planning

We handle all necessary tax compliance filings – including Forms 1120 and 1120S for C and S corporations, and 1065 for partnership reporting, Form 1041 trust filings, as well as multi-state and local compliance reporting – in accordance with complex and changing tax law, to ensure that your state and federal tax filings are prepared correctly.

Our tax planning strategies include optimizing tax-deferred compensation through identifying appropriate defined contribution (401-K) plans, profit sharing plans, and defined benefit plan packages. We also focus on retirement distribution planning and practice succession planning (including partnership unwinding and dissolution), with an integration of insurance needs.

We help professional service organizations structure customized compensation packages for existing and new partners, particularly with regard to taxation of bonuses and IRS scrutiny of arrangements when compensation is split unevenly.

If it makes financial sense for our client’s business objectives, we can help professional service organizations convert from personal service corporations to limited liability partnerships, providing significant tax advantages. We also help develop strategies to avoid the double taxation that C corporations often face.

Risk Management and Business Process Improvement

Our work for professional service providers involves strategic risk management and mitigation. It’s an approach that emphasizes practical, hands-on business experience to help clients avoid problems through selection of the appropriate business entity (such as an LLC, LLP or S corporation) and implementation of effective operational and business controls. Often we emphasize proactive risk prevention strategies such as document retention programs to reduce compliance and litigation risk.

With our highly effective IT audit capabilities, we can also assess computer systems for disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and assurance of personal data security and confidentiality (especially important for law firms and healthcare providers).

Virtual Back Office and Accounting Services

Through our Accounting Services group, we provide a cost-effective alternative to hiring and training in-house financial records employees, as we become the Virtual Back Office to handle bookkeeping, cash management, budgeting and similar tasks. Additionally, many of our clients find great value in utilizing our professionals as part of their business management team and act as their “virtual controller/executive officer.”

Personal Finance Advice

We also help our clients manage and protect their accumulated wealth through effective tax, investment and personal planning strategies. We provide personalized estate planning solutions that maximize financial benefits while minimizing taxes.

Next Steps

You can be certain that Whitley Penn “gets it.” We approach your needs as if they were our own, in large part because they are – when you work with one of our partners, it will be someone who speaks your language and understands your concerns. Call us if you want an advisor who will relate to you as a professional and an entrepreneur, and do everything possible to help ensure your success.