A LOCAL ACCOUNTING FIRM BRINGS A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE TO MONEY MANAGEMENT
BY ERIK SCHONING PHOTOS BY ALEX BARRETO
It’s a familiar story: a tenacious entrepreneur follows their dreams and finally launches their business, only to realize years later, after scaling and expanding, that they don’t know the first thing about balancing their books. It’s a scenario David Egan, managing partner at Goldenthal & Suss, sees all the time. He’s made his name helping clients, from multi-state business ventures to mom-and-pop shops, navigate the world of money.
After graduating from Pace University, Egan sharpened his financial tools as an auditor for not-for-profits in New York City, preparing financial statements for major museums and theaters. For a while he worked in New Jersey, serving clients in the construction field. In 2005, Egan settled at Goldenthal & Suss, taking over for retiring partners. For the first time, it was his chance to steer the ship.
“I had just been married and was looking to expand the business and start a family,” Egan said. “I wanted to build a bigger office than what I had acquired. We worked to do just that, bringing on bigger clients, specifically targeting larger corporate clients, multi-state clients, clients that operate not just in the borough but all over the country.”
That expansion brought Egan to the world of IT. As with all technology, information technology has exploded in the last 20 years, leading to a massive need for financial management in the sector. Egan wanted to find a niche, and he found it in IT. He was perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between technology and accounting. As he explained, his generation started learning accounting on pen and paper. (Egan transitioned to computer technology while still studying for the CPA exam.) Once he found his niche, he was able to apply the lessons of a career in accounting to a specific type of company.
“I went to school with a few friends that had worked in IT,” he said. “I saw that as a real marketplace where there was an opportunity to come in with expertise and help clients expand and scale. It reminded me of the construction companies I had worked with in the past, where they knew how to build a building but they didn’t necessarily know how to prepare tax returns. These larger IT firms were very similar. They knew how to build an infrastructure or a platform but they didn’t necessarily know how to do cash flow management or accounting controls.”
Over the years, as Goldenthal & Suss grew and developed a reputation as a premier firm for IT companies, Egan saw how financial expertise could transform a company. Eventually, he found his scope of client services expanding; he was no longer simply preparing financial statements, but rather being asked for management-level expertise about the growth and direction of a company. From here, one of Goldenthal & Suss’s more unique services was born: outsourced CFO work.
For many, the word “CFO” means giant corporations and massive C-suites (in short: big money). But as Egan learned over years of working with clients, companies of any size need to strategize. A good accountant keeps track of the financial health of a company, while a CFO specializes in interpreting the numbers, in reading the tea leaves and sitting down with management to offer the best path forward. Egan sees his services as flexible, tailored to a specific client’s needs, but always with an eye for long-term strategy and survival.
“Think about it from the point of view of a business that’s selling widgets,” Egan said. “When they’re just selling them out of the front door of their shop, it’s easy. Well, now they’ve scaled and they have 12 shops. They’re selling remotely, and they’re using different marketplaces and platforms. It’s easy to make mistakes. So we come in. We don’t make decisions for business owners. Sometimes all it takes is just putting ideas on the table. That’s what a good CFO should do: bring good ideas to upper management from a financial perspective they might not be aware of.”
Egan is a native Staten Islander. His father was a small business owner in the borough. Despite his firm’s success with multi-state clients, he’s never lost sight of the small businesses that keep a local economy afloat. Goldenthal & Suss is very much a local firm; Egan hires from the community, participates in local events, and has a longstanding relationship with the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. Egan is all about meeting his clients where they are, whether they are navigating macro economic issues or simply trying to stay on top of their taxes.
“If there’s a person that opens up a little bakery on Amboy Road, and they’re just starting out, they can still come to our office and sit down with me and get that same experience, that same one-on-one that a larger, $50 million multi-state company is getting,” Egan said. “That’s something we’ve always done with our community. It’s one of the things that I never wanted to get away from.”
Goldenthal & Suss Consulting, P.C.
4218 Amboy Road / 718.227.6035 / gosucpa.co