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30 Fabulous Companies of the Year 2023

One of our defining characteristics is our constant search for new ways to grow and provide maximum value to our clients for over 30 years: BERGER CPAFIRST Leadership

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“We are looking to acquire CPA firms as part of our inorganic growth strategy.” — Ravee Shrinivas

BERGER CPAFIRST is a Certified Public Accounting firm that provides tax and accounting services for small- to medium-sized businesses in New Jersey, New York, and Florida. Put simply, BERGER CPAFIRST helps SMEs to achieve tax goals by providing rulebook financial services.

Ravee Shrinivas and Ramki Sankar co-founded the Berger CPAFirst and running successfully to the level that they were honored to be part of the America’s Fastest Growing Companies list.

The Silicon Review reached out to Mr. Shrinivas and Mr. Sankar, and here’s what they had to say.

Interview Highlights

Q. When it comes to longevity, BERGER CPAFIRST has it. I find it remarkable that an organization can continue to provide services for over three decades. Mr. Sankar, how did Berger maintain its adaptability over the years?

BERGER CPAFIRST has always believed in staying current on tax laws, accounting standards, industry practices, technology, software, and hardware. Our team members do not miss out even on the smallest amendments in laws and guidelines.

We have always strived to provide our clients with what they would expect from us a couple of years later. We were, for example, interacting with clients and delivering services over the 'cloud' even before Covid-induced lockdowns arrived. In other words, for us, technology adoption was by choice as opposed to technology imposed by circumstance.

'We should not rest on our laurels,' is one of our firm beliefs. Various awards won by Berger CPAFirst and our partners have not altered our core values and belief that ‘client satisfaction’ is the ultimate award to aspire for.

We also believe in providing equal attention to all clients irrespective of their size of operations or engagement fee. Barring the partners, none of the 60 strong team members know the fee levied on the clients and that has helped the team provide equal importance to all, without any differentiation.

Q. Mr. Shrinivas, what are BERGER’s key areas of focus as a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm?

BERGER CPAFIRST focuses on the following three broad areas of service along with several other sub-divisions.

  • Business Services include Business Strategy, Tax planning / Tax preparation and Filing Tax Returns, Payroll, Book-keeping/Accounting, Sales Tax, Business Valuation, Outsourced CFO services, and Forensic Audit.
  • Individual Services include Tax Returns, Finance Planning, and Tax Planning.
  • Tax Services include Tax Returns, Tax Planning, International Tax, and FBAR.

Our firm is capable of providing a variety of other services due to our extensive industry experience, but we have consciously focused on a select view to provide quality service to clients. Focus has been one of the hallmarks of our existence in this domain.

Q. In what industries are your clients, Mr. Sankar?

Given our diverse portfolio and long history, there is no industry in which we do not have clients. To name a few, we have clients operating in healthcare, performing arts (including Grammy awardees), manufacturing, marketing companies, advisory companies, transportation, wholesalers, retailers, traders, cleaning services, investment consultants, HNIs, farming and agriculture, software development companies, auto works, gas stations, and restaurants.

Q. Tell us about the BERGER team, Mr. Shrinivas. What value do they bring to the bank?

In an automated Industry, the key resource is the machine and in a process that is skill oriented, it is the team that takes care of the organization’s and client’s interests. We boast of an extremely knowledgeable and skilled team that includes several CPAs, Management Accountants, Enrolled Agents, Tax specialists, and legal luminaries. Some of our team members are on the Consultative panel of several Federal and State Tax authorities and their advice is valued by these institutions.

The combined experience of the team is whopping over 300 years. The strength derived from these talents puts us in a situation where we can generate a simple solution to an extremely complex business challenge.

Q. What's the one thing you want BERGER to be known for, Mr. Sankar?

Dependability! We want our clients to feel assured that we will take care of their accounting/bookkeeping and tax needs while optimising their profitability and tax outflows and ensuring that they are well within the governing laws.

Mr. Shrinivas, tell us, what’s next for BERGER.

We are constantly looking for ways to grow and bring maximum value to our clients. At the same time, we are instituting empathy in the minds of our team members so they can visualize and appreciate clients’ pain points and find solutions. Human Capital is our key to success and so we are constantly looking to bring best-in-class training and development opportunities for our employees.

Furthermore, while we are very proud of our current automation and technological developments, we are always looking into newer technologies and exploring ways to maximise their value.

We are also looking to acquire CPA firms as part of our inorganic growth strategy.

Q. Mr. Sankar, is there anything you would like to add before we wrap up?

BERGER CPAFIRST has won several industry awards including the prestigious ‘Fastest Growing Companies in America’ in the year 2022. It has been awarded ‘Best of Bergen’ in a financial category by The Bergen Magazine, and ‘Inclusive Workplace’ by ‘Best of Companies Group’ for workplace diversity. Berger CPAFirst was also featured in many industry-leading magazines.

We engaged a third-party agency to conduct an employee survey – our Net Promoter Score (NPS) scored far higher than the industry standard and that proves one of our core values of ‘Employee First’. On a similar line, our valued clients provided a 4.8-star review (out of 5) on Google Reviews. We are very fortunate to get a top tier rating from both our valued clients and from our dedicated pool of employees.

Leadership | BERGER CPAFIRST

Ravee Shrinivas, CPA, MBA, CGMA is a prodigious CPA practicing continuously in public accounting and advanced individual and business taxation in New York City serving the tri-state area for over 25 years. In addition to his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Ravee possesses a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance. Ravee has developed the “Dashboard” concept for his clients. As a member of the Forensic and Valuation Services section of AICPA, Ravee, through the “Dashboard” approach quickly analyzes his clients’ businesses and provides them with crisp and meaningful strategies for the growth and cash flow of their business.

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Ramki Sankar, CPA, MBA, CMA is an extraordinarily accomplished CPA with over 25 years of solid, uninterrupted professional experience in public accounting as well as the corporate arena. Prior to moving into public accounting, Ramki served as a CFO for a global conglomerate managing seven countries. Ramki also has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance. Ramki’s specialties include financial governance and discipline, budgeting, standardization, and implementation of accounting systems in addition to financial statement interpretation. Moreover, Ramki is a cost accounting expert who also serves as an outsourced CFO for several clients, adding tremendous value to their growth.

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“We should not rest on our laurels,’ is one of our firm beliefs. Various awards won by Berger CPAFirst and our partners have not altered our core values and belief that ‘client satisfaction’ is the ultimate award to aspire for.”— Ramki Sankar