‘Providing quality services based on a methodology that minimizes disruption to clients and results in effective and efficient service.’
Grassi & Co., the 70th largest firm in the U.S., is a premier professional service organization specializing in accounting, auditing, tax, technology, and business consulting services. Grassi & Co. has offices in Manhattan, Long Island, Westchester County, NY, and Park Ridge, NJ, as well as internationally through its association with Moore Stephens International. Grassi & Co. specializes in professional services for the Not-for-Profit, Construction, Architecture & Engineering, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Distribution, Retail, Technology, Media & Telecommunication, Transportation, Energy & Natural Resources, and Healthcare industries, among others.
In Conversation with the Key Executive
Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?
When I got started I wanted to create a different approach to financial services. My goal was to make our services high touch and high impact for entrepreneurial business owners.
What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
We do a client survey each year and while our grades continue to be high, we take the feedback that is provided by our clients and modify our process or services to help accommodate our clients. We have also added services based on their responses to allow our clients a one-stop shop for a variety of their needs. We always want to measure the level of satisfaction our clients have and use that to increase service areas and improve on existing services.
What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?
In today’s competitive market it is risky to have one lone ranger partner who knows what nobody else knows and to sell what nobody else can sell. We appoint partners to business unit leaders who own the profit growth of a specific service line or niche so that we can then conquer markets one at a time as opposed to individual referred clients one at a time.
What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
The biggest challenge I faced was in getting my first client because I was only 25 years old when I started the company—although I looked much younger than I was and because of this people didn’t take me seriously at first. I actually sprayed gray in my hair to make myself look older than I was, and at that point I was able to close our first engagement, which was very large. As the company grew, however, I found running a company of 20 people was drastically different than running a company of 10.
As a CEO, and someone who is building a business, it is important to realize that each breakpoint in your corporate history is going to present different challenges that will need different solutions. I always operated “as if”. If you are a 10-person organization, but you want to be a 20-person organization then act as if you are already a 20-person organization. Spend the money you need to in order to build the infrastructure necessary to bring your company to that level.
What do you feel are the reasons behind your consistent growth as an organization?
We have robust processes that include identifying roles, goals, resource deployment, profitability, etc. All are driven by empowered leadership and our growth is a function of three necessary disciplines: marketing, sales, and product management.
What learnings have helped you to set this company up?
As the CEO of your own company, you not only lead the business, but you are also a student of that business. Each level brings learning opportunities that help push your organization to a new level of excellence.
Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be rolled out into the market?
This year we are rolling out an exciting initiative to simplify the progression for client success through organizational engagement and execution using our experience, processes and actionable intelligence.
We will provide consulting services and executive training consisting of steps to success including: vision, strategic planning and focus, organization, communication, lean continuous improvement, and helping to create a culture of execution.
Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?
Our vision is to be the leading national consulting firm creating options for our clients and to simplify their progression for success through organizational engagement.We strive to consistently do the right thing for our clients.
Meet the CEO
Louis C. Grassi, CEO and Managing Partner: Lou began his career in 1977 and has extensive experience in tax, accounting and consulting. He was named one of the “Managing Partner Elite” by Accounting Today Magazine. His CPA peers also voted him to be among the “Most Admired Peers,” as awarded by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA). Lou was also recognized as an “Outstanding CEO” by a major NY publication and was recently recognized as one of the “Kings of Long Island” by Queens Courier.
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