Wausau Pilot & Review
Editor’s note: Business of the Week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally-owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and the ways they contribute to the metro area’s unique flavor. Learn how to feature your business by emailing [email protected]
This week’s featured Wausau-area business combines tax preparation and accounting services under one roof with a personalized feel and reasonable rates. Pinnacle Tax & Accounting, 115 Forest St., Wausau, started when owners Paul and Emily Jauch began preparing tax returns for a few dozen customers in their home. What started as a grassroots endeavor quickly grew too large for a home-based business as more customers spread the word. Eventually, the couple added staff and rented their first office in 2019. The team works year-round to help individuals and businesses with tax planning, payroll, bookkeeping and much more. In addition to Paul and Emily, the staff includes office manager Whitney Lewis, enrolled agent Jim Paulik, and administrative assistants Mai Vang and Krista Betz. Together, they take pride in offering services you can trust, from individual and business tax preparation to guiding new business startups to addressing letters from the IRS. They take the headache out of tax preparation, explaining each step in the process – in terms that anyone can understand. Pinnacle is small enough to know each client by name, but experienced enough to tackle any tax or accounting-related situation, and they take great pride in what they do. Here, Paul and Emily Jauch talk about how their business was born – and why they’ve become the fastest-growing firm and largest independent tax preparation business serving the central Wisconsin area!
Q: When was your business established? What prompted you to start?
A: The business as it is now was established in 2012, Paul had been doing taxes since 1991 but decided to go out on his own in 2012. He was tired of people paying so much to have a basic tax return prepared and wanted more freedom over the entire experience for his clients.
Q: How did you choose the name of your business? What are you trying to convey?
A: We chose ‘pinnacle’ because we believe in providing excellent service to our clients: the pinnacle of service, if you will. A pinnacle is a peak or a highest point. Our business certainly hasn’t reached it’s peak, but it’s more about providing the highest service possible at a reasonable rate.
Q: Tell us more. What products or services do you offer?
A: We offer a range of services from individual tax preparation to payroll and accounting for businesses in the area. We also handle IRS and Wisconsin Department of Revenue notices and letters, audits, tax planning and in-office or on-site business consultations.
Q: What makes your business unique? What sets you apart?
A: We combine tax preparation and accounting into one firm with a personalized feel and reasonable rates. A lot of CPA firms charge a premium for their services based on their title. We don’t do that here. As Enrolled Agents, we pass rigorous exams and have to complete hours of continuing education each year. We can do a lot of what a CPA can do without the hefty price tag, while also catering to our clientele who require tax preparation services.
Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing?
A: We are proud to say we have won Best of Marathon County for two straight years as well as Runner Up in 2019. We are the fastest growing firm in the Central Wisconsin area and mostly from word of mouth. We are so proud of the way our clients speak about us out in the community.
Q: How have you changed and evolved over time? What’s different now from when you first started?
Well, we first started with about 50 clients doing tax returns in our home. Over time that number has grown, doubling each year the first couple of years. When we purchased our home in 2017, we built out an office space in our basement and spent two years completing returns there. When we hit over 600 clients at the end of the 2018 tax season, Emily put her foot down about people coming into the house. She was worried about the safety of all of Wausau having access to our address and our house – we had young kids then. So we rented our first office space in the fall of 2019 and at that point Paul quit working for Emily’s uncle at a CPA firm in Ripon. He had been traveling for the last seven years during tax seasons: Four days home and three days gone, trying to build our business and work his job as well. It was an exhausting time for everyone. Once he was home and working our business seven days a week, it just exploded. At the end of the 2019 tax season we had seen 850 clients and this year we are on track to do around 1,350. Of course, with all of that growth we had to make some changes. We added more staff to help with phones and emails as well as customer service. We had two great staff members the first year, but as it goes with more seasonal work they couldn’t stay on. We’ve also had to change the technology we use in order to better service our clients. We used Google Calendar when it was just us but last year we switched to a Tax Office Management software and that has been a great change for us. This year we acquired another firm and had to add additional staff to help with that influx of clients as well. We are proud of the team we have assembled for the upcoming tax season and feel confident in our systems.
Q: What challenges have you had to overcome? Basically, if you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
A: Honestly, no. Any challenges we have had were opportunities for growth as individuals, a couple, and business owners. We wouldn’t change a thing about how we have built our business.
Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Where do you see your business in five years? 10?
A: We hope to be able to continue to grow without losing that personalized feeling. We enjoy being able to be personal with our clients and know them all by name. In five years we expect we’ll need another larger space to accommodate our growing business. We are hoping to build something to suit our needs that can be grown into for the years to come. We are hoping to double our current business within 10 years and create more jobs for the area.
Connect with Pinnacle Tax & Accounting
Pinnacle Tax & Accounting, LLC
115 Forest Street
Wausau WI 54403
715-841-0428 or 715-574-8582
Online at www.pinnacletaxwausau.com
Follow Pinnacle on Facebook