Growing for the right reasons Featured

9:46am EDT September 27, 2004
In its present form, Akron-based SS&G Financial Services started almost 18 years ago with fewer than 10 employees. Today, the accounting, business consulting and management firm has about 275 employees in Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Kentucky and two Cleveland offices.

SS&G Managing Director Mark Goldfarb says that over the last five years, the firm has averaged about 20 percent growth each year. It moved into its 9,000-square-foot Springside Drive office in Akron about six years ago and now, with about 100 employees at that location, is planning to rent an additional 10,000 square feet in a neighboring building to house some of its divisions and accommodate future growth.

"Most of our growth has been what we call 'organic.' We have had some strategic mergers," he says. "We are in the personal service business, so as we grow, we need to add the necessary number of people and professionals to keep the level of service up."

The firm's professionals have expertise in tax specialization, health care, consulting, management and hospitality industry services, as well as in business valuation and litigation support services. Goldfarb says several of his employees specialize in estate succession planning and personal financial planning, while others help manage local physicians' offices.

"We've always approached client service in a very entrepreneurial fashion, and have always thought our job as an adviser begins when the financial statements are completed for our clients," Goldfarb says. "We try to be very proactive in our approach to servicing our clients, which are almost exclusively privately-held, middle-market businesses throughout Northeastern Ohio."

Goldfarb says SS&G's culture is "to grow for the right reasons," create opportunities for younger professionals, look for strategic acquisitions or mergers and hire professionals with expertise in unusual technical and industry fields who can help the firm grow and set it apart from the others.

"It's always been our goal to grow because we feel like it offers a lot of opportunities, and really, in our business, the key to growth in client service is the level of professional that we can attract and recruit to be part of our team," he says.

HOW TO REACH: SS&G Financial Services, (330) 668-9696