Q&A: Numbers create livelihood for Prescott CPAs
By Ken Hedler
The Daily Courier
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Q&A with Gidget Schutte and Lois Hilgendorf, owners of Schutte & Hilgendorf Audit, Accounting & Taxes in the Crossings business park, 3140 Stillwater Drive, Suite A., Prescott. The office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays “officially,” Schutte said. “During tax season we are here all the time.” The phone number is 778-0079; the website is www.prescottaccountants.com.
Q: Why did they buy the business and when?
Schutte: “We bought out one of the partners, which was Lambson & Rader. Preston Lambson retired, so we bought his business (and started it Jan. 1, 2008). We both worked for the previous company. I had worked with the previous company since 2003.”
Q: What is your previous business-related experience?
Schutte: “I have been a CPA since 1992, and I also worked in finance for private companies before moving to Prescott September 11, 2001.”
Hilgendorf: “Several years in accounting.”
Q: How many employees do you have?
Schutte: “We have three besides ourselves. We have another CPA on staff.”
Q: What changes have you made?”
Hilgendorf: “We are focusing our business where our strengths are, which is auditing. And we offer tax prep and planning for both businesses and individuals, and we also do accounting work, which might include payroll, tax returns and QuickBooks consulting.”
Q: What services do you provide to your clients?
Schutte: “We do focus on homeowners associations, nonprofit organizations and small businesses – local.”
Q: What is the best business advice you have received or given?
Schutte: “All the support we had getting into this business. The advice we took to do it was a great decision for both of us. In general, one of the best pieces of advice I received is ‘Keep it simple.'”
Hilgendorf: “Don’t give up on your dream.”
Q: What has been your biggest business challenge?
Schutte: “It has been challenging, but it has been a new welcome perspective. We are the ones running the company.”
Q: What is the key to your success?
Schutte: “Word of mouth is our biggest PR. The key to our success is being good business partners/advisers to our clients.”
Q: How are you adjusting to the recession?
Schutte: “We are flowing with where our clients are struggling. We’re trying to find ways for them to save their costs. What we mean by that (is) we are scaling back for them to save money but adding value for them in other areas.”
Q: What are your plans for the business?
Schutte: “We want to be the public accounting firm in Prescott, Yavapai County and the surrounding area. We want to get our name out there. By the way, we are having an open house 4 to 7 (p.m.) next Thursday, June 25. We just moved in February from Plaza West (on West Gurley Street). We are really trying to establish this new identity.”