Firm Spotlight - ECS Financial Services, Inc.

Large firm based in Northbrook, IL
PCPS Member Since 2016
Tobey R. Wilson, CPA, CLFP – Shareholder

A Growing Entrepreneurial Firm
ECS Financial Services was founded in 1962. Though we’ve been around for a while, we have experienced tremendous growth over the last year and a half. In 2014, we acquired a smaller firm that was around a third of our size. Post-acquisition, we now have six shareholders and approximately 36 employees (including both CPAs and staff).

In addition to our growth through acquisition, our managing partner also manages multiple companies, which are sister companies of our firm. The firm and two other businesses operate in the same office suite, and we strategically leverage our relationships with them to assist in our firm operations. One of these is a leasing company, which has influenced our niche and the services we provide. We also share a marketing department with them. The other is an IT company, and they act as the IT department for our firm.

Committed to Helping Clients Improve Their Business
Our firm’s main focus is serving small to mid-size businesses. Within our client base we specialize in equipment finance and lease accounting. As I mentioned, our managing partner opened his own leasing company and the firm’s specialization developed around this area over time. Lease accounting is fairly different from traditional work. We assist with helping clients present leases on their financial statements, getting GAAP financials for compilations, reviews and audits and assisting with sales and property taxes for leasing companies. We also help manage the clients’ portfolios, including booking leases and payments. We assist with all aspects of corporate accounting and serve a number of different industries, including non-profits and employee benefit plans.

Why We Joined PCPS
I first became interested in PCPS when an email I received pointed me toward a resource that was only available to PCPS members. After taking a virtual tour, and learning more about the resources available through PCPS, I decided that joining would be a valuable choice for the firm. In the tour, I noticed that there were a number of HR resources available through the Human Capital Center. Specifically, I was very interested in the onboarding tools and mentoring guide. We have hired a lot of new staff in the last year, and we wanted to develop a more formalized process for bringing in new people. I have also used the performance management resources to update our employee evaluations. Our firm doesn’t have a dedicated HR person or department so that responsibility is shared between the partners and a few administrative staff. With the resources available through PCPS, we have been able to develop and refine our processes without having to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch.

This was our firm’s first year participating in the PCPS/ National MAP Survey. We are really looking forward to getting our results in October so we can benchmark our firm against our peers in the profession. It will be interesting to see how we compare after the growth that we have experienced. PCPS also has a strong technology focus. Our managing partner regularly attends the Practitioner’s Symposium and Tech+ Conference, and finds it to be an extremely valuable event. Now that we are PCPS members, we can take advantage of a discount on this conference, which is an added bonus.