August Firm Spotlight - Nagel CPAs, LLC

August 24, 2017

Nagel CPAs, LLC
Small firm based in Rio Rancho, NM
PCPS Member Since 2009
Roger Nagel, CPA, CMA – Managing Director

Focused on Serving the Community
Prior to starting this firm, I had experience in a variety of areas. Early in my career, I worked in a large firm. Years later, I completed the first half of my career as a co-owner and Managing Director of a medium sized local firm.  After 14 years as Managing Director I had the wonderful opportunity to take a mid-career sabbatical. During that time, I had the opportunity to work with a high-technology start up, taught at a university as an adjunct professor and did interesting and enjoyable consulting work from my office at home. I was recruited to become the CFO of a sizeable independent school and, after helping the school finish redeveloping their campus, left that position in 2007 to start Nagel CPAs. Starting over at age 50 is not something I would recommend to everyone, but I’ve been very fortunate in the success my firm has had. The firm currently has eight members (and is growing) and serves clients in a variety of industries. Our services include monthly accounting, tax preparation and planning, attestation engagements, and business and personal financial planning. Our team members have varying skill sets that work together to best serve our clients.  I like to say “we have a great crew.”

I have been an advocate of community service for quite some time and philanthropy is a value that is prevalent throughout the firm. Currently, I am heavily involved with Rotary International and am president of our local chapter, as well as the metro area presidents’ group. Rotary is a great organization, and even offers leadership development education to its members. Another member of our team is on the board for the fundraising division for our local library. We encourage all members of the firm to participate with local school systems and activities related to education, and we are also very involved in the area’s faith community. 

Retention Through Employee Engagement 
One unique attribute of our firm is making consistent effort to engage employees and solicit their feedback. We have very little staff turnover, and I feel this is a major contributing factor. We have a culture that emphasizes open communication and encourages team members to take ownership of their engagements. I make every effort to initiate discussions and incite critical thinking with all staff. For example, several months prior to the most recent election, I brought the entire team together for a lunch meeting where we discussed what impact each candidate of the election might have on our profession, clients and careers. I wanted our team to be in the mindset of considering what keeps our clients up at night. I was really impressed with the input from that discussion, and the exercise has made it easier for us to respond to our clients who may be concerned about the things that are happening on a national level. 

Why We Joined PCPS

Larger, multi-owner firms have distinct challenges and opportunities not common to sole practitioners.  As a sole practitioner, I wanted to have access to colleagues with similar firms, as well as resources and tools that I could turn to for support in managing the growth of my practice. This is why I joined PCPS.  Through my participation in the 2007 Small Firm Networking Group, I have a regular venue for idea sharing and learning best practices from my peers. The biennial Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) survey is also a valuable source of information, and helps our firm benchmark to ensure our practices are in line to keep us successful. The newsletters and literature are also a great source of inspiration. For example, after reading a recent PCPS article on leadership development, I created a survey using the five items for consideration mentioned in the article and sent it out to my team. I received positive feedback on our progress in each area and was able to identify weaker spots to focus on improving. Though I have experience as a CFO of an organization with more resources and employees, I have found that managing a firm and leading with vision can be a struggle. It is not always easy to balance your focus between leading a group of professionals in a small firm setting and helping clients with technical matters at the same time, but PCPS resources are great tools for serving both successfully.