Small firm based in Livonia, Michigan
PCPS Member Since 2002
John B. Aoun, CPA, CVA – President/Owner
Reputable and Relatable
I started in the profession working for various CPA firms in the metro Detroit area. After six years of being part of a larger firm, I decided to branch out with the goal of creating my own firm. I made an agreement with a senior CPA who did mostly individual tax returns and also had a handful of corporate clients. Though I did not have much interest in doing individual tax work, I took on the regular monthly and quarterly work for those corporate clients and would handle individual clients as needed. I worked with this CPA at his office, which allowed me the opportunity to save on office space and build cash flow for my firm. I worked with this CPA for four years and, after his retirement, was able to obtain my own office space, which I still work from today.
Since moving into that space, my firm has been through a number of changes. At one point I was operating with five employees, but I now have a staff of two. My current team has been together for 10+ years, and we have developed a very strong relationship. This allows us to have a lot of flexibility as a firm, including the capability to work remotely. Because we know each other so well, we are easily able to accommodate each other’s needs.
A Focus on Building and Maintaining Client Relationships
What makes our firm unique is that we do not necessarily strive to be unique. We focus on staying very relatable to our clients who are looking for a true trusted advisor, and want someone they feel comfortable talking to about finances and goals, both personally and professionally. Our clients know that when they work with us they will receive sound advice and guidance, while also being treated with the highest level of respect.
I work very hard to maintain close relationships with my clients, and the nature of these relationships is always personalized, friendly and familiar. The majority of our clients are local and we often will see them out in a community setting. For example, I am in a golf league with one of my clients and will often interact with him socially. I also make sure to be an active participant in the things that matter to my clients. If I’m ever asked for a donation, be it time or money, I will generally agree. It is important that our clients understand we are invested in them, their success and the relationships we have developed.
Why I Joined PCPS
The most valuable aspect of my PCPS membership has been my participation in the 2005 Small Firm Networking Group. I joined this group in the fall of 2006, one year after it was created, and have been an active member ever since. When I was working in larger firms, there was always a senior partner down the hall that was available to help with questions or issues. After I went out on my own, I often felt like I didn’t have anyone to turn to for that kind of advice or insight. In my first meeting with the group, I presented them with some of the firm issues I was facing and received actionable feedback. Now, the group has become a resource not only for me, but for my clients as well. The group has expertise in a variety of specialties all over the country, so even if a client presents an issue I cannot resolve I am still usually able to assist with a referral. There has never been an inquiry that I have sent to the group that has not been addressed. I am also pleasantly surprised by the friendships that have developed through my participation in the group. In addition to providing a wealth of insights, each meeting is an event that I truly enjoy.