Next September, The Levy Company will celebrate 20 years in business.
“We need to have a big wingding,” Gus Levy, founder and owner of the small accounting firm, tells Business Report in its new Entrepreneur feature on him. “A lot of our clients know each other, … so it would be nice to get everybody together.”
“Everybody” may well mean a lot of people. Currently, Levy oversees a staff of five, and together they serve some 470 clients: about 350 individuals and trusts, the remainder small businesses.
“We value these relationships,” Levy says, “people I’ve known a long time.”
But before party plans can gel, The Levy Company must plow through tax season, which dominates its work two months every year. Though staff accountants share the labor of preparing returns, Levy himself does a lot of what he terms “technical work.” He scrutinizes and signs every return.
“Being the owner, I’m the last one to look at the work,” he says, adding, “No matter how crazy it gets, the work always gets done.”
The CPA gained a decade of experience at other accounting firms before starting his own. After graduating from LSU in 1984, he took a job at a Big Four firm in New Orleans, his hometown. He next joined a midsize firm where he had family connections, then made the move to Baton Rouge in 1990 to be with his wife, Michelle, enrolled in architecture at LSU.
“I took a job at a small firm, and it was good experience,” Levy says, though he didn’t see potential for advancement. “After five years there I was able to … build my own clientele, at least barely enough to hang out the shingle.”