Successful companies like Porte Brown LLC build on the foundations established by their creators. They know how to balance adjustment to changing times with perseverance to the principles that made them successful in the first place. Porte Brown is still going strong after 70 years by keeping abreast of new knowledge and technologies in the profession of accounting, while still giving their clients personalized service.
Focusing on client needs was the guiding standard of Jim Porte, who founded the firm in Chicago in 1946. Armed with his old-fashioned key-driven comptometer, Porte would take his accounting services directly to his customers' locations in order to acquire the in-depth company knowledge and ongoing communication he needed to meet their business needs.
Even long after Porte Brown moved to Elk Grove Village in 1974 to centralize its growing staff and clientele base, which was expanding to include the Chicago suburbs, the firm still stays true to Porte's original premise of working directly with the customer.
The bulk of Porte Brown's business involves the traditional services of accounting, consulting, tax returns, audit reviews, and audit compliance representation for businesses and nonprofit organizations, as well as individuals. Its business customer base encompasses various industries such as construction, manufacturing and distribution, grocery and food services, transportation, professional services, and health care.
Porte Brown prides itself on staying on top of all of the changing financial rules and regulations in these industries, as well as its high success rate of "no change letters" in its audit compliance representation.
The training involved for this top level service is an essential element of the Porte Brown culture. "The appetite and demand for learning in this firm is insatiable," says Pam Metzger, Director of Marketing for Porte Brown. "Everyone in the whole firm is not only encouraged, but expected, to keep up on topics in the industry and increase their professional knowledge. In fact, each month (outside of tax season), we take the entire team offline for a day of structured training and best practice sessions. This is a place where ideas really matter. The office has a, positive, 'can-do' energy which you can feel when you first walk in the door. I think the clients pick up on the positive environment, and it has helped to foster further growth."
This growth has been not only strategic, but also internal.
Porte Brown now numbers over 110 employees in four locations, which includes numerous CPAs and fifteen partners. "We look for top talent in our staff," says Bruce Jones, the current managing partner of Porte Brown. "We try to recruit go-getters who have perfected their particular expertise and who also want a long-term commitment to their careers with us. The perfect person for us would be a hybrid personality who not only knows their skill set but is also extremely personable and able to work well with clients."
Porte Brown is poised for more strategic growth in the near future.
The firm expects to add additional talent and resources to its locations in McHenry, Tinley Park, Evanston, and its company headquarters in Elk Grove Village. Many of Porte Brown's customers conduct business across state lines and increasingly across international borders.
"We are a locally focused firm," says Jones, "with an international reach."
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