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Press Release
: : 7 June, 2004


Sam Smith has built a highly successful operation by understanding the concerns of his clients and tailoring a tax, accounting or financial services plan designed to fit their specific needs. It’s that kind of dedication that recently led to him being named Franchisee of the Year by Fiducial, an international provider of professional business services for small businesses and individuals.

Gregarious by nature, the father of three admits he’s a people person and enjoys “helping clients be successful with what they do.” Though Smith’s clients are highly skilled in their chosen professions, they don’t have the expertise on the financial management side of their business. That’s where he and his seven-member team make all the difference.

More individuals are visiting his Middleton, MD, office due to the complexities of the tax code. With all the investment, dividends, capital gains and securities issues to consider, he’s seeing increasing numbers of people coming in because brokerage firms have not been timely in getting their reports out to investors.

“This has created confusion and time constraints so clients are turning to paid preparers to take care of that,” says Smith. “When my clients realize Fiducial is providing proactive service and helping them make the decision before they get themselves into a tax issue, for example, they at least know they have someone who is out there working for them.”

Smith’s goal “is to be the best tax and financial services office in our area and to be the best counselor to provide the clients what they need.” The key to doing that, “is understanding what they need.”

Having grown up on a family dairy farm, Smith knows the value of teamwork and having a strong support network. That includes drawing upon the expertise of the Fiducial Tax Advisors based in the Technical and Administrative Support Center (TASC) in Columbia, MD.

While Smith notes that Fiducial’s system offers “the best tax software at your fingertips,” he asserts that there is no replacement for the collective knowledge of Fiducial’s Tax Team.

“The one thing you have with a franchise is the loyalty of that group,” he says. “When you have that type of loyalty, there’s nothing more powerful. During tax season, you cannot run your practice without talking to the tax advisors on a daily basis. Even after 12 years as a franchisee and working in the field for 15 years, I can’t do it without calling them.”

Citing an example of the value of having experts just a phone call away, Smith had a client who was anticipating a capital gain and wanted to know about the tax implications. So after conferring with the

Fiducial Tax Hotline Advisors, he was able to save his client $70,000 in taxes. The grateful client spread the news of his savings all over town and remains a loyal customer. It’s this kind of service that sets Smith apart from his contemporaries.

Business is good in this area of Frederick County so much so that Smith has hired three new employees over the last nine months. It’s also a bit of a family-centered business since his wife, Karen, serves as office manager. In addition to his wife, he’s also enlisted the summertime help of three teenage daughters-Shannon, 16, and 13-year-old twins Jessica and Danielle.

Recalling his roots, Smith takes prides in mentioning that his business gives back to the community. “We’ve already contributed to pay one-third of the cost of a new scoreboard at Middletown High School,” he says.

Word of mouth advertising remains as highly regarded as ever in the marketplace. During this past tax season, he received several referrals to new clients from his existing accounts. As for the secret of his success, Smith says the reason is simple: successful clients. “If I’m retaining 98% of my clients, on average, I know that 98% of my clients are being successful,” he says.

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Established in Europe in 1970, Fiducial is currently the ninth largest accounting firm in the U.S. and the thirteenth largest in the world. Privately held with revenues exceeding $600 million, Fiducial has over 6,500 employees worldwide serving 185,000 clients. U.S. operations are headquartered in New York City and rely on its Technical and Administrative Support Center (TASC) in Columbia, Maryland for support.

For more information about Fiducial, go to:

Stephen Parezo
(410) 910-5826


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