Just a Minute with Frederick Sitzberger Accountant and President Sitzberger, Widmann & Co., S.C.

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm

Company address:
245 Regency Court, Suite 210, Brookfield, WI 53045
Company Web site:
Industry: Public accounting
Number of employees: 9
Your education: Pius XI High School, UW-Milwaukee with a BBA in accounting
Family: Fiancée, Kristi Heather; and children, Jennifer and Kara (25-
year-old twins).

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
"There are many smart things we did in the last year if you ask only me. Others have a different opinion. However, on the marketing side, we usually are hole sponsors in charity golf tournaments and play golf. As myself and Mark Widmann are terrible golfers, we ended up having three people (in a foursome) like us less after they met us than before they knew us. For 2005, we changed and set up a tent on the hole we sponsored, and we introduced ourselves to each foursome and handed out nice calculators. This has met with a good response. This is a nice change from the prior year, and we spend the same amount of time and meet 144 people, vs. three."
What’s new at your company?
"Investment in technology is very important. In the last year, the company is on its second phase of going paperless. This is hard for paper people like myself, but must be done. This year, we are replacing the file server and have purchased all flat screens and wireless keyboards."
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"We are always in the mood for an acquisition. Each year, I meet with 20 to 25 other CPAs. Some of the practices are at the succession stage, some new and others, like us, are looking to provide a better mix of services to our clients. We have a firm goal of $6 million in revenue and 50 people. This is attainable through acquisition and good client services. Our last acquisitions have been mutually beneficial."
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"The main challenge in the next year and the next three years is to build the second tier of management. Hire good people and allow them to succeed. Everyone we hire here, we tell them that if we do our job right, within a few years they will be able to start their own public accounting firm, but will choose to stay with us."
What’s the hottest trend in your industry? "CPAs are very dynamic. There are so many hot trends, I would not be able to list them all. But, I have recently noticed people think accountants are sexy."
Do you have a business mantra?
"Our mantra is, ‘We are going to fail our way to the top.’ By never giving up and striving to give a little more, we will be able to embrace those small failures that choke personal growth and business development."
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"We benchmark ourselves against Kolb & Co., Winter, Kloman, etc., Clifton Gunderson, Wipfli, Schenck, and the other very successful Midwest firms that have grown and provided that quality service we strive to attain."
What was the best advice you ever received?
"The best advice I ever received is from my grandmother, Atherton. She stated numerous times while scratching our backs as children, "You get what you give in this world, no more, no less." The best part of anyone’s life is purpose, and if the purpose is selfishness, the fullness of success is hollow. Helping build something for others, without any reward in return, is so fulfilling. This is illogical from an economic standpoint, but so true."
What do you like to do in your free time?
"I love to read. About 15 years ago, I turned off the TV and began to read. It has truly changed my life."

August 5, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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