Just a Minute with Michael I. Sattell

Company address: First Financial Centre, 700 N. Water St., Suite #1100, Milwaukee WI, 53202; Woodland Prime at Heritage Reserve, 800 Woodland Prime, Suite #100, Menomonee Falls WI 53051
Company Web site: www.SATTELL.com
Industry: Certified public accountants and advisors to business
Number of employees: 40
Education: BBA at the University of Wisconsin in Madison; CPA; CFE.
Family: Wife, Lisa, who teaches French, Spanish and English as a second language; daughter, Jessica, a sophomore in Asian studies at the University of Puget Sound; and son, Martin, a senior at Nicolet High School.
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?:
"We developed joint ventures in financial services with Financial Resource Services LLC, and in M & A with Anderson/Roethle, Inc. It enables us to expand and differentiate our services compared to our competitors in the southeast Wisconsin accounting services community."
What’s new at your company?
"Besides the new ventures mentioned above, we are celebrating our 50th year in business by expanding our technical and advisory expertise through industry-specific service teams that assist growth oriented businesses in: real estate development, ownership, construction and leasing; medical and dental practices; retail businesses; and not-for-profit entities. We continue to expand our fraud prevention and examination services. We’re also improving our communication resources to more quickly notify our 3,000 individual and 1,000+ business clients regarding timely tax and advisory issues."
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"We plan on hiring at least four new team members in the coming year. We had invested substantially in our new Menomonee Falls office in 2004, but continually upgrade our internal technologies. We are currently investigating enhanced document imaging and data storage technologies."
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"Our biggest challenges are finding new team members in a high-demand marketplace, controlling our escalating health-care costs and evaluating potential acquisition candidates for both accounting and ancillary services."
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
"Fraud prevention and examination services are a very hot nation-wide trend right now, but underutilized in our community. In administration, outsourcing tax return preparation to overseas service-centers is hot nationwide, but currently not seriously implemented by smaller locally owned accounting firms like ours."

Do you have a business mantra?
"I have two. The first is, ‘Your success is our business.’" The second is, ‘You can manage what you can measure.’"
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"I look up to any businessperson who contributes their time and resources through their own selfless community involvement and leadership to make our local and world community the best it can be."
What was the best advice you ever received?
"Early on in my career, my father, Mickey, who founded this firm, showed me by example and word, that I must never do or say anything that would damage my credibility as a professional accountant-expert and as an individual. Having that grounded attitude shapes my business and personal decision making every day."
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
"My first day! I went home at 5 o’clock, fell asleep and woke to find my digital clock listing 7:00. In a panic, I quickly showered, dressed, drove downtown to work and found the door to our offices locked. It wasn’t until right then that I realized it was actually the same evening and not the next day! What a fool, and it was only day one. My time management has gotten much better since then!"

What do you like to do in your free time?
"I enjoy traveling and hiking with my family, especially in New Mexico; all Wisconsin Badger sporting events; and viewing new movie releases at The Oriental Theatre."
November 26, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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