BP&F celebrates 95 years of service to the San Joaquin Valley
Since 1917, Baker, Peterson & Franklin, CPA, LLP (BP&F) has been serving the San Joaquin Valley. This year, the company celebrates its 95th year.
“A variety of entrepreneurs and partners founded the company, but it wasn’t always called Baker, Peterson & Franklin,” said partner Dennis Veeh.
“The firm was founded in 1917 by the name Burdick & Baker,” said BP&F Marketing Director Julie Maldonado. “Following, it had three other successor names before it became Giffen, Hills & Carruth in 1944. In 1968, it became part of a national firm – Lybrand, Ross & Montgomery. Finally, in 1971, it became Baker, Peterson & Franklin.”
Although the founding partners are no longer with the firm, the present partners decided to keep the name because of goodwill and recognition associated with the company, explained Veeh.
In addition, the partners made the choice to become a mid-size public accounting firm, said Veeh. The size of the company has allowed the firm to provide different services to clients with a diversity of needs. “BP&F is able to take care of most all of their needs,” said Veeh. “On an occasion BP&F will outsource services, but for the most part, the company can handle everything they need.”
Today, BP&F is one of the largest local CPA firms. The company has departments by industry, including agriculture, auto dealerships, family business, food processing and manufacturing. The largest industry specialization is agriculture, and BP&F’s Ag Department provides business solutions relevant to agricultural businesses and farming. The Ag Department writes AgriViews, a financial ag newsletter; sponsors the annual BP&F Ag Business Award; and is actively involved in numerous agricultural organizations.
Each partner has a different specialty and a lot of cross-over occurs, said Veeh. On bigger engagements, or for vertically integrated businesses, more than one partner will be involved. BP&F is unique from other local firms because it’s able to provide services from an industry specialization, which crosses-over traditional service departments, said Veeh.
“A high percentage of clients are family owned – probably 70 to 80 percent,” said Veeh.
Teams of three to four people are assigned to large clients, which allows the client to build a multipronged relationship with the team, said Maldonado. The teams are assembled and customized specifically for their needs so that the client is ultimately surrounded with the team that can best serve them.
We try to help clients take advantage of current tax rules, said Veeh. We want to minimize their tax liabilities and be a resource. We look at what their needs are and try to become a partner with them. “There really is a close alliance with our firm and clients,” said Veeh.
The goal is to fully service the client, while at the same time trying to make their businesses more successful and profitable, said Madonado. This ties in with the mission, vision and values of BP&F.
The mission, vision and values also assist in working towards being consistent in all aspects of the business, said Veeh.
The company has its own marketing department too, added Veeh. BP&F realizes the need and provides resources to find new clients and positively position the firm. “It’s not common,” said Veeh.
BP&F is also unique because the company spends a lot of resources on marketing, said Maldonado. In addition, the company hires well-rounded individuals who also exemplify intangible characteristics and firm values.
BP&F strives to be actively involved in the community. “All staff are encouraged to give back,” said Maldonado. “Almost everyone is very involved.”
BP&F has created a positive culture in the office. The firm uses business books that help support the mission, vision and values and focus on exceptional client service, said Maldonado. Employees are exposed to these books through the firm’s orientation program, brown bag lunch discussions and firm committees which are using the books to develop programs, processes and procedures.
The goal for our employees is to have people want to come to work and enjoy working with our clients, said Veeh. The group is cohesive and competitive in a friendly way.
We give employees a lot of freedom and try to put people in areas they would like to serve, said Maldonado.
In addition, we assign new staff a mentor to learn from, said Veeh. We also try to recruit new employees by letting them know the opportunities that are available to them at this firm.
BP&F employs just under 50 people. The company’s main territory reaches from Stockton at the north, to Bakersfield at the south.
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