The firm of the future: Wipfli Annual Report, 2018-2019The firm of the future: Wipfli Annual Report, 2018-2019

Letter from the Managing Partner

“As managing partner, I’m excited to build on our promise to create results that stand the test of time. Wipfli will continue delivering the entrepreneurial passion, valuable insights, practical experience and genuine support our clients need to achieve their goals.”

— Kurt Gresens, Managing Partner

Read the full letter

Firm of the future

We are in an exciting time of endless potential. In FY19, Wipfli laid the foundation for continued success with innovative plans and ambitious people.

Together, we envision, embrace and execute to create lasting, positive impact with each other, our clients and our communities.

Wipfli 2025

In FY19, we entered the second year of our multipronged strategy called Wipfli 2025. As our industry — and our clients' industries — evolves, we continue our journey to positively impact our clients, associates, industries and the firm.

Through Wipfli 2025, we are making major strides toward achieving our goal of exceeding client needs now and in the future while continuing to innovate, address challenges and seize opportunities to expand.

 

Clients

Clients
We will consistently seek opportunities to deliver value to our clients through exceptional service and deep industry knowledge.

 

Industries

Industries
We're advancing our industry focus in order to provide clients with more specialized services, as well as providing expanded knowledge and thought leadership.

 

Associates

Associates
We're committed to providing a well-rounded career journey through robust professional development services and specialized trainings.

 

Firm

Firm
We will be the firm of choice through our unwavering commitment to expand our service and industry capabilities, providing an even more impactful client experience.

 

Our new look

As we continue down our path of transformation, we are shifting to a new, contemporary look. Our continued evolution includes the opening of two new offices in the Chicago area, which centralizes our presence in the market and brings associates and clients together in a collaborative space.

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The Wipfli Way

We have a new look, but the same core values that have been the foundation of our success for almost 90 years.

Integrity

Integrity
To do the right thing every time.

Caring

Caring
To always interact toward others with empathy and compassion.

Excellence

Excellence
To consistently be the best in all we do.

Teamwork

Teamwork
To act as one through collaboration, cooperation and communication.

Integrity

Perseverance
To tenaciously execute our objective.

How we live and work the Wipfli Way

No matter where we sit or what our specialties are, we have a common bond: living and working the Wipfli Way.

“Being part of the Talent & Culture team gives me the opportunity to demonstrate our caring spirit to future associates through the recruiting and interviewing process. There is nothing better than being part of the initial connection with a candidate who then joins Wipfli.”
Kathleen Hecox
Talent Acquisition Specialist
4 years, Denver, Colorado
“Our success comes from collaboration so we have a full understanding of how we can help each other. We rally together and support one another in the best possible way.”
Jyoti Pai
India Service & Delivery Leader
8 years, Bengaluru, India
“We respect our different lived experiences and tap into our shared ones. At Wipfli, every person is a valued member of the team.”
Adam Kouhel
Technology Consultant
2 years, Chicago, Illinois

FY19 in brief

$361.1 million

FY19 net revenue

14%

Increase from FY18

Net revenue by service

Net revenue by service

Net revenue FY15 - FY19

Net revenue FY15 - FY19

Wipfli stats

 

47

Offices

259

Partners

41

New partners

2,173

Associates

9 years

Average associate tenure

Wipfli 2025 in action

With change as our constant, we're dedicated to bettering ourselves and enhancing our client service through three key Wipfli 2025 initiatives.

Wipfli 2025 in action

Digital connection

To deepen our client relationships, we continue to embrace high-tech solutions and communication channels with the next generation in mind. Our digital connection initiative is designed to enable seamless integration between our clients and associates for an unparalleled client experience. This focus on closer connections puts engagement and effectiveness at the forefront of our relationships, while maintaining a personal touch with our specialized knowledge.

Industry-driven market leadership

We are investing in our industry-focused model by ensuring associates' skill sets are well-developed and acquiring additional industry-focused talent, with the goal of helping clients achieve their strategic objectives. Our aggressive M&A strategy enhances our industry specializations by bringing additional capabilities to the industries we serve and will serve going forward.

Consultative mindset

The consultative mindset invests heavily in associates enhancing their skillsets. The value a consultative professional provides comes from their knowledge and insight, not just from their products and services. It comes from their ability to actively listen in order to identify new opportunities, find new solutions and foresee future business problems.

A consultative professional's value is in their ability to be proactive and articulate these challenges and opportunities to the client. This is our approach and mindset we are striving to ingrain with our team.

Tech innovation

In 2019, we launched our knowledge management system, WipfliKMS. Designed with our clients in mind, WipfliKMS is designed to be an omni-channel experience that will provide clients with online access to our professionals and their extensive knowledge.

Our partnership with Microsoft ensures we are using a cutting-edge AI platform to provide a seamless experience. Going forward, we will be deploying WipfliKMS to clients and partner firms in order to share our knowledge and best practices, enhancing our position as industry-leading advisors.

Deeper integration

 

June 2018
In June 2018, Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC made strategic changes to its leadership structure. Becoming Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC, the firm deepened its integrated partnership with Wipfli and CPA-affiliated philosophy while maintaining a client-centric mindset. Together the firms can more holistically serve clients' financial needs while driving growth and enhancing associates' professional development.

Read the announcement

February 2019
Wipfli Financial Advisors announced Jeff Pierce as the new Chief Executive Officer in February 2019. Under his leadership, the firm has taken strides in developing its next chapter and helping strategically further Wipfli Financial as an industry-leading advisory firm through a commitment to a holistic client experience integrated with Wipfli capabilities.

Read the news

 

“We have navigated major change in the last year, and we are excited about our focus and direction of aligning closer with the Wipfli team. With the partnership, we are moving forward with a unified vision for the business to become a truly trusted advisor and provide more personalized and comprehensive service to our clients.”

— Jeff Pierce, CEO, Wipfli Financial Advisors

Expanding our footprint

In FY19, we welcomed three firms to Wipfli. This aggressive growth expands our footprint and our services in order to fully meet our clients' needs and provide an increasingly diverse and well-rounded range of services.

Expanding our footprint Price Waterman - Ukiah, CA Macpage - South Portland, ME Howe, Riley & Howe - Portsmouth, NH
Expanding our footprint

Expanding our footprint

Our footprint Price Waterman - Ukiah, CA

In June 2018, we welcomed Ukiah, California-based Price Waterman to Wipfli, positioning the firm to continue to be one of the leading firms serving healthcare organizations on the West Coast.

Read more →

Our footprint Macpage - South Portland, ME

South Portland, Maine-headquartered Macpage joined Wipfli in August 2018. The combination expands Wipfli's physical presence into New England and leverages our shared knowledge and strength in the financial institutions and nonprofit industries.

Read more →

Our footprint Howe, Riley & Howe - Portsmouth, NH

In January 2019, New Hampshire-based Howe, Riley & Howe joined Wipfli. The combination allows Wipfli to strengthen and expand our physical presence and industry specialization model in New England, as well as provides associates with access to a larger resource pool of diverse experience to benefit clients.

Read more →

Headquarters Wipfli Headquarters - Milwaukee, WI

“Our M&A strategy serves as an accelerant as we strive to be the leader in our markets, build out our new and existing industries, and add new skill sets and talent to the firm.”

— Dale Muehl, M&A Partner

Trusted AdvisorsTrusted Advisors

Recruitment

199

Interns

109

Campus hires

491

New hires

36%

Increase of new hires over FY18

118

New hires via associate referrals

Learning & Development

81,240

Hours of associate-attended trainings (internal & external)

804

CPA licenses

51

New CPA certifications

Client satisfaction

82,408

Total clients in FY19

15,064

New clients in FY19

Client Satisfaction Index (CSI) Ranking
Our annual Client Satisfaction Index measures how well our performance meets or exceeds client expectations. Our 2019 score came in at almost 90%, demonstrating that Wipfli 2025 has set us on the path of continued success, and that our commitment to executing with the client is our key differentiator.

Net Promoter Score
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an index ranging from -100 to 100 and measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others. Wipfli's NPS came in at 63.2, well above the industry average of 24.0.

 

Success stories

Across industries and markets, we're committed to identifying and implementing innovative solutions that match the unique needs of each client. Here is a selection of our success from coast to coast.

 

Yeled v'Yelda

Yeled v'Yalda

Over the past 20 years, Yeled v’Yalda has experienced amazing transformation. It has grown from a less than $20 million Head Start-focused program to a $95 million diverse family services agency.

SU Group

SU Group

As a long-time and successful equipment maintenance program provider, SU Group knows how essential it is to maintain long-term customer relationships.

Van Zeeland

Van Zeeland

The best family business leaders know when financial success is occurring, standing still in manufacturing is not an option.

The Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers

As one of the most storied sport franchises in the world, the Green Bay Packers require an advisor who provides honest feedback and a focus on their long-term vision. Wipfli has done just that for nearly a century.

Tulare

Tulare

Tulare Regional Medical Center (TRMC) was facing a tough challenge: becoming the first hospital in California to reopen after declaring bankruptcy.

Schwieters Auto Group

Schwieters Auto Group

Schwieters Auto Group owns and operates three dealerships in central Minnesota. Since its owners began working with Wipfli over 20 years ago, they’ve built a trusted relationship that emphasizes strategic advice.

Robert E. Lee Ranch

Robert E. Lee Ranch

At 70 years old, Bob and Kathy decided to formally transition ranch operations and the family property to their three children. But how best to proceed with the transition presented numerous challenges.

Team Rubicon

Wipfli is a premier partner of Microsoft, serving small and medium businesses and providing solutions for business applications, data and AI, apps and infrastructure, and productivity. By leveraging these solutions with disaster relief organization Team Rubicon, we were able to transform their volunteer management system through digital innovation.

With our solution, Team Rubicon is able to get their 99,000-plus volunteers where they need to be — enabling them to save more lives — and measure their dollar-for-dollar impact. As a result of our work leveraging Microsoft solutions for Team Rubicon, we were awarded Microsoft's 2019 MSUS Partner Award – Partner for Social Impact.

Read about the award

Building relationships

Our partnerships deepen our profound knowledge, allow us to leverage the latest technology and ideas, and ultimately place us at the forefront of client service.

Creating lasting, positive impactCreating lasting, positive impact

The CEO Pledge

In March 2019, Kurt Gresens signed the pledge for CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion. By signing, we joined the largest group of business leaders rallying together to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As part of the pledge, Kurt and Wipfli have promised to:

1

Make Wipfli a trusting place to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion.

2

Implement and expand unconscious bias education.

3

Share best — and unsuccessful — practices.

4

Create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our board of directors.

 

Mission

In November 2018, we formed the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) council at Wipfli. The DEI council's goal is to enhance our work environment in order to recruit and retain a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities, our clients and the world around us. The council provides a forum for identifying and sharing learning, programs and practices that are designed to enhance diversity, inclusion, equity and the Wipfli Way.

DEI for the community

"To reflect the clients and communities we serve, the DEI council aims to create an inclusive work environment that thrives on the potential and contributions of all Wipfli associates."

— Maureen Pistone, Chief HR Officer and Lauri Roberts, Partner & Board member
DEI council leaders

Giving back

202

Nonprofit boards our people serve on

5,400

Hours donated on Community Day

71

Organizations benefitted on Community Day

21

Communities benefitted on Community Day

300+

Organizations benefitted in FY19

Community Day

One of the biggest and most anticipated days of the year at Wipfli is Community Day. This firm-wide event is hosted with nonprofit service organizations around the country. Our associates spend the day volunteering in the communities where they live and work, touching the lives of others in an important, impactful way.

As part of Wipfli’s service-oriented culture, we encourage our associates to pursue their own passions and provide them with the flexibility to take an active role in their communities. Many of them are proud members of nonprofit boards, regularly volunteer at organizations and donate to those in need. Together, #WipfliGivesBack all year long to deepen our roots in and uplift all our communities.

Evelyn Wright Moore Award for Innovation Excellence

Wipfli is proud to recognize achievement in the nonprofit space with the Evelyn Wright Moore Award. Evelyn was President and CEO of Brazoria County Head Start Early Learning School, Inc. in Angleton, Texas, and attended every Wipfli National Conference. She was a champion of innovation who exemplified lifelong learning and always empowered her organization to better serve the community. Wipfli continues Evelyn’s legacy by recognizing other impactful nonprofit leaders with a $2,500 donation to the organization.

In July 2018, the recipient was Arkansas Early Learning, Inc. of Little Rock, Arkansas. They were chosen for creating an environment of change and cultural innovation, ultimately creating greater impact in their community.

Wipfli Foundation

With education being such an important pillar of our communities, the Wipfli Foundation charity and donation-matching program supports the universities and colleges our associates attended — representing our commitment to life-long learning.

$138,750

Awarded to 23 universities & three state societies

$14,000

Associate contributions matched to designated universities

5

Universities with students receiving an A in Intermediate Accounting given textbook reimbursement

Elizabeth Peters scholarship

 

In FY19, Wipfli launched the Elizabeth Peters scholarship through the WICPA. The scholarship honors the firm's first female partner and the first female partner in a CPA firm in Wisconsin. The inaugural scholarship of $2,500 was awarded to a UW-Stevens Point student.

Thank YouThank You

FY19 was a success because of you — it drove our ability to innovate, create and deliver.

Thank you for the opportunity, and we look forward to continuing down this path of transformation together.

Download the Wipfli Annual Report, 2018-2019

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