Ahead of the curve

Klatzkin & Company expands Pennsylvania accounting office in Bucks

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

Trailblazer: Laura Weber-Carnevale is the partner-in-charge of Klatzkin & Company’s Newtown office, which recently opened this summer. In 1999, she was the first woman in the firm’s history to receive this title. Source: Caitlan McCafferty, Furia Rubel

When Fergusonville native Laura Weber-Carnevale began her career in 1981 at the Hamilton, New Jersey-based Klatzkin & Company, there were only two other women on the 20-person staff of accountants. But that dynamic didn’t last for long.

In 1999, the Bucks County Community College graduate was promoted to partner-in-charge of the accounting/advisory firm’s satellite office in Langhorne, the first woman in the company’s history to receive this title. This opportunity also came nearly 15 years prior to the industry trend of the Big Four firms appointing females to leadership roles.

“Klatzkin has always been ahead of the curve…,” she said.

Earlier this summer, Weber-Carnevale (CPA, CSEP, AEP) climbed the ladder once again, becoming partner-in-charge of Klatzkin’s expanded Newtown location at 642 Newtown-Yardley Road. Double the size of the former Langhorne office, which has since been closed, the space will accommodate additional CPAs and serve the firm’s growing clientele in Bucks County.

According to Weber-Carnevale, due to the limited size of the Langhorne location, the company was unable to showcase the full breadth of its services to Pennsylvania residents. Often, work had to be outsourced to Klatzkin’s Hamilton headquarters simply because there wasn’t enough room to staff employees of various expertise.

To Weber-Carnevale’s excitement, it’s a different story at the Newtown office. The Pennsylvania team of advisers, a few of whom transferred from Hamilton, can now provide clients with all Klatzkin services, which include accounting, advisory, estate administration, tax and succession planning advice and strategies.

Currently, the firm serves agribusiness, manufacturing, distribution and wholesale, real estate and construction, professional services, technology, nonprofit and educational organizations.

When considering a location for its expanded office, Klatzkin took into consideration its vast and ever-growing clientele. Newtown was chosen because of the area’s sophisticated market appeal to emerging businesses located along the I-95 corridor in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There was also a local need for a mid-sized firm, with Klatzkin boasting a staff of nearly 40 employees.

As Weber-Carnevale settles into the new space, which officially opened on June 1, she’s eager to make Klatzkin as well known in Pennsylvania and Lower Bucks as it is in Hamilton.

“I want to establish a larger presence on this side of the bridge,” she said.

Assisting her in this mission is marketing manager Crystal Garcia, who explained the move to Newtown is the first phase of the firm’s 2018 strategic plan for growth. In the fall, Klatzkin will launch a revamped brand and website, which are slated to attract the sophisticated needs of new clients while holding onto the ideals of its 90-year history.

“Younger entrepreneurs don’t see us as a viable option,” she said, adding how the company is sometimes considered “old-school.”

To get Klatzkin on the radar of the next generation, the firm will take a fresh approach to its branding. For example, Garcia is working to eradicate the stereotype that accountants are “stuffy.” On the new website, staff will ditch the suits and ties in photos for something professional, yet more relaxed.

“They’re human,” Garcia stressed.

Klatzkin will also expand its philanthropic presence in the community, something it already places great emphasis on. Every holiday season, according to Garcia, the firm selects approximately 10 charities to assist. Throughout the year, employees donate more than 500 hours of their time to volunteer efforts.

For Weber-Carnevale, whose first accounting job out of college was in Newtown, it’s been a thrilling full-circle transition. After advancing from an entry-level position in a “sleepy, farm town” to becoming Klatzkin’s first female partner-in-charge, she’s positive her experience has armed her with the tools needed to lead the company into the future.

“Our firm continues to invest in its infrastructure and professionals as a modern and sophisticated accounting firm with a long history of success,” Weber-Carnevale said. “As a leader in this organization, I am committed to reinforcing the firm’s stellar legacy by continuing our commitment to excellent client service, community engagement and professional development.” ••

For more on Klatzkin & Company, visit klatzkin.com.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com