A different approach to the client experience

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Erin McClafferty, BBD

Erin McClafferty (pictured), Practice Development Director of audit and tax firm BBD, LLP, describes her firm as a boutique resource and one-stop shop for advisers and the products that they manage. 

“At one time we were considered one of the industry’s best kept secrets, but that has changed,” she says. The firm is outside the Big Four accounting firms but has a significant US national presence in the investment management industry. 

“The largest part of our business historically, and currently, is our service for registered investment companies such as ETFs and mutual funds. While our firm serves clients across the investment management industry, we believe the bulk of our work will always be in that 40 Act space,” McClafferty says. 

Service for ETFs has been a significant growth area for BBD. McClafferty notes that there is no shortage of interest and demand for ETFs and also comments that mutual fund to ETF conversions, as well as Section 351 conversions to ETFs, are among the latest exciting developments in the industry. “We are excited about the continued growth of our work with ETFs as well as the accelerating demand for ETFs among investors.” 

Beyond registered funds, BBD also provides services for private funds and ancillary services for advisers such as performance verifications and custody examinations. “There is not a lot in the industry that we haven’t seen,” McClafferty says. 

In a competitive marketplace, the firm is often asked what makes BBD different, McClafferty says. 

“Our story is a bit of a different story,” McClafferty says. “We are living in a time when audit and tax services have become so commoditised. Accounting firms in many cases have pursued growth for growth’s sake, and we think that in those situations the client experience can be largely forgotten.” 

“We have a different approach and view ourselves as collaborative partners with our clients.” 

The BBD approach is not a factory approach, she says. “We are a trusted resource for our clients. It’s important to be working with an audit and tax firm that will be there when you call and will be available to you throughout the year, especially when dealing with more nuanced audit and tax issues. You also want to work with a firm that will proactively share ideas about what is going on with the industry and what impact that will have on your business.” 

“Many accounting firms have not been able to deliver on that experience. We have intentionally and thoughtfully structured the firm to be that collaborative partner for our clients and our industry partners.”

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