Episode 31 – Chuck Schwartz
How are Marcum LLP, a Top 3 US construction accounting firm, advising their construction clients through COVID-19?
Chuck Schwartz is a Business Development Director, and Software & Systems Consultant for Marcum LLP. Marcum LLP is one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms in the US, with offices in major business markets throughout the U.S., as well as select international locations, including here in Dublin, Ireland. Marcum where recently recognised in the top 50 accounting firms in the US by the Construction Executive, who listed Marcum as No.3.
What was the Marcum LLP approach to helping construction companies through COVID-19?
Ciaran – “I mean, I’m sure you get to see a lot of what companies do well, and then obviously what a lot of other companies don’t do so well. I mean, I’d imagine through the last six months or so, since we’ve hit this COVID problem, that, I mean, going out and selling probably wasn’t top of the agenda. What was the Marcum approach to helping construction companies through COVID?”
Chuck – “That’s a great question, and I remember more or less the day after, if you will, that life changed and everybody was working from home, and I remember talking to Joe Natarelli and having that, “What are we going to do next?” kind of question. Because you’re right, people weren’t interested in talking about anything new. They were more interested in, how am I going to stay in business?”
“We took the attitude of thought leadership, and taking the knowledge that Marcum had, in general, around construction and construction accounting, but also what was going to be coming down the pike, so to speak. Folks that were entering into this Payroll Protection Program, and other loans and opportunities that were very specific to COVID-19, and how that would affect them. How to make sure that these things did not become events that could hurt them, and taxable events.”
“What I did is, I reached out to a bunch of the folks and colleagues that I worked with around the software industry and other service providers to the construction industry, and my message to them was, “You know, guys and gals, let’s not sell for a while. Let’s just tell the audience out there that we’re here and we care, and we should be bringing the message about keeping the lights on and staying in business, and how best to do this now.”
“Marcum essentially joined forces with some of the largest service providers to the construction industry, and brought that message to them, and brought it out in a very big way. I think it’s really what set us apart from others in our space, and I think others would tell you that.”
Ciaran – “Yeah, no, it’s interesting. Was that delivered through webinars and stuff?”
Chuck – “Yes. Amazing, right, as we’re doing it today, across the Atlantic Ocean, everything’s turned virtual. So, yeah, I haven’t really left the house or the home office in about six months, but essentially haven’t missed a beat. But yes, it was all delivered through webinars.”
Ciaran – “Yeah, love that. I love that because, I mean, we took a similar approach here ourselves, and that was April, May. Like, who wants a new cost control system for a project that’s not open? So we took a similar approach, where we said let’s just try and get out as much helpful content as we can. So let’s do what we’re doing today, here. Let’s bring people on that know more about certain situations than we do, let’s interview them, let’s get the word out there. Let’s do webinars on stuff that maybe we don’t do. Anything we can find helpful, let’s just push it out, and hopefully it helps, and it did. It did, and the reason we’ve pushed the podcast out to one a week now is because the feedback was actually good, and people were saying to us, “That was helpful. That really helped me get through a certain situation or put me on the right track to solving a situation.”