H&R Block to help accounting firms grow and provide an exit strategy
Jennifer Katrulya, noted industry expert and innovator in the client accounting services (CAS) space, recently joined H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) to help in its efforts to offer bookkeeping, payroll, tax and other services to America’s small businesses.
“We are thrilled to have someone with Jennifer’s level of expertise and experience in this space,” said Kathy Collins, H&R Block chief marketing officer. “Jennifer is a critical piece of this puzzle and will be invaluable in helping us build our small business suite of services and client base.”
Katrulya will continue to manage her consulting practice, BMRG Advisory Services, which provides participants with the education, resources, tools, and advisory services needed to create a modern accounting practice. In a first-of-its-kind move, H&R Block is forming a strategic partnership with BMRG to help provide accounting firms with a possible succession plan.
“This is truly groundbreaking,” said Jeremy Smith, who is leading H&R Block’s small business effort after a career in investment banking, private equity, entrepreneurship, and technology startups. “Jennifer is already helping these firms develop top-notch CAS practices that align with the type of practice we are creating at H&R Block. Now we’re layering on the ability for many of these firms to consider an opportunity to sell to H&R Block if they’re ready to exit, or to possibly become an H&R Block franchise, which we can then help them grow in a meaningful way. There is nothing like this in the industry. It’s a succession plan in a box.”
Graduates of the BMRG program that meet certain designated criteria can consider an opportunity to sell to or possibly become a franchise of H&R Block, or they can remain independent. The decision is theirs, Smith added.
Industry on the verge of change
There are two paradigm shifts affecting the accounting space today. First, the emergence of cloud-based technology is changing the way accounting firms look at themselves — in terms of how they offer their services and how they price their services.
Additionally, 75 percent of CPAs will hit retirement age over the next seven to eight years according to an industry study. As a result, succession planning is one of the top problems most firms face.
Thus, the launch of the H&R Block/BMRG partnership is a timely one that addresses both problems head on. Firms can join the program in order to transform into high-growth, high-profitability practices with the ability to partner with or sell to H&R Block when and if both the company and firm agree.
“I couldn’t be happier to join such a great company,” Katrulya said, “and it has been a thrill working with Jeremy. With his experience and entrepreneurial spirit, he has a lot to add to this industry. What has already impressed me most is that he brings to the table some of the most innovative ideas I have heard, while at the same time never missing the fact that the simple things are often the most important. He has a unique perspective not only on how H&R Block can succeed in this space, but also on how we can help other accounting firms achieve their growth and succession goals.
“I have been incredibly impressed by H&R Block’s approach to the CAS business. They’re doing this the right way, and they want to be a productive, collaborative member of the accounting community. The opportunity to join them is truly humbling.”
For more information on H&R Block Small Business services or to learn more about the H&R Block/BMRG incubator, call 816-854-5129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About H&R Block H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 650 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2014, H&R Block had annual revenues over $3.0 billion with 24.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide by professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block Tax Software products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.