OSWEGO, New York – Oswego resident Art Pearson used to turn on the radio in the morning and listen for 45 minutes or more on his way from Oswego to Syracuse to work. Now, he can barely listen to one song on his four-block commute.
Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Pearson and his business partner, Ed Burdick, are now heading up what was formerly Paul W. Schneible CPA after several years of working at firms in Syracuse. Both Art and Ed are now looking forward to focusing on providing services to local clients in Oswego County as Burdick & Pearson, CPAs, PLLC.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always viewed being an accountant as a way to give back to the community,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Burdick, a resident of Pulaski. Ã¢â‚¬Å“As an accountant you partner with local businesses and help them fulfill their dream of business ownership and success.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Burdick and Pearson met in 1997 while working for Pasquale & Bowers at their first CPA jobs after college. Burdick left the firm in 1999 for the Syracuse firm of Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa, PC in 1999. Pearson soon followed suit in 2002.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ed and I have been friends for many years,Ã¢â‚¬Â Pearson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Over the years we had talked about going into business together. When this opportunity came up, the circumstances were right.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Burdick first spoke to Paul Schneible, owner and founder of Schneible Accounting in December 2008 when Schneible began to think about transitioning from owning the business after 35 years.
Burdick immediately thought of his friend and co-worker Pearson.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When Ed first contacted me it sounded great from the start,Ã¢â‚¬Â Pearson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is the type of opportunity I wanted to consider.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The opportunity gives both men the chance to bring their community and work lives together. Despite working in Syracuse, both Burdick and Pearson remained involved in their local communities. Burdick has been a large part of the Pop Warner football program in Pulaski where he serves as treasurer and coach. The program has doubled the number of participants in the past couple years.
Pearson, a 2005 graduate of the Leadership Oswego County program, serves on the board of Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County and Enable.
Both have family roots in Oswego County. Burdick has two children, an 8 year-old boy and 7 year-old girl. Pearson has a 3 year-old boy and a 1 year-old girl.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s challenging to raise a family, remain active in your home community while working in a different community,Ã¢â‚¬Â Pearson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Living and working in the same county is definitely an advantage for us personally, and for our clients.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Taking the opportunity to step into an established practice has also been an advantage. Schneible is staying with the firm to help introduce Burdick and Pearson to clients and help them learn the day-to-day operations of the business.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This has really been the perfect opportunity to step into an established firm,Ã¢â‚¬Â Pearson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Over the past few months we have spent a lot of time learning about our new clients and meeting with many of them with Paul.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Both Burdick and Pearson give high marks to Schneible for building a successful practice over the years. They also said they have both benefited from his guidance as a community resource while they transition to their new roles as business owners.
Schneible chose to work with Burdick and Pearson because of their local roots and their expertise.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This business is about relationships and building trust with local clients,Ã¢â‚¬Â Schneible said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I plan to leave the customers I have worked with for many years in capable hands. I believe both Art and Ed will be able to continue the level of service our clients have benefited from, and to carry on those services for many years to come. It is a pleasure to work with both of them.Ã¢â‚¬Â
That relationship building is important to both new owners.
Pearson said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Accounting is a relationship-based business. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about local face-to-face service with clients and we are looking forward to providing that service here in Oswego County.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Burdick echoed those comments and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is where we live and where we play. What better way to give back to the community then by partnering with local business? Getting to know them allows you to serve them better as well. You get more from a client by sitting down and talking about their business and their business needs than you can over the phone or through the computer. You can address concerns about buying versus leasing, tax considerations and other decisions. You need to be there with the client to do that well.Ã¢â‚¬Â
According to David Dano, Business Finance Director at Operation Oswego County, he was pleased to see the former Schneible firm remain in Oswego County under local ownership.
“I am pleased that the new owners have chosen to maintain their offices in Oswego County,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I know Ed was born and raised in the county, graduated from SUNY Oswego, and is active in the community were he lives. It is important that small businesses like Burdick & Pearson, as well as their employees continue to be active in the community they reside.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Jane Murphy, Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County and fellow Leadership Oswego County graduate has had the opportunity to work closely with Pearson.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Art has been a pleasure to know over the years both through leadership and Literacy Volunteers. He has a distinct dedication to the community and having him provide his professional services in Oswego is both an advantage for Art and his family, and for the community as a whole.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Both Burdick and Pearson are optimistic about the business climate in Oswego County and see a lot of opportunity on the horizon.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“People in this county are hard-working, smart and have consistently shown that they will work together to remain strong through challenging economic times,Ã¢â‚¬Â Pearson said.
Burdick added, Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is a good business base here to build on and I believe the opportunities available here will be taken advantage of in order for the area to grow.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Both Burdick and Pearson plan to be there to partner with those local businesses for years to come, as Paul W. Schneible CPA becomes Burdick & Pearson, CPAs, PLLC.
Burdick & Pearson, CPAs, PLLC is located at 168 West First Street in Oswego and can be reached at (315) 343-9101.