“Going the extra mile” is part of Flagel Huber Flagel’s DNA, whether it’s helping a client recruit needed expertise, helping them find financing for expansion or preparing meals or weeding gardens for local nonprofits.

This summer, the 82-year-old accounting firm’s staff stepped out from behind their computers for a week and formed teams to volunteer at four local organizations: Garden Station, the downtown art park and community garden; House of Bread, the free community meal service; the Cincinnati Freestore Food Bank; and the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.

Dubbed “Accountants in the Community,” the event, expected to be held annually, grew out of a staff planning effort more than a year ago as a way to support the community and build team spirit, says Randall S. Kuvin, the firm’s managing partner.

Dave Flagel, the founder of the full-service accounting and business advisory firm, would approve. He started the firm in Dayton in the midst of the Great Depression and literally went door to door to start his business.

Kuvin says Flagel thought the firm needed to do more than fill out tax returns and financial statements, and become a trusted resource for clients.

“It’s a philosophy of being helpful in any way we can,” he says. “Listening to the client, understanding their needs and reaching out and putting the pieces together to satisfy their needs. In many cases it doesn’t result in billable hours for us, but it’s identifying resources through our relationships with others.”

He adds, “If all we’re doing is being accountants then we’re not doing anything that’s special or meaningful. Any number of other CPA firms can do that.”
Using that approach, Flagel Huber Flagel is now the oldest and largest locally owned accounting firm in Dayton. It has a staff of 62 with 12 partners and more than a dozen CPAs, and has developed special expertise in the areas of business valuations, litigation support and forensic accounting.

The firm has more than 1,000 business clients and twice that many individual clients stretching from Columbus to Northern Kentucky, and also has an office in Mason, in suburban Cincinnati.

Kuvin, who splits his time between the Dayton and Mason offices, says Flagel differentiates itself by focusing on small-to-middle-market businesses.

“Our sweet spot, and where we provide the most benefit, is to the privately held firms in the $5 million to $50 million range,” he says, across a variety of industries including distribution, restaurants, real estate, light manufacturing and the healthcare field.

The accounting industry has undergone its share of consolidation and, in 2012, Flagel expanded with the merger with the Dayton firm of Dohner, Louis & Stephens to broaden its capabilities. It also is able to extend its expertise nationally and internationally as a member of the BDO Seidman Alliance, an association of more than 170 independently owned local and regional accounting, consulting and service firms.

“It allows us to deliver the capabilities of a larger firm more efficiently,” Kuvin says.