Over the past five years, Pease & Associates has expanded in ways it never could have predicted.
It started when the Cleveland certified public accounting firm was asked to iron out a tax issue for a group buying several nursing homes. The request came from the group’s attorney, who had worked with Pease & Associates in the past.
Since then, Pease has added more nursing homes to its client roster — so many that, about a year ago, the company for the first time assigned some of its accountants to work exclusively on healthcare. They prepare tax returns for nursing homes and perform audits to secure federal funding. They even help nursing homes buy other nursing homes.
“I don’t think anybody here thought nursing homes would have become as substantial a part of our business as they have,” says Pease marketing manager Bryan Kaufman.
Then again, as baby boomers age, it only makes sense. The number of Americans 85 and older is expected to nearly triple, from 6.3 million in 2015 to 17.9 million in 2050, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of Americans using nursing homes is projected to rise from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050.
But the burgeoning nursing home industry is just one growth factor at Pease & Associates, established by Joe Pease in 1999 with fewer than 20 employees. The firm’s bread and butter was, and still is, handling tax returns for manufacturers, distributors, construction and real-estate firms and nonprofits.
Today the company employs about 60, and last year opened a second office in Beachwood after merging with another CPA firm, Bill Proper & Associates.
Over the past two years, Pease has expanded into the movie business, thanks to Ohio’s relatively new motion picture tax credit. To
receive the tax credit, producers must hire an independent CPA to help apply.
Pease has worked on several films, including “My Blind Brother” and “Echo Effect.” And the Ohio movie market is expected to grow; the state last year raised the motion picture tax credit from $20 million to $40 million a year.
Once again, it was an attorney who referred Pease to its first motion-picture client.
“That’s how it works in this business,” Kaufman says. “You get referred on something like this and it ends up being opportunities for additional work that is outside of your general client base.”