If you are looking for the best accounting firm in Pittsburgh for your small business, here are five definitive facts about the city and five sure-fire ways to find the accounting firm there that best meets your small business needs.
Pittsburgh -- The Most Livable City In The U.S. Pittsburgh is Pennsylvania's second largest city, population 311,647. The seven county area surrounding the city boasts a population of 2,354,957. Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, is by far the biggest and most prosperous. In these seven counties, there are over 1,000 accounting firms, 40% of which are in Pittsburgh. Over half of them cater to small businesses.
In 2005 and again in 2009, The Economist ranked Pittsburgh the top most livable city in the United States. In 2007, Pittsburgh claimed the number one spot in Places Rated Almanac. In 2010, both Forbes Magazine and Yahoo! had Pittsburgh at the top of their lists. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Pittsburgh as one of the best for entrepreneurs.
Pittsburgh --The City Of Bridges. Pittsburgh is the world record holder for bridges with 446 of them contained entirely within the city limits. These bridges cross the Allegheny River from the northeast and the Monongahela River from the southeast to form the Ohio River and the Downtown area of the city known as the Golden Triangle. They link the city to the four areas surrounding it, namely the North Side/North Hills, the South Side/South Hills, the East End and the West End. Four interstates (I-376, I-79, I-279 and I-579), known to Pittsburghers as the Parkway East, the Parkway West, the Parkway North and Crosstown and two major expressways (Route 28 and Route 22) connect 237 boroughs and 202 townships with each other and with Downtown Pittsburgh.
Most of the larger accounting firms serving Pittsburgh's major corporations are in Downtown Pittsburgh. However, virtually all of the accounting firms serving the city's ever-growing small business population are located in the areas north, south, east and west of the city. These firms serve small businesses in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and also offer their services to the other six counties that make up the Greater Pittsburgh Area. The small business accounting firms in these areas have deep-seated ties to the community, the people and the businesses residing there.
Pittsburgh -- A City Transformed. Thirty years ago, Pittsburgh was a dirty, smoky steel town, known as the Steel City, because of its predominance as a mighty steel-making hub. When that industry collapsed and Pittsburgh lost its manufacturing base, its blue-collar workers and corporate giants like Westinghouse, Gulf Oil, Koppers and Rockwell International, the city faced its first economic crisis in more than a century. To its credit, though, the city transformed like none other in the country and emerged twenty years later as a thriving white-collar metropolis.
Today, Pittsburgh is still a steel city. US Steel, the 10th largest steel company in the world, is headquartered there. Allegheny Technologies, a world-class steel maker, has eight manufacturing plants in the region. The city still employs 7,000 steel workers and another 12,000 in the primary metals sector. Though the area lost 100,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 30 years, that sector is still one of the biggest contributors to the region's economy. What changed is how diversified that sector is now. Cutting-edge companies in life sciences, robotics, information technology and research have joined ranks with eight Fortune 500 companies. Health care, education, research, financial services and entertainment/tourism are the newly emerging industries that are driving revenue and employment for the region.
One of the fastest-growing fields supporting the city's transformation to a white-collar economy is accounting. This is especially true as the city continues to move away from industry to service and technology. Many of the newly emerging companies across all sectors of the local economy are small businesses. Though there are already over 400 accounting firms in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County alone servicing those businesses, that number increases dramatically as you move into the other seven counties surrounding the city.
Pittsburgh -- A City Of Growth. The local economy mirrors the nation's economy as it continues to battle the recession. However, the region has fared better than most places in the country and is poised for substantive growth in 2011. Economists from the city's largest financial institutions predict that the Greater Pittsburgh Area will add 13,000 new jobs this year. Unemployment is expected to drop below eight percent as larger corporations begin to hire and newly established businesses begin to grow. Additional hiring will also be evident as new companies locate there.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the city's largest employer, is currently in a hiring mode. Retail giants like Dick's Sporting Goods and General Nutrition Center (GNC) are growing. Google now operates a 40,000 square foot office in Pittsburgh and recently announced plans for expansion. Marcellus Shale natural gas will be a major contributor to the local economy. The Cultural Arts, including film production, continues to blossom and dozens of new information technology firms are emerging to support the growing research activity at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.
Most of the new companies being created in the area are small businesses supporting these major industries. As the area grows, these businesses will grow as well and their need for more specialized accounting services will become increasingly evident. Presently, accountant firms in the Pittsburgh area offer 18 different types of accounting to small businesses, income tax accounting and project accounting to name a few.
Pittsburgh -- The City Of Champions. Pittsburgh is home to three major league franchises -- the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two of those teams have graced the city with championships, the Steelers winning six Super Bowl titles and the Penguins winning three Stanley Cups. Thanks to the ingenious idea of a beloved Pittsburgh sportscaster and his Terrible Towel, the Steelers have given Pittsburgh fans reason to proclaim their hometown pride by simply waving their Terrible Towel. This marketing icon singlehandedly created Steeler Nation, a brotherhood of loyal fans across the country that has quietly and selflessly raised millions of dollars for a local charity in Pittsburgh.
This hometown pride, this brotherhood, this spirit of generosity is championed in almost every neighborhood and community in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Pittsburghers are proud, industrious, friendly and generous people. Many of them have lived in their hometown for years and have established hundreds of small businesses to support their families, their communities and the city they call home. Accounting firms throughout the area have their roots in these same neighborhoods and have managed to successfully guide and support these businesses and the local communities and organizations they serve. Because of their efforts, these small businesses continue to prosper.
With a good working knowledge of the city, its economy and its people, you can easily find the accounting firm in Pittsburgh that best meets your small business needs. Here are five sure-fire ways to help you do that.
Pay close attention to your location and the location of the accounting firm with whom you choose to work. Pittsburgh is a large metropolitan city with over 400 neighborhoods and communities as diverse as the people living there. These neighborhoods and communities are what make Pittsburgh unique and it is important that you find an accounting firm who knows these places and the businesses that reside there. Pittsburgh is also a city, like many other big cities in the country, plagued with traffic jams, construction delays and bad weather. These conditions cause havoc on the roads in and out of the city at any time in the course of a regular business day. Don't waste time driving all the way across town to meet with your accountant. Besides, if your accounting firm is close to you, they should be willing to come to your place of business.
Focus your attention on only those firms in Pittsburgh specializing in small business accounting. Small business accounting firms keep track of salaries and wages, deductions for federal, state and local taxes and Social Security, utility costs, maintenance, depreciation, amortization, interest and rent. They also prepare your tax returns and administer payroll, health insurance and 401K retirement programs. These are the responsibilities you will want your accounting firm to handle for you. If they can also provide sales, marketing and financial services to meet the ever-growing needs of your small business, so much the better.