In the dynamic world of business, the longevity and success of accounting firm SRWC LLP in Sudbury is a testament to its reputation for integrity and excellence.
Ryan Sostarich joined the firm in 2014 to work alongside his father Andy. The firm was founded in 1954 by Alfred Favretto and Ryan’s grandfather, Nick Sostarich joined as a partner in 1960. Ryan says, “My grandfather was committed to building a reputation of integrity and fairness. This reputation has not only attracted and maintained clients, but it has also been the driving force behind three generations of the Sostarich family choosing to join and contribute to SRWC’s legacy.”
Ryan did not take the traditional path to becoming a chartered accountant. He received an engineering degree from the University of Toronto, but accounting was in his blood. He says, “I did not go into accounting at first, but I did take an interest in the financial side of engineering.” Ryan continued his education by getting an accounting degree from Ryerson University.
Ryan’s sister Julia joined SRWC in 2018 after graduating with an accounting degree from the University of Waterloo. She always wanted to join the family business. Julia says, “The accounting business is all I’ve ever known. My parents are in the business. My grandfather was one of the founding partners. I learned about the business early on.” Julia always wanted to come back to Sudbury to work with her parents and to play a role in contributing to the business and following in her father’s footsteps.
The desire of three generations of the Sostarich family to join SRWC underscores the firm’s family-oriented, culture of inclusion and its deep-rooted connection to their clients in Sudbury. Ryan says, “I’ve always been proud of being part of SRWC in a community like Sudbury. I saw how respected our grandfather was and how respected our father Andy is in the community and it did leave an impression on me.”
Experts in business and tax planning
SRWC, a pillar of the business community in Sudbury, was built on the foundational principle of treating people fairly and that has been part of its culture since the firm was established in 1954. These principles guide every aspect of the firm’s operations, from relationships with clients, to relationships with staff members.
Andy says, “We offer guidance to other family businesses, from the mom-and-pop convenience store to large firms with hundreds of employees that are still owned by Sudbury families.” SRWC has cultivated a reputation for trustworthiness and reliability. Ryan adds, “It’s part of our history. We are community focused and have built longstanding relationships with other families operating businesses.”
The cornerstone of SRWC’s success lies in the trust it has garnered with its clients over the decades. Andy Sostarich says, “Clients stay with us because of our vast experience in dealing with owner-managed businesses. We deal almost exclusively with family businesses and with our extensive experience we can help them manage and grow.” In an industry where financial matters are highly sensitive, clients have assurance that they can put their trust in SRWC.
A family business where people matter
SRWC’s success and longevity is attributed in part to the value it puts on its employees. The firm has shaped a workplace culture that fosters trust and loyalty among its staff. One staff member has been with the firm for more than 40 years.
During the frenzy leading up to tax filing deadlines, Ryan says, “Everybody’s in it together and everybody’s looking out for each other. It’s about getting work done in a way that doesn’t lead to excessive stress. It’s always been about fairness and integrity in our firm. That’s what my grandfather imparted to us and it’s something that we hold dear. Being fair and reasonable and listening to people is important.” SRWC is a business that has always been focused on nurturing relationships with clients and their staff because people matter to them.
Chuck Lilly and Andy Sostarich have been partners at SRWC for 35 years. The firm is family focused. Andy says, “That’s part of our culture and part of the reason we’ve been so successful. My partner Grant Cooper’s son just passed his accounting exams and now he’s joined the firm.” Staff are treated like family at SRWC. They’re invited to the corporate suite at Sudbury Wolves and Sudbury Five home games and during the busy tax season staff are provided lavish lunches so that everyone can take a break. It’s a firm that the children of employees want to join. Julia says, “At SRWC the partners are always involved in every conversation because they care about what’s happening at the firm.”
SRWC LLP has been approached many times by large accounting corporations interested in buying the firm, but SRWC has always resisted. Andy says, “We’ve always felt that our best path forward is to remain independent. Ryan adds, “We don’t want to operate with a corporate playbook. We’ve been around a long time, and we’ve grown with certain clients. We don’t want to lose or compromise our relationships with clients, and we don’t want to compromise on how we deal with the community.”
SRWC could refuse a purchase offer because larger firms couldn’t offer it anything in terms of technology that it didn’t already have. It was Andy Sostarich’s father Nick who in the early 80s recognized the value of technology to their business. SRWC is a forward-thinking firm that understands the need to adapt while staying true to its core values.
The Sostarich family is proud of the fact that they were born and raised in Sudbury. That’s why giving back to the community is so important to them. Ryan contributes his time and skills to helping the community.
He says, “As a professional accounting firm, people come to us for advice. I try to offer my professional expertise to various boards and non-profit organizations.”
Offering 3 generations of guidance to businesses
As SRWC looks to the future, the firm recognizes the importance of preserving its legacy that has defined its success for seven decades. Professional experience, passed down through generations has allowed SRWC LLP to provide excellent service to Sudbury’s business community.
SRWC LLP’s success story in Sudbury is a remarkable journey bolstered by its ability to build trust with clients, foster employee loyalty, and be a firm that younger generations want to join. SRWC LLP’s story is a reminder that ethical values are not just good for business, they are the foundation upon which enduring success is built.