Schneider Downs & Co., Inc.

Schneider Downs & Co., Inc. Company Profile

THE SCOOP

Two men, two offices

In 1956, James T. Schneider and Paul Downs went into business together and remained at the helm until their retirement in 1985.  At that time, Ray Buehler took over and relocated the firm to its present location just outside Pittsburgh's historic market district (known as the Strip).  A second office in Columbus opened in 1989; initially staffed by just one employee, the Columbus office now has over 90 people.

In the 1990s, Schneider Downs added its business advisory, technology, wealth management and corporate finance practices.  It also formed an affiliation with Creative Financial Staffing (CFS), the largest private financial staffing company in the world.  Today, Schneider Downs is the 49th-largest firm in the country by revenue (according to INSIDE Public Accounting) and the largest regional accounting firm in Pittsburgh, with over 340 professionals.

Never a dull moment

Schneider Downs likes to tell prospective employees that work is rarely monotonous, simply because the firm serves a diverse list of clients, including entrepreneurs, international corporations, professional organizations, nonprofits and human service organizations, colleges and universities, and privately-held companies. 

The firm's industry know-how includes real estate, transportation and logistics, automotive, employee benefit plans, construction, energy and resources, manufacturing and distribution, and nonprofits.  There's also a group dedicated to services for public companies-Schneider Downs is registered with the Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), so it can audit SEC-registered companies.

Running the show

IGAF Worldwide is a global association of 150 independent public accounting firms, and through its IGAF affiliation Schneider Downs-which co-founded the association-can collaborate with members in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australia to serve its international and multinational clients.

In June 2008, Schneider Downs President and CEO Ray Buehler was named chair of IGAF Worldwide North America.  In this role, Buehler will tackle several initiatives, including a membership drive, exploring whether regional exclusivity makes sense for the association and establishing compliance with member firms operating within IGAF as an association of independent firms versus a network.

Up and coming

CEO Buehler deserves credit for the firm's progress over the years-under his tenure, revenue has climbed from $4 million in fiscal 1987 to $53 million in fiscal 2008.  Buehler has also been named a Top 100 Most Influential Practitioner by CPA Magazine.  A graduate of Notre Dame, he has stayed true to his school by becoming active with the Notre Dame Club of Pittsburgh's Advisory Board.  He also sits on the boards of the World Presidents Organization, the Young Presidents Organization, Pittsburgh's Neighbors in the Strip, the Marian Manor Corporation and the Vincentian Collaborative System Foundation.

Pack your desks?

It looks like Schneider Downs may be on the move in 2009.  According to reports, the firm is looking for a bigger office space in the Strip District, where its current 48,000 square feet are getting crowded.  Firm CEO Buehler has said he wants at least 70,000 square feet to accommodate current staff and planned expansions.

Options include leasing more space at a nearby building, where Schneider Downs has annexed overflow offices.  Buehler is also considering selling or leasing the current offices, which are valued at approximately $2.3 million.  As of late 2008, Schneider Downs has over 270 employees in Pittsburgh and nearly 100 in Columbus.

Boosting business advisory

Schneider Downs has taken significant steps to strengthen its advisory business in recent years.  In April 2008, the firm hired Joel Rosenthal to head Schneider Downs Business Advisors, the practice group that provides litigation support, business valuation, due diligence and other advisory services.  In an interesting twist, Rosenthal had previously been an audit shareholder at Alpern Rosenthal-his father Irving's firm, and one of Schneider Downs' closest competitors in the Ohio advisory market.

Discussing the hire, Schneider Downs CEO Ray Buehler said he had identified business advisory services as a target growth area back in 2007, when a strategic review showed that this sector hadn't kept pace with the rest of the firm's growth.  When Rosenthal arrived at the firm, Schneider Downs Business Advisors consisted of just five employees and produced approximately $4 million in annual revenue.  Buehler declared that he had new goals for the division: 60 employees and revenue of $12 million by 2010.

Surviving the downturn

The economy may be in a tailspin, but Schneider Downs was still hiring in late 2008-in fact, the firm added 22 new employees and interns to its Pittsburgh headquarters in September.  Earlier in the year, Frank Dantonio joined as managing partner for the state and local tax practice, and Natalie Bahan came on board at the end of August to serve as director of business advisory services.  Joe Patrick, the Pittsburgh office managing partner, said the firm was adding more local leaders for its service lines to improve access for clients (as an example, the internal audit group has grown from one employee to 10, requiring more oversight). 

In November 2008, Ray Buehler told the Pittsburgh Business Journal that he, like most other businesspeople, knew times were tough.  "This year, the economy's really unhinged," he said.  "Even if the companies (we serve) are still OK, you can definitely get a sense in our customer base, everybody's sitting on the sidelines thinking 'What's gonna happen? How's this gonna affect our business?'"  Still, he added, the mood at Schneider Downs was mostly positive.  "The line that I'm throwing around in our office is 'We're gonna do everything we can not to participate in the recession,'" he said.

GETTING HIRED

Looking for qualified students and experienced workers

Current students and recent graduates are encouraged to explore Schneider Downs' internship program.  The firm's interns work as members of the engagement team, and are responsible for various projects involving audit, tax and accounting issues.  The hands-on, learning environment provides a comprehensive introduction to the accounting profession and the firm.  The firm is always looking for qualified experienced professionals to join its ranks as well.  Experienced accountants should visit the firm's web site to learn more and to search current job openings.

Both students and experienced professionals can apply online for internships and full-time jobs.  For additional information about positions in the firm's Pittsburgh office, candidates can contact Mike Collins at (412) 261-3644, or mcollins@schneiderdowns.com.  For positions in Columbus, those interested can contact Deborah Flowers at (614) 621-4060, or dflowers@schneiderdowns.com.

▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description


Schneider Downs & Co., Inc.


1133 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4205
Phone: (412) 261-3644
Fax: (412) 261-4876
www.schneiderdowns.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: Raymond W. Buehler, Jr.
  • 2010 Employees: 352

Major Office Locations

  • Pittsburgh, PA

Become a Vault Basic Member

Complete your Vault Profile and get seen by top employers