Our Academic Achievements
All of us excelled in our undergraduate education, our graduate degrees nearly outnumber our staff, two of us have taught at the university level, and each of us adds a new graduate degree or professional-level technical certification program at least every five years.
Itís local, and economical, so nearly all of us have now earned at least one academic degree or graduate-level certificate from the University of Washington. Jillian Andrews, our Administrative Manager, is one exception; she opted for the MBA program at Seattle University instead.
In its 2005 Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranked the University of Washington seventeenth in the world. Dawson & Gerbic, LLP is an accounting firm, so most of our University of Washington training is in accounting disciplines. In its listing of Americaís Best Graduate Schools 2007, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Washington accounting program thirteenth in the nation.
Our other graduate programs are also highly-rated. U.S. News & World Report has rated Joe Dawsonís law school program and Nina Gerbicís graduate economics program at the University of Washington, as well as Jillianís Seattle University MBA program, among the top thirty in the country.
Our Library and Technical Reference Materials
Until its parent holding company was sold to a competitor, one of our principal clients was the Washington state affiliate of an interstate banking group. The Washington bank was quite active in acquiring less-successful competitors, and Joe was frequently called upon to evaluate the current U.S. income tax position of potential target financial institutions.
While reviewing the tax return working papers for one potential target, which had been prepared at the central headquarters of a large multi-office public accounting firm, Joe discovered an error which seemed inconceivable if the reviewer had even glanced at his firm's treatise on financial institution taxation. Out of curiosity, Joe asked which bank taxation treatise that firm used. They did not have one.
Based on that experience, Nina and Joe adopted the policy that our firm would never perform an engagement without identifying, and using, the appropriate technical reference publications. We have followed that policy consistently for over twenty years; our annual expenditures for research subscriptions and publications now regularly exceed $50,000.
Our research policy has provided us a very current and complete reference library across all of our various fields of practice. Several years ago an individual contemplating creation of a private, fee-based Seattle-area tax and accounting research library asked the local RIA and CCH sales representatives whether they knew of any relatively complete private libraries of that type in this area. He told us that both of them immediately suggested ours.
Since then we have added comparable reference materials covering economics, business valuations, litigation support, and various specialized bankruptcy and insolvency topics, and we have developed a substantial internet research capability.
Our Information Technology Capability
When Joe and Nina began our firm in 1984, Nina bought one personal computer and one printer. Those two pieces of equipment gave Dawson & Gerbic, LLP what was then a high-level information technology capability. We have maintained that relative capability level ever since.
The system Jillian Andrews and Emily Schmitt oversee is dramatically more reliable, secure and complex than Nina's two primitive original machines. Our in-house network integrates our servers, workstations and laptops with a bank of specialized printers, copiers and communications equipment, and our equipment replacement policy ensures that our hardware is always up-to-date.
We invest in enterprise grade software for both internal and client production use. Our information technology goal is to enable employees to work efficiently anywhere, at any time. We also maintain an extensive software library of smaller accounting packages; no matter what formats our clients use, we should be able to work with their files.
And Jillian and Emily don't have to manage our system alone; they have a long-established, highly-qualified outside computer consulting firm available to assist them whenever the need arises.
Our International Experience and Capabilities
Our staff includes native speakers in Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese , and some of us are also fluent in French and Japanese. We hold degrees and certificates from six foreign universities; we have held varied business and academic positions in several foreign countries; and Jillian was recognized as the Washington State University outstanding international business student of the year for 2006.