Legal Blog

A Video Conversation with Jane Scaccetti, CEO of Drucker & Scaccetti – Part 4 – On Partnerships

Click Here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Applying tactical accounting and tax planning expertise to support clients’ business strategies Jane Scaccetti is the CEO of Drucker & Scaccetti, P.C. (D&S), an accounting and tax advising firm headquartered in Philadelphia. For over 25 years, D&S has provided specialized financial consulting services to entrepreneurs as well as private and public corporations and family-owned businesses. The firm refers to its team members as Tax Warriors, emphasizing their discipline, tactical prowess, and passion for vigorously defending clients’ wealth and assets. A preeminent figure in her field, Jane is an accomplished executive, CPA, and community leader. She was the first woman to tax partner of any Big Eight firm in Philadelphia, and has sat on the boards and audit committees of organizations and businesses such as Temple University (where she also taught as a professor), Salus University, Penn National Gaming, Mathematica Policy Research, and The Pep Boys. She is also an influential member of Philadelphia’s 2016 DNC Host Committee and current host of Money Matters TV. Her numerous honors include the Take the Lead Award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern PA (2016), the Temple University Hospital Diamond Award (2014), the Philadelphia Business Journal Outstanding Directors Award (2013), and the PA Best 50 Women in Business Award (2006). Jane Scaccetti spoke with Don Foster, Chair of Offit Kurman’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group, for this interview. DON FOSTER: How do you and co-founder Ronald Drucker divide your roles at the firm? Do your attitudes differ? JANE SCACCETTI: I always liked the adage that if two partners do the same thing, one isn’t necessary. I know I’m paraphrasing, but I think that’s important. Let me tell you what I think we do that is the same: I think we’re both passionate about our clients. We like our clients. We like to ask the questions. We like to be involved. I don’t think we’re shy in any way, so if a client seems to have a problem, we’re quick to ask what it is. It’s not as though we stand back. I’ve seen advisors just feel like, “no, I don’t mean to ask them too many questions.” Ron and I are asking those questions. And I think that we also believe that what impacts someone’s wealth is many, many multiple things, and that you need to address all of them. You can’t just stay in this very myopic view of one thing and think that you’ve really done your job. That’s not what you need to do; it’s much more comprehensive. Those are the things that we do alike. Where we probably differ is that in Ron’s establishment of a firm, Ron was the benevolent dictator, and he trained all of us. He really gave us a sense of ethics, a sense of ethos, a sense of hard work, a sense of being responsible, a sense of doing the right thing. Ron is probably the most ethical person that I know in my life, and I learned that from him. I learned that it’s not always easy to do the right thing, but it is always the right thing to do the right thing. Those are the things I learned from him. Over the years, though, I’ve seen through some of my activity outside of the firm a need for professional firms to change how they’ve been operating. Professional firms are usually in silos, where partners have their practices and those practices are run somewhat independently of another practice, and everyone is sort of gathered together under one firm to do it. I think it can grow only so much based on that, and after time, what could help is to have more of a corporate-type formality of a structure on top, so that not every partner is also doing administrative responsibilities and partners can really focus on business development and servicing their clientele—and not doing some of the things that you do every day when you’re a smaller firm that’s growing. I also think that the millennials have changed—and every generation always says “that’s the last generation”—but I do think millennials are very different. They’re demanding a different kind of workplace and work environment—and I can get it. They’ve seen their parents divorce more frequently than any generation before them. They’ve dealt with health issues. They’ve dealt with financial issues. They’ve been the first ones to really see real estate drop in value. They’re probably the first generation that will make less as far as the net worth or value than the previous generation. All of these things have changed their viewpoint on what they want day-to-day, so to motivate and drive that organization forward might take a different philosophy than the way professional firms—and in particular accounting firms—were run before. And I think I have a different perspective on that.  


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