IBJNews

LEADING QUESTIONS: CPA Sponsel takes calculated risk

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Leading Questions

Welcome to the latest installment of  “Leading Questions: Wisdom from the Corner Office,” in which  IBJ sits down with central Indiana’s top bosses to talk shop about their industry and the habits that lead to success.

Tom Sponsel, 57, launched Sponsel CPA Group in September 2009 after leaving the accounting firm at which he had spent a majority of his career. He joined the firm that would become Greenwalt Sponsel & Co. Inc. in 1980, and expected to succeed managing partner Larry Greenwalt as the firm's leader in January 2011. But Sponsel was unhappy with the direction of the company, and he decided to leave after it became apparent the firm no longer intended to install him in Greenwalt's position.

It was a calculated risk for Sponsel, who plowed $250,000 of his own money into the start-up and arranged for $750,000 in financing for the firm from M&I Bank. Today, Sponsel CPA Group has 21 employees—including managing partner Sponsel and three other partners formerly with Greenwalt Sponsel & Co. Inc.—and more than 100 clients.

In the video below, Sponsel recounts the steps taken to create his firm and get it off the ground. The experience was valuable for Sponsel and his employees, who gained insight into the business issues on which they regularly counsel their clients. Sponsel also discusses the inspiration he finds in his family's history, marked with entrepreneurs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

ADVERTISEMENT