Peck Family Foundation

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Statement from the Treasurer Regarding Recent Change in Accounting Firm

From PFF Treasurer Charlie Gravis

Starting in 2016, I began to experience poor customer service from our current accounting firm, Perkins and Company.  It could have also dated back before this year, but I don't have specific instances that I can recall.  I remember 2016 clearly as I was in Washington DC, and I was contacted by a Perkins representative and told the taxes needed to be filed within approximately 5 days.  This was the first time in 2016 I had been contacted to discuss or work on the PFF taxes.  As such, I had to drop all other priorities in my life at the time to meet the very short deadline which was difficult as I was not living at home.  It got done, but I expressed my displeasure to Perkins and made it clear I needed to be contacted earlier and afforded more time to work on the taxes.  From 2016 on, I dealt with different Perkins employees and, each year, I experienced the same "emergency" types of requests.  Each year, I expressed my displeasure, and I recall sharing such issues with other members of the PFF.  In 2019, I received an automated email from the IRS stating they had received, processed, and approved a filing extension request for the PFF.  I was not contacted by Perkins representatives nor did I give any authorization to file for an extension.  After being bounced around to our current representative, I again expressed my displeasure with their service and lack of attention to the PFF account. Also in 2019, I was told we should be filing tax payments for the next year's taxes, which is the first time I was ever advised as such.  Additionally, I had much difficulty contacting our representative when I was dealing with the tax questions brought up in the 2019 PFF meeting.  Since our Perkins representative would not return my calls, I had to call multiple times and had to speak to multiple people to try to get her to call me back.  The representative did provide apologies and did give a discount on our taxes in an attempt to satisfy my issues with their poor performance.  After asking multiple years for better service and attention to our account, Perkins has been unable to meet this request.  It became clear at this point the PFF deserved a better and more responsive accounting firm.  I expressed my concerns to my predecessor, Don Peck, and he agreed we should seek a different firm if I was unhappy with Perkins handling of our account.  For the last three months, I have sought out four different accounting firms and the firm, Sundberg Nicks CPAs, is my choice for the new PFF accounting firm.  The firm is well known in the Portland area, and they were referred to me by our money manager firm, Confluence, with whom they already have an established relationship.  The quoted cost for preparation of the PFF taxes looks to be approximately $800 less than what Perkins was charging the PFF.  

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Charlie's cell: 310-430-0805.