Jerry Yu a Partner of Moss Adams, Yu is a thought leader, influencer,
visionary, and successful entrepreneur and accountant. Jerry Yu
provides the leadership and energy that inspires those around him at Moss Adams.
Jerry Yu joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International
Speakers & entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Founders taking part in our Leader
Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is
delighted to have Jerry join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Let us start by telling us about your business.
I am a tax accountant, planner, and consultant who advises clients on strategies to keeping more of their money, especially in the year of a liquidity event such as IPOs, tenders/secondaries, and M&A transactions.
Q: Please tell us what tax strategies your clients have implemented in those years of liquidity events.
It depends on a variety of factors, including their overall cash flow, financial plan, estate plan, familial and charitable intent, and the current economic environment, among other things. But my clients have executed on a variety of vehicles, including intra-family loans, irrevocable out-of-state trusts, irrevocable grantor trusts, dynasty trusts, GRATs, FLPs, ILITs, SLATs, IDGTs, INGs, DAFs, private foundations, CRTs, CLTs, and oftentimes, a combination of the above.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition.
Our reputation in the marketplace. Everything is easier when our reputation precedes us in such a positive way.
Q: And to finish this section, please tell us what the one major key to your company’s success is?
It’s all about our people. We can’t service our clients without good people.
Q: For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
It is important to document the purchase of founder shares. At the very minimum, retain (i) a copy of the signed stock purchase agreement, (ii) a copy of the canceled check or bank statement showing the purchase of the original shares. This will be helpful if these shares eventually become eligible for the Section 1202 exclusion for qualified small business stock.
Q: Once an entrepreneur goes through a big liquidity event, what type of advice would you offer?
Depending on the amount of income for the year, a charitable lead trust might be a good strategy given the current low interest rate environment. There are many different types of these trusts, so it would be important to speak to an accountant who can help best determine which one fits the needs and the situation.
Q: In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
It’s important to keep up on the news, and for accountants, continuously attend the continuing education seminars. Tax especially changes from administration to administration, and more often than not, there is always something new from year to year from a tax perspective.
Q: What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you enjoy helping your clients?
Everyone works hard to earn a living and support their families; what I enjoy is helping each individual and family retain as much control over how that money is spent. The value proposition is in the planning and advice that I provide.
Q: In one sentence, what are the most important factors to consider when choosing an accountant?
In addition to knowledge and experience, it’s important to have a positive and friendly bedside manner so as to build trust for a long-term relationship.
Q: In one sentence, describe how important is tax planning for a founder before a liquidity event.
Depending on the tax laws, it could be as much as 30% in tax savings depending if you can effectively plan for QSBS (or lon-term capital gain), and state tax consequences.
Q: In one sentence, describe a positive way that you and your firm is different than other accounting firms.
It’s all about our people; our culture hands-down is the best I’ve ever worked at, especially when you consider everyone is down-to-earth, compassionate, and empathetic, not to mention diligent and experienced.
Q: In one sentence, tell us something positive to motivate our readers who could pay almost, or more than, 50% in total income tax upon a liquidity event.
Talk to an experienced accountant; there might be some things you can do to help save on taxes: the earlier before the liquidity event, the better.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how you approach a call with a new prospect.
For me, it’s all about developing strong, long-term relationships that are based on mutual respect and trust with no pressure, so I would approach such a call with a friendly, open-minded attitude where if things work out, then great, and if they don’t, then no worries.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you think artificial intelligence and blockchain will impact tax planning.
Every founder, c-suite executive and board member has different intentions, inclinations, and idiosyncrasies that cannot be accurately predicted by a computer, not to mention the human element of developing trust is so critical in tax planning.
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
We look for those who can connect with people, just like they would be expected to do with their future colleagues or clients.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
I love what I do. I’m passionate about my work, the team, and my clients.
Jerry Yu, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Moss Adams, nothing but the best.