V.I.P. Interview | Solutions to Serve Every Business Need
May 25, 2022
GACC: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started your career path?
KM: Born and raised in Germany, I received my degree from the University of Mannheim and traveled quite a bit during my studies, including studying in the United States, and studying and completing an internship in France. My experience studying in the US inspired me to come back to attain my CPA license. I have been back in the US for the past 20 years.
GACC: What attracted you to Aprio?
KM: Before I joined Aprio, I worked at Deloitte, where I predominantly served public companies and large foreign firms doing business in the US. It was there that I received a phone call from the team at Aprio, then called Habif, Arogeti & Wynne. The team told me they did a lot of work with international businesses and wanted to start a German inbound practice. They asked if I had any interest in helping them get the practice started. It became clear to me that Aprio’s broad service offering would position us to serve the clients I wanted to work with, which made it an obvious choice for me to join Aprio.
But helping start the German inbound practice wasn’t the only reason why I came to Aprio. As someone from abroad who did not go to school in the US and did not have a network here, I felt that Aprio was the right environment for me to grow as a professional and to build a practice from the ground up. We have a large focus on international businesses from all over the world, and our employees represent that. It is very rewarding to work with so many different people from across the globe; we speak more than 30 languages. Our firm really lives diversity, and I chose Aprio because I felt that I could make it my professional home.
GACC: What do you find most rewarding about your career and experience working with Aprio’s International Services team?
KM: The fact that we can help our clients solve their problems and provide good solutions to help them save money. The cash benefits we bring to our clients often offset our fees entirely — and who doesn’t want to bring that to their clients?
In addition, it’s rewarding to see the number of our clients that start small in the US and grow into a large company. We can support them in their growth with many of the services that CFOs often look for. Situations like this reaffirm why I came to Aprio. It’s amazing that we have the resources and breadth of expertise to provide our clients with the guidance they need to do business here in the US. They consider us their primary advisors, who they can call with any questions they may have. If there’s a reason why we can’t provide a specific service or solve a challenge for them, we have the network to recommend a qualified advisor who can. We are here to help them with whatever they need to be successful.
GACC: What unique expertise does Aprio bring to the table when working with international clients, specifically German companies doing business in the US?
KM: Aprio is a “one-stop shop” for everything an inbound German business needs to operate in the US, from tax and accounting to other back-office needs — such as People Advisory Services, just to name one example. Our team not only handles all of clients’ payroll needs, including the complicated tax matters of individuals that are assigned to the US, but they also manage 401(k) plans, from setting up the plan to investing the assets through our Wealth Management team.
Besides these “core services,” we offer many specialty services that are valuable for businesses to leverage. For instance, Aprio offers a unique service in Treasury Optimization, which helps firms optimize their bank and credit card fees. We also have more than 50 people working with clients on their R&D credits in the US, Canada and UK. Services such as these demonstrate our commitment to ensuring our clients are financially successful on a holistic level. We can help our clients find creative solutions to save money and put more dollars back into their pockets through tax credits, incentives and consulting programs.
To serve our German-speaking clients, we have German-speaking professionals on our team. We started our dedicated German practice 10 years ago, but Aprio has been serving German clients for roughly 20 years. We know German businesses on a deep, nuanced level, and because of this, we’re able to develop lasting relationships with our clients.
GACC: Why should German clients choose Aprio for their finance, business and tax needs?
KM: Not only do we file our clients’ tax returns and audit their financial statements, but we also advise them on what is best for their business and how they can utilize the tax code to their benefit. We do so by working in industry teams, who understand clients’ business models and the implications on their taxes and financial statements. This is particularly relevant for tech companies (like blockchain, SaaS and cryptocurrencies) as well as manufacturers. Our breadth of services, plus our unique understanding of the industries that German businesses operate in, enable us to offer our German clients a high degree of personal service that can help them thrive through challenges and take advantage of opportunities for growth.
BIOGRAPHY: Kristin Maeckel is a partner at Aprio’s International Tax Services practice, focusing on consulting and US tax compliance for multinational corporations in the manufacturing and distribution, technology, and services industries. Kristin specializes in working with foreign companies that have subsidiaries in the US, including many startup firms, to provide tax and accounting solutions. In addition, Kristin leads Aprio’s Global Mobility practice, serving employees located globally and assisting them with complex tax matters. Kristin is a native German speaker.
Aprio is an international leading business advisory and CPA firm that offers all services needed for an inbound German business to successfully operate in the US.
Learn how Kristin Maeckel, an International Tax Services Partner and German Practice Leader started a German practice at Aprio ten years ago.