Highlighting Our Members – Wipfli

By: John Rokosz

Film production can be a daunting venture, with each project containing hundreds of moving parts. Equally overwhelming can be the navigation of the financial and tax requirements of any film project—large or small. To make this undertaking more manageable, Wipfli is a corporate member of PaFIA that provides CPA and consultant services to film projects in PA; helping them stay in compliance for the PA film tax credit, or assisting with their production accounting.

In 1930, Clarence J. Wipfli & Company was founded in Wausau, Wisconsin. Since that time, the firm has grown to include over 1,800 professionals in offices across the United States and India and currently ranks among the Top 19 accounting and consulting firms in the nation. Today, Wipfli provides individual and corporate accounting, tax and consulting services to clients throughout the US. For film in Pennsylvania, their firm provides attest work for PA Film Tax Credit compliance. They work with production companies that have received tax credit approval letters for projects and perform either agreed-upon procedures or audits, depending on the size of the credit.

Wipfli became involved with the PA film industry over six years ago, in response to one of their existing clients who had learned about the credit. Melissa Fisher, a Senior Manager at Wipfli, recalled the experience: “In those days, the state itself was performing audits and our client asked us to be present and help them out. Soon after, the same client had another large project that qualified for a credit, and the work grew from there.” Today, Wipfli receives most of their film industry business from the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, recommendations from the state, and other satisfied clients.

As this work started growing, Wipfli researched and talked with some of their existing clients, and made the decision that working with PaFIA was where they should be. Besides the obvious benefits of increased revenue and a larger network of clients, Wipfli had continued to learn about the film industry and had been making themselves available as needed. As Melissa puts it, “We have wanted to show our support for the industry and the work performed in Pennsylvania.”

Wipfli has become a powerful advocator for the cause of protecting and maintaining the film tax credit. Besides being a corporate member of PaFIA, they have worked with the state, explaining the requirements of the tax credit from an accounting standpoint, and have made recommendations for changes to benefit film producers of all sizes! “The PA Film Tax Credit has been beneficial to our clients, which is first and foremost our primary focus.  We always want what is best for them,” Melissa concluded. “We have built our network of clients and as a result have increased our region’s revenue. What started for us as servicing our clients has grown to become an area that we continue to want to grow.” PaFIA would like to thank Wipli for their membership and support, and for making it easier for film producers to bring work to Pennsylvania!

Please visit our friends at www.wipfli.com for more information about their individual and corporate accounting services.