By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Foley & Giolitto CPA truly cares about its clients
yan Giolitto leads Foley & Giolitto CPA in the Airpark, but there’s more to the business than meets the spreadsheet.
The Foley & Giolitto team is focused on helping people build wealth, starting with significantly reducing their taxes.
“We had a vision that we could create something that did not really exist in the marketplace, in terms of a CPA firm,” Giolitto says in his Northsight Boulevard office.
“We wanted to do great things for our clients, but also build a company where the people who work there could enjoy a great work-life balance. In other CPA firms, it is inconceivable. Accountants get burned out easily at most other firms.”
The team has been successful in saving its clients thousands of dollars in taxes. The advisers at Foley & Giolitto have filed taxes in all 50 states, plus several international jurisdictions.
“We have this passion for saving our customers tax dollars,” he says. “It is really unlike anything else people have ever seen. Because of that, we spend more time, energy and effort than anyone else in the marketplace trying to save our customers actual tax dollars.”
In Chicago, Giolitto spent 12 years entrenched in complex, technical tax cases, including servicing high-net-worth individuals, companies operating in all 50 states, and international companies.
“We have seen clients with highly complex situations involving hundreds of unique investments,” Giolitto says.
“If somebody comes in here and says, ‘Hey, is this too complex for you?’ The answer is usually, ‘No.’ There’s nothing, really, that falls outside the scope of what we can advise on.”
The services are wide ranging as well, he says. The team has practical experience in different investment strategies, and it extends beyond tax advice. Foley & Giolitto offers financial planning, investment advice, insurance planning and estate planning.
“Most CPAs will advise on those at some point in their career, but we are actually doing those things in our own lives,” Giolitto says. “There are very few CPAs who have been involved in a crowdfunded real estate investment or cryptocurrency trade themselves.
“We do not compete with anyone in the marketplace. In fact, we are probably the best referral source for anyone in the marketplace because we are putting all those pieces together. If someone needs a payroll provider or an accountant to organize their books, we are likely the first person to talk to.”
How it all started
Giolitto was born near Chicago, but he grew up in Florida. The family returned to Illinois while he was in high school.
Giolitto earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting in 2002 and a Master of Science in taxation in 2003, both from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s College of Business.
“The school has a great reputation for being either No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation every year in the accounting rankings,” he says. I went on to get my CFP®—certified financial planner—after becoming a CPA.
“This means I can advise on more than just taxes.”
He worked as a tax supervisor for Selden Fox Ltd. in Oak Brook, Illinois, and as the manager of tax and financial advisory services at Mowery & Schoenfeld LLC in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
His experience also includes a four-year stint as manager of U.S. tax and financial consulting services at CDH P.C. in Itasca, Illinois, and has taught other CPAs as an instructor at The Center for Professional Education.
Like many people, Giolitto visited Arizona and fell in love with the terrain and weather.
“I found out I liked the elevation, the mountains, and the hiking,” he says. “It was pretty much No. 1 on my list. I did explore all over the country for the best place to move.”
Giolitto decided on the Valley and joined forces with certified public accountant, Charles Foley, in January 2016.
“We are a very remarkable consulting firm,” he says. “We found out that we are really good at one thing—that is saving people money.
“The microbusinesses and startup companies we work with are saving about $10,000 per year by working with us. Even the small businesses that are a little bit more established are saving about $50,000 per year working with us. If we were to tackle a larger company, the annual tax savings would probably be in the six figures or more.”
The key to Foley & Giolitto’s success is the customized nature of the tax strategies they build, which means no “cookie cutter” strategies.
“Sometimes the strategies are quite simple, and sometimes they are very complex,” Giolitto says. “We are building the strategy before the year ends. A lot of people think the tax code is black and white. We get a lot of people who say, ‘If I go to any accountant, it is going to be the same.’ “Yet time and time again, it is not, and we do significantly better.”
Giolitto says business owners and real estate investors are perfectly positioned to benefit. “These are the people who can take full advantage of the strategies we provide,” Giolitto says.
The firm donates to and volunteers with several organizations in the Valley.
“We support organizations that benefit children,” Giolitto says. “We tend to practice what we preach. There are a lot of Arizona tax credits for charitable organizations that we help our customers donate to as part of their tax strategy.”
Love House Kids Foundation and Arizona Helping Hands are among the organizations Foley & Giolitto support.
“We gravitate toward people who are making a difference,” Giolitto says.
“We” is not only the company, but his team of advisers, who includes coworker/wife, Lauren Giolitto. She volunteers heavily with local animal rescue organizations.
Giolitto finds that many people in the marketplace are receiving lackluster advice that is traditional and ineffective.
“They may not know what is available in the marketplace that could really benefit them,” Giolitto adds. “It costs them nothing to perform a review of their situation with us, but it costs them a lot of money to wait. Time and time again, someone comes in with a particular tax situation, and we can do better by about $10,000 or $20,000. It is interesting how that works.”
“We are finding out that we are saving our customers more than three times what a normal CPA would. We are essentially offering this product to the marketplace where there are literally hundreds or thousands of percentage points in returns. I do not see anyone’s investment or real estate portfolio doing that well. Because of those returns, it would be the best money they have ever spent.” ν
Foley & Giolitto CPA PLLC
14300 N. Northsight Boulevard,
Suite 114, Scottsdale