The accounting firm of J.S. Richter occupies an unusual and very specific niche in the profession, and as Jack Richter will admit, he found that niche because of a bit of good luck.
In 1977, when Jack was a partner at a large local firm, he received a call from the Commerzbank in Chicago asking if he would be interested in providing accounting services to German-owned subsidiaries in the U.S. They told him later that the German American Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Society of CPAs searched for a German-speaking accountant for the bank by randomly calling CPAs with German-sounding names from the Society's membership list.
In 1979, at the urging of bankers and friends, Jack stepped out on his own and founded J.S. Richter, Ltd., focusing his clientele on working with the U.S. offices of German, Swiss and Austrian industrial and commercial companies.
Being able to offer services in German, Jack realized that clients feel more comfortable discussing business matters in their native language. In addition it allowed the firm to deal with business documents and contracts without translation.
Jack continued to operate the firm together with several associates for over two decades. Then, in 1998, Jack was able to persuade his son Michael, a degreed electrical engineer, to change professions to accounting. Michael joined the firm later that year after completing his accounting studies, then earning his CPA certification in 2000. Michael became partner in the firm in 2002 then eventually took over as managing director in 2010.
The firm today continues to focus exclusively on international based companies. From its roots in the German speaking countries of Europe, the client base has expanded to include many other European countries.
To better service the French speaking clientele, Michael is also partnering with Antoine Guillaud, a French CPA who owns a firm specializing in accounting and tax services in Chicago, and together they founded International Attest Solutions, LLC in 2009.
These two firms are able to service the accounting and tax needs of many European owned clients and also offer them communication in their native languages.