Hospitality guru serves up business success
October 24, 2022
It is not hyperbole to say there’d be fewer businesses, particularly those in the food and beverage industry, as a result of the pandemic without the guiding hands of CPAs.
Enter Nick Swedberg, who helped his dozens of business clients not only survive the pandemic but thrive and build toward a new future not in consideration three years ago. For many clients, they’ve since grown, or changed business models as a result of their work with Swedberg.
It’s CPAs like Swedberg, a partner at Boyum Barenscheer, who deftly navigated sudden and ongoing legislative tax changes, stopgap funding programs, the start and stop of partial and full shutdowns and changing consumer behaviors. In a heavy period of new laws and acronyms to remember — you know, PPP, EIDL, ERTC and so on — it was a lot to keep up with.
"The most common expression I got from clients was how much calmer they felt after talking to me,” Swedberg said. “They were often frantic and couldn't pull ideas together. They would say, ‘Thank you, I feel much more at peace with how we're run (after talking to you).’”
Among Swedberg’s approximately 100 clients are restaurants, breweries, cideries and distilleries. Swedberg’s focus on hospitality is where he’s been building his repertoire since joining Boyum Barenscheer in 2008. With a shift in focus at the firm, with many partners focusing on specific industries, it’s worked out well for staff and clients alike.
“You can’t dabble in these industries or you’re going to miss a lot. That’s not good for you or the client,” Swedberg said. “With the CPA credential, we do a lot of tax work. But it’s a little more of an afterthought for what we really do. It’s much more involved in business planning and the operation side. If a business is expanding, how do we do projections for new locations and finance those new locations? How do we get those up and running and streamlined to get the current operations running better?”
Because of the niche focus of Swedberg, he has clients in upwards of 20 states, though most are in Minnesota, where there are specialized laws concerning payroll tax, sales tax and income tax. It takes time to intimately understand the nuance in those laws.
Blue Door Pub, with four locations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, is one such client that’s benefited from Swedberg’s expertise.
“I moved all of our accounting to Nick Swedberg with Boyum Barenscheer in 2018,” wrote Pat McDonough, owner of Blue Door Pub, in a testimonial. “Since then, our numbers have continuously improved and I’ve never felt safer, more secure, or excited in my professional life, for the future of my business.”
It’s Swedberg’s dedication to the hospitality industry that allowed him to become the go-to CPA for the complexity and intricacies of every new piece of legislation and government mandates that affected his clients.
“It was the biggest knowledge intake I’ve ever had to do,” Swedberg said of COVID-related bills, both federally and in Minnesota. “Every single bill had special provisions for my industry. I couldn’t sit on the bench and let others read and learn from them. I had to read it and be the subject-matter expert.”
For the time being, Swedberg can now help his clients think about stabilization and, for many of them, growth. He also takes solace in knowing — at least for now — his homework won’t be as intensive for the foreseeable future.
“I’m excited not to learn any new acronyms for a while,” he said, laughing.
Topics: Member Profiles
Corey Butler is the MNCPA communications manager, working to enhance the professional reputations of members through content, media relations and public affairs. He's been with the MNCPA since 2013. Corey keeps busy outside of the MNCPA spending time with his wife and children, serving on his local school board, volunteering in his community and catching up on long-lost hobbies. Corey enjoys the works of John Steinbeck and Rankin/Bass Productions, and Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood and Santa Claus lore. You may reach him at 952-885-5530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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