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Tom Leaper, CPA

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Meet Tom

Tom has more than 30 years of public accounting experience. He specializes in meeting the unique needs of franchisors and franchisees in a wide variety of segments, including restaurants, quick service, yogurt, specialty bakery, pet supplies, automotive, payroll, mini storage and real estate renovation.

He also provides consulting services to a range of other businesses, including strategic planning, internal control review and remediation, cash flow projections, business process development and improvement, and due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.

Tom is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA). He graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in accounting from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.

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Experience

Professional History

Associations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • California Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • International Franchise Association (IFA)

Education

  • Canisius College

Experience

  • RBZ LLP
  • Kellogg & Andelson
  • Freed Maxick
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC)

Speaking Engagements

  • Building a Franchise System panel, 2014 International Franchise Association conference, New Orleans
Q&A
Q. What was it that drew you to Armanino?
The firm is very forward-looking, and its out-of-the-box thinking and broad resources allow me to provide more services and solutions for my clients. CPA firms that provide only traditional services have become commoditized and add no value.
Q. You have deep expertise in the franchise industry. Describe what you think the franchise business environment will be like in the future.
I see continued strong growth in the franchise market over the next few years, nationally and internationally. Financing has become less of a challenge, which will enable people to get into a franchise network or expand.
Q. What is the toughest decision you have ever made?
Moving to California. I’d established my career and relationships in Buffalo, but I just wasn’t bullish on the future there, and I knew I had to leave. I toured the country and ended up in California, which had economic opportunity and a good climate.
Q. What’s your proudest moment?
Graduating magna cum laude with my parents in the audience. Also, taking over my family business when I was only 18, after my father retired for medical reasons. I ran the business while also going to college.
Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life
My father. His dad died when my father was only six years old, so he never got beyond eighth grade, but he supported his mom and two sisters. He was a survivor and a striver, and I never once heard him complain. He was also the nicest man I’ve ever known. He showed me what is really important in life.
Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to aspiring accountants or consultants, what would that be?
Always ask questions, don’t be bashful. Seek out people you can approach with your questions, and develop a mentor relationship with them.
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Industries Served
Tom's Thought Leadership
Blog articles
Article
Both the franchisor and franchisee must work to make timely and precise financial reporting function properly and recog...
Blog articles
Article
Baby boomers are a big reason why the franchise industry is bouncing back, but their vast experience in the working wor...
Blog articles
Article
There is an aspect of what we do as professionals that is not as well-known and I believe to be one of the greatest asp...