www.qns.com I LIC COURIER I JANUARY 2020 35
as a full-service CPA firm providing accounting, book-keeping,
tax and advisory services for individuals and
businesses. But soon after, a client project led the
firm to Astoria.
“I didn’t stay too long in Astoria because the firm
got too big and then they merged into a larger firm.
Then I came out of that firm because we lost the
human element,” he said. He defines that “human
element” as “small gestures of kindness, compassion
and generosity” that clients may not find at other firms.
Nearly seven years ago, Savignano “regrouped” in
Long Island City, first in his Vernon Boulevard office
and then to a second office on Crescent Street. Since
establishing the firm in the fast-growing neighborhood,
Savignano said that business has grown “20 to 25
percent a year” due to the way they operate.
“What we do here is not rocket science,” said Savig-nano
with a laugh. “But we try to create an environment
where people feel important. Where they feel like a
VIP and that they’re getting the right service, timely
service without getting robbed.”
He also attributes the company's success to his
unique background, which he said falls into four
“buckets”: experience in the private industry, public
accounting, academia and entrepreneurship. He studied
accounting at St. John’s University and earned an M.S.
in taxation at Pace University. He became a certified
public accountant in 1985.
In the past, he’s held CFO roles, been the head
of tax and global tax and worked for companies like
PricewaterhouseCoopers and MasterCard. He has
also been a partner at regional accounting firms,
established his own firm and taught tax and finance
accounting courses at Fordham University.
“With my experience in terms of growing up in the
business environment and having all these wonderful
experiences, I’m able to share those experiences with
friends, clients here, locally,” he said.
Savignano grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a
father who was in the supermarket business. Growing
up, he observed how his dad conducted business and
interacted with customers and “always made them
feel good.” In addition to patronizing the supermarket,
regular customers would hang out in the store.
“I grew up in an environment where it’s not only
about putting money in the cash register, it’s a whole
package,” said Savignano. “I’ve been in this business
for 35 years, but I was able to stay in this business
because you’ve got to learn to be good in all facets.”
He’s seen LIC change in the time he’s been in the
neighborhood including a change in the business land-scape,
a quicker pace of life and more sophisticated
clientele. But as Long Island City continues to change,
the way Savignano conducts business stays the same.
“We always encourage staff to pick up the phone,
call the client, have the client come in. Even if we don’t
talk about business, we just have a cup of coffee. We
usually give clients a little espresso, we have espresso
machines in both offices. We sit down, we shoot the
breeze. We can talk about politics, we can talk about
football. But in those discussions, we learn more about
the person’s situation. Based on those discussions,
we’re able to provide advice on things that we see
that are not on the surface but we can see that they’re
building,” he said.