Meet the Sponsors – David Rupp, BDO USA, LLP

by Molly Barnes
March 10, 2021

The Wisconsin Family Business Center sponsors are an invaluable resource to FBC members. They are experts in the areas of finance, law, insurance, and investment, and they recognize the importance of family businesses to the health and well-being of the economy, the community, and of society in general. In the latest Meet the Sponsors feature, you’ll meet David Rupp from BDO USA, LLP.

David Rupp,

Tell us about your role at BDO. What do you enjoy most about it?
I am a tax partner at BDO USA focusing primarily on working with family-owned companies in the manufacturing/supply chain space. I enjoy being a trusted advisor for our clients and assisting with tax saving opportunities and long-term planning. I am also our Wisconsin Pillar lead for recruiting.

Do you have a specialty or area of focus in your role that our community would find helpful?
My focus is on all things tax, from company to shareholders/members of the clients I work with. However, I also "grew up" as an auditor and that background allows me to also understand non-tax financial challenges being faced. I strive to be an all-around strategic advisor.

How long have you been a part of the Wisconsin Family Business Center?
The years go by so fast, but I believe I have been attending sessions and meeting others at the Wisconsin Family Business Center for over a decade.

Please tell us about your time as a sponsor of the Wisconsin Family Business Center. What have you enjoyed most? What value have you received from being a part of the FBC community?
The education part is fantastic. There have really been some great presentations over the years where I have been able to learn alongside the other sponsors and member. I've also enjoyed getting to know many of the members over the years and also the various sponsors. We really do have a great group of people that are constantly willing to share ideas and collaborate.

What the biggest challenge you see family businesses face?
Family businesses certainly face all of the "normal" challenges that all companies face. Growth, recruiting/retention, economic ups and downs, etc. However, family businesses are unique in how they meet the challenge of carrying on the tradition from one generation to the next. Every member of the center understands through some of the seminars, as well as having lived it, that working with your family members day in and day out is not always easy.

What is your all-time favorite book?
Internal Revenue Code - I am kidding! I would say The Da Vinci Code by Robert Langdon is one of my favorites, but I also enjoy crime fiction novels. James Patterson and David Baldacci are two of my favorite authors.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
The easiest answer would be having attained my CPA license on my first attempt and ultimately becoming a partner at a CPA firm. However, I am most proud that I have worked with many of our clients since the day I started my career and being able to assist them through the ups, downs, and challenges they face for many years. The best professional compliments I can receive are the successes I have been able to work through with our clients and receiving a recommendation to work with another company to help them be successful.

What do you want business owners and family business leaders to know about your industry?
First, that all CPAs are not introverts. I am a prime example of this, as I enjoy great conversations with clients, business associates, etc. I would also want people to know that finding the right CPA firm to be a partner in your success is of critical importance. It is more than simply cranking out a tax return every year, the collaboration of your CPA with your other trusted business advisors will be one of the components that will help you navigate the challenges faced every day.

Please tell us about yourself, your education, and background.
I grew up on a dairy farm in far southwest Wisconsin. I spent many summers bailing hay and helping out on the farm. I attended UW-Platteville and received an accounting degree, then completed two internships at Smith & Gesteland. I moved to the Madison area full time in the summer of 2002 and have been here ever since. One of the things I love about the Madison area is that it is a larger town with lots of things to do, but it also maintains what I think of as a small-town feel.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thanks to Sherry and the team at the Wisconsin Family Business Center for all the great work in developing programming, recruiting new members, and overall making FBC a great community!