Meet the Sponsors – Julie Bogle, 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 this Meet the Sponsors feature, you’ll meet Julie Bogle from BDO USA, LLP.

Julie Bogle,
BDO USA, LLP

Tell us about your role at BDO. What do you enjoy most about it?
As principal (partner), I enjoy working with younger staff and managers, helping them grow their skills in advisory services, tax compliance, and business development. I lead the industry group pillar for Wisconsin, and am also head of the private client service practice for Wisconsin.

Do you have a specialty or area of focus in your role that our community would find helpful?
I help family businesses and their owners with their most pressing concerns, including business profitability, business advisory and strategic planning services, and complex tax planning and compliance. I enjoy helping transfer knowledge and wealth between generations through transition planning of all aspects of the business, taking into consideration each family member’s needs and wants. My two goals are to help preserve and grow the family’s wealth through the family’s business, and to make sure family members still enjoy having Thanksgiving dinner together.

How long have you been a part of the Wisconsin Family Business Center?
Almost 20 years, and I'm still learning new things all the time.

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 camaraderie and collegiality that exists between sponsors and members is truly remarkable. I've found very good friends at the Wisconsin Family Business Center. People are remarkably willing to share because trust runs deep. We are laser-focused on family businesses and the families who own them. Since that's my passion, I thoroughly enjoy and feel honored to be part of the group.

What the biggest challenge you see family businesses face?
This will sound like a broken record, but succession planning. Succession planning is so much more than estate planning. Done well, it can be a beautiful orchestra of many people and pieces coming together: leadership development, business acumen, relationships with vendors and customers, understanding the company's market, developing innovative products and practices, understanding and providing appropriately for the needs and wants of the whole family, communicating to set expectations, and, of course, estate planning too.

What is your all-time favorite book?
I can't pick just one - anything by Charles Dickens, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, or This is Happiness by Niall Williams.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
Growing the family business practice within Smith & Gesteland and then within BDO for Wisconsin. I enjoy establishing and then growing new areas within our firm. Being associated with the Wisconsin Family Business Center and the Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award has been profoundly rewarding.

What do you want business owners and family business leaders to know about your industry?
Accountants can be much more than tax return preparers or auditors. If they take the time to understand you and your business, they can be very valuable advisors. Because they understand your numbers and because they see a lot of companies like yours, an experienced accountant may be able to anticipate before you do the need to head off trouble, take advantage of opportunities, and guide you strategically through whatever issues you’re facing.

Please tell us about yourself, your education, and background.
I was born in Monona but spent the first 10 years of my life in Wisconsin Rapids - an idyllic place to grow up if you like being free to run and spend time outdoors (which I did and do). I graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School summa cum laude and practiced law for about four years before joining Smith & Gesteland. No one asks their lawyer for tax advice, and tax was the area of law I've always like best. I've never regretted making the switch.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
Having grown up in a succession of family businesses, I know how hard it can be to navigate business issues while managing family life. I have profound respect for everything our FBC members do and appreciate more than I can say the chance to interact with and learn from them.