Deepak Aggarwal, son of Satish Aggarwal, who started the CPA firm as a sole practitioner in 1983, is managing Tri-State Accounting & Tax Services in Blue Ash.

“He started the practice with the premise that he wanted to provide quality service at an affordable price,’’ says Deepak, 30, who vows that won’t change.

“Dad asked me to join the firm. He was looking to retire and he asked me to come back and help him,” Deepak says.

Deepak, who spent five years working for Deloitte & Touche in audit and business advisory services, is expanding the seven-person firm’s technical capabilities.

For example, Tri-State is moving all its accounting and tax functions to cloud-based computer technology. Internet-based cloud computing allows on-demand sharing of data and information with clients.

“It means better customer service. Clients can login and get their documents without having to wait for email,” says Deepak.

“For payroll, for example, they can login and get W-2 forms, pay stubs and financials all online,” he says. “We’re making that transition now and expect to complete it this year.”

Deepak, who holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from The Ohio State University, is also expanding the firm’s marketing efforts.

“My dad built the business largely by world of mouth,” he says.

Deepak says he’s implementing more digital marketing through the firm’s website, stepping up print advertising and doing more business networking through events such as the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Schmooza Palooza. 

“With accounting, like any other professional service, it takes time to grow,” he says. “Our goal is to grow incrementally.”

Satish Aggarwal immigrated to the United States from his native India in the late 1970s to attend Xavier University where he earned an MBA in 1980 and obtained his CPA. As one of the first Indian CPAs in Greater Cincinnati, Satish focused on bookkeeping, taxes and payroll services for his clients, who were mainly small businesses.

“The focus was on being a one-stop shop for smaller businesses,” says Deepak.

Tri-State Accounting has developed a niche serving the hospitality industry as well as professional services and consulting firms.

“Hospitality is great because we have a bunch of establishments here in Blue Ash,” Deepak says. “I enjoy doing the bookkeeping, payroll and taxes and a lot of these people are very business savvy. To me it’s a pretty interesting industry that’s growing and deals with a variety of issues.”

Over the years, Tri-State Accounting’s client list has grown and it has accumulated more than 300 business clients, some as far away as Columbus.

In 1994, Deepak’s mother, Usha, joined the firm focusing on financial planning and individual taxes. Although her background was in chemistry, she went back to school to study business. “She’s very versatile and business oriented,” says Deepak.

Accounting is pretty much a family specialty. Deepak’s wife, Sowmya, whom he met at OSU, is a tax accountant for a leading local company.

What separates Tri-State Accounting, says Deepak, is its willingness to be a trusted adviser for its long-term clients.

“We try to develop a relationship with our long-term clients and have an open-door policy for them. If they’re coming in to talk to us about an issue, we often don’t charge them for our time. For simple questions we have an open-door policy, ” Deepak says.

“My dad’s phone is always ringing off the hook because he’s the type of guy who will get back to you in half an hour. I try to take the same mentality.”