Featured ACAT Spotlight: Andrew Piernock

Andrew J. Piernock, Jr., ATP
Piernock Accounting Services
Philadelphia, PA

When I was a senior in High School taking an Accounting Class (1971-1972), the instructor walked in and saw me reading the Wall Street Journal. He said:  "Mr. Piernock there are assignments on the Board to be competed".  I explained that I completed the assignments for the next two weeks.  He asked me to show him my workpapers, he reviewed and then took me aside and asked me what I was going to do after high school.  I explained to him that I was going to enter the Seminary and study for the priesthood. The instructor said that I will become an accountant.  Later my senior year I decided not to enter the seminary and started working. Three years later, I started night classes at St. Joseph's University and earning my degree. Worked for private industry from 1980 to 1995.  In June 1995 I decided to go out on my own, and started Piernock Accounting Services, which provides accounting and bookkeeping service sto small to medium size companies in the Philadelphia area.

Why did you initially decide to earn an ACAT credential? What are the benefits of earning a credential?
In 2008 at our State Directors Meeting the NSA State Director did a presentation on ACAT.  From his presentation, I decided to earn the ACAT credential (ATP). He also explained that the IRS wanted to regulate tax preparers and that NSA and ACAT will try to have this credential grandfather in, and that I would not have to take the RTRP.  It also shows my business and tax clients that I am credentialed by a respectable organization.  

How did you promote your ACAT credential(s) or other credential(s) that you have earned? If someone asked you why you earned the ATP what would you tell them?
By using the "ATP" after my name on my business cards, and business stationary.  When people ask me: "What is a ATP?".  I tell them it means "Accredited Tax Preparer", and that I earned it to keep abreast of changes in tax law and by attending continuing education courses.

What's one piece of advice you'd give someone just starting out:  
Get out and start networking, you do not know all the answers, you are going to ask questions whether it is an accounting or tax issue. 

Describe your most interesting accounting or tax moment in 10 words or less:  
Paid for doing my first client's accounting project.

After the numbers are crunched what do you do to unwind?               
Camping season starts and involved with the Philadelphia Mummers Parade. 

Favorite IRS Publication and why:                
Circular 230. Interesting reading when I am bored.