We asked some of our long-time small business customers why they chose — and continue to choose — Wellmark for their health coverage. Here's the story of Community CPA.
For small businesses, balancing workload, administrative duties and growth planning, along with a thousand other details, is a never-ending exercise. Do you put more money in employee benefits, or sponsorship opportunities, or toward renovating the building? And, what about those technology platform enhancements? For Community CPA External Site, a three-branch accounting firm in Iowa and Minnesota, go ahead and throw "community hub" into the mix, too.
Twenty years ago, when founder and principal certified public accountant Ying Sa began this journey, she had no intention of forming a CPA firm. In fact, she already had a full-time job serving as vice president at a financial services company. "It was really coming from the need of the community," says Ying. "I was invited by clients to come back to Des Moines. They fixed an office for me and didn’t charge me rent that first year!"
The firm's client base, a diverse group of immigrants and local business owners, found something in Ying they couldn't find anywhere else: A combination of compassion, near 24/7 availability, and a willingness to be with them every step of the way. "We carry that first generation of immigrants’ work ethic within the firm," Ying says. "If we have clients with messy records, we don’t turn them away. We dig in and put our brains to every single job."
Centered on the community
There's good reason more than 9,000 customers (and growing) to seek out and remain with Community CPA. The staff meets them where they are — in life, in business, and in need. Each employee is required to speak at least two languages fluently, and some even speak four or five. "We have a way of making people feel at home," says Dan Yul Kim, branch manager in Bloomington and head of business development. The firm, which does everything from business consultation and company formation to accounting and audit, has earned a reputation in Des Moines and beyond. "Community CPA is the first stop for a lot of new businesses," Dan adds.
So, it was a natural fit for Ying to be a co-founder of the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit External Site, a series of events that bring together immigrant entrepreneurs to share, learn and celebrate. "It's a platform that serves as an equalizer," Dan says. Plus, it's a big part of the firm: Every employee volunteers time or expertise for the annual event series External Site.
Employees who deserve the best
With so much focus on sincere service, community-building, empathy, and education, it makes sense Ying wants to attract and retain the best employees that reflect these values. And, a big way a small business like Community CPA can do that is with strong benefits.
"I want our employees here to know they are elite, they are special, and they are worth it," says Ying. "They don’t have to go to a big corporation to get super benefits. They can find it right here." Ever since Community CPA began offering medical benefits, they have gone with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "Honestly, we didn’t even look anywhere else," Ying says. "We deserve the best. And, we only look for the best."
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About the series
We wanted to learn more about why some of our long-time small business customers continue to choose Wellmark for their health coverage in their own words. Trust, shared values, experience, longevity and understanding continually came to the forefront.
Thank you to Community CPA for sharing their story with us.