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October Tip of the Month


With valuation/litigation reports and tax returns swirling about us as October 15th approaches (welcome to the new April 15th), we just didn't have the time to write our normal "Tip of the Month".  Thus, we thought a reasonable "filler" would have to suffice and at least share with you the New Jersey Society of CPA's profile on Marty Abo. This was the piece they did as an adjunct to their video of "CPA Cribs" now with almost 4,500 hits on YouTube (oy).

It beats another commentary on Obamacare, doesn't it?


By David Plaskow, NJSCPA Publications Editor

Marty Abo, CPA, has always been a fun, easy-going guy. "I sat close to the stage at Woodstock," says this non-rebellious child of the '60s from Long Island. "But, for me, it wasn't this 'life-changing' event. It was just a fun time with a group of friends seeing some great bands."

A couple of years later, Abo graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in accounting and transportation. After working at his dad's CPA firm and then Touche Ross, he met his soul mate, Jane, while at C.W. Post College studying for an M.S. in taxation, and the couple settled in Cherry Hill in 1976. After a stint with a local firm, Abo started his own firm in 1978 and hasn't worked for anyone since. 'We began as general tax and accounting and evolved to do valuations, divorce issues and shareholder disputes," says Abo, a holder of the ABV, CFF and CVA designations. "About 45 percent of my practice is now dispute resolution. I think forensic accounting is a great career path for accountants because it involves unique people skills, technical skills and practical experience."

Abo received the CPA designation in 1974 and became a member of the New Jersey Society of CPAs in 1978 not long after planting roots in the Garden State. "Being a CPA shows commitment and ability. I leaned a hell of a lot just from studying for the CPA Exam. It's in my tool chest and it affords me a certain flexibility," notes Abo. "As for the Society, it's the voice of the profession. I'm constantly getting accounting news and education. I've met great colleagues. It's a nice club that keeps the profession on a higher level."

In addition to being an engaged, self-proclaimed ambassador for the NJSCPA, he's a member of several other financial and business groups - twice-named as an NJ delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business. Abo also gives back to the community by sitting on the board of the Deborah Heart & Lung Center and active involvement in an array of other charitable organizations. In his spare time, he likes to play tennis and read - mostly professional journals.

But what Abo likes to do for fun really centers on his home. You've got to see it to believe it. "I guess you could call it early contemporary wacko," laughs Abo.  

Inside you'll find a parking meter, fully operational phone booth, traffic light and one of Abo's favorite things, a classic Cadillac turned into a couch. "Jane and I thought about the concept of brining the outside inside," says Abo. Thus, you'll find awnings on the inside windows, murals, trees, the perfectly placed fire hydrant and a retro Diner's Club sign.

Abo tells the story about buying a nine-foot ceramic chef at a furniture store going-out-of-business sale in Manhattan and the trials and tribulations of getting such an acquisition back to Cherry Hill. "After finally getting back home, I wrote on the statue's chalkboard 'Jane, anyone can get jewelry for her anniversary.'" It's with this story, and others, that you realize Marty and Jane are two peas in an eclectic pod. "We're just the two people who were supposed to find each other," says Abo.

You hear about the sumo wrestler table, mannequin lamp and singing deer head and you would think the Abos are the king and queen of kitsch. But kitschy doesn't do the house justice as it's very tasteful and homey - complete with three dachshunds - so much so that it's been featured in a variety of magazines. "We like to take normal stuff and give it a twist," points out Abo, "like substituting faucets for handles on our kitchen cabinets."

His most prized possessions, however, are his two sons. "Ben is in his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami, and Zach is in Los Angeles as the day-to-day manager for Enrique Iglesias," says Abo proudly.

"At my practice, I deal with a lot of divorce, death and financial ruin," comments Abo. "That makes me want to enjoy life, have a good time and share my home with family and friends."

Words to live by.