Shelly Casella-Dercole, CPA
“This is not your typical public accounting firm.” So says Shelly Casella-Dercole — and she should know, as the partner who had a major hand in building Eder, Casella & Co. into the multidimensional practice it is today. “We have an energetic and committed staff that really care about the people behind the numbers. We carefully pick our employees not only so we have the best and brightest, but also so we maintain a positive work environment, which then translates to a great experience for clients.”
Casella-Dercole joined the firm in 1998, and her name went on the door in 1999. Working out of both the McHenry and Barrington offices, she is the Managing Partner of the firm, while also serving a range of clients herself, including high-net-worth individuals and families, business owners, not-for-profit organizations, and a variety of local governments.
“As a business owner myself, I understand the complexities and challenges business owners face, and I strive to add value by helping clients understand their financial statements, manage tax consequences, and clearly see the financial and tax ramifications — both positive and negative — of decisions they make,” she explains. “Without good financial information, it's like driving a car blind, but with good information, clients are able to maximize profits.”
She also appreciates that great businesspeople need to focus on their own craft, not the intricacies of the tax code. “These are the clients that need us the most and are very fulfilling to work with — it feels great to do our small part to help them succeed,” Casella-Dercole says.
After earning her Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University, Casella-Dercole was an auditor with KPMG in Chicago, and earned her CPA in 1998. Returning to her hometown of McHenry, she took an opportunity to join a small and growing firm where she could make a strong, positive impact. “While working for a large multinational firm out of college was a great experience, the clients I work with now are so much more rewarding,” she admits. “They are not only clients, but also friends. I've attended birthday parties and weddings. I look forward to seeing them and finding out what is going on in their lives. And importantly, knowing them as people helps me to better serve them as a trusted advisor.”
A member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society, the mother of two also serves the community in various roles, including Treasurer for Village of Ringwood; Director of American Community Bank & Trust; Board Member, Chair of Planned Giving Advisory Committee, and Member of the Give 360 Committee for the Community Foundation for McHenry County; Member of the Planned Giving Advisory Council for Journeycare Hospice and is a past president of Rotary Club of McHenry - Sunrise. It’s all part of her hectic schedule, where each day brings something new and interesting. “I think I learn something new almost every day, whether it is a new tax law or accounting rule or something beyond our profession,” she says. “The most interesting things I learn are from my clients — situations that have happened to them in business. Or really, just learning about each individual business. There's nothing more interesting than having a passionate business owner take you on a tour of their operations.”
Get to Know Shelly — Five Facts:
1. My first accounting job was… “At my dad’s hardwood flooring business in Barrington, when I was a teenager. I was good at math and my Dad — who is excellent at hardwood flooring — despised the paperwork and numbers. So he hired me, gave me a little desk in his office, and I kept his books manually in these old ledger books.”
2. If I wasn’t an accountant… “I always wanted to be a teacher growing up, so probably that's what I would be doing.”
3. I’m motivated by… “Time. Life is short and I like to take advantage of every minute I have.”
4. One lesson I learned from my parents and grandparents that guides me today… “Don't do anything in life you wouldn't be proud to have everyone read about on the front page of the newspaper. That doesn't mean always conform, but means be proud of who you are, what you do and what you believe in.”
5. My hero is… “My mom. She always worked hard, went to her job no matter what and gave everything she had and more to my brother and me. She never got the opportunity to go to college, but she made sure that my brother and I did. She's still my biggest fan today — even during those times she probably shouldn't be.”
Connect with Shelly