Frank Lamanna attributes his interest in pursuing accounting as a career to an early episode in his life – taking an accounting class at Christian Brothers High School.
At the time, he enjoyed it, and while he made good on that interest and ended up going into accounting after college, his love of the work has deepened because of the rewards that come with time spent doing it.
Over his two-decade career, it’s the feeling of sitting at the table with clients and working with them, giving them advice that helps their businesses thrive, that especially appeals to him.
“What I like about the work is the relationships you develop working with clients,” Lamanna said. “That’s very rewarding. It’s rewarding to see clients have success and to hope you were a part of that success and were involved in it. It’s very professionally rewarding to see your clients fulfill their dreams in running successful businesses and perhaps at some point successfully exiting those businesses or transitioning them to the next generation.”
Lamanna is an assurance principal in the Memphis office of Decosimo Certified Public Accountants. He also serves as a director with the broker-dealer Decosimo Corporate Finance LLC.
Among his duties, Lamanna provides audit and management advisory services to entities like partnerships, not-for-profits and 401(k) and profit-sharing plans. For much of his career, he’s provided corporate buy-side and sell-side transaction advisory services, and he’s been involved in due diligence work for everything from software and telephone systems companies to even a minor league baseball team.
Much of his practice focuses on the real estate industry and overseeing internal audit procedures, financial statement audits, employee benefit plan audits and tax work for multifamily and property management company clients.
“I went to work right out of college for another accounting firm, and then I’ve been over here for 20 years,” Lamanna said. “One of the roles, I think, of a good CPA and good adviser is to understand when things are going to impact a company going forward and then kind of helping them make decisions and plans that we see are going to impact them in the next year or longer-term than that.
“It’s about helping them with ways to generate additional cash flow for their businesses, help with things like financial reporting requirements, with tax planning and tax savings and estate planning, which are all future-oriented, and helping transition businesses to the next generation or even for an exit of a business.”
Decosimo is based in Chattanooga, Tenn., and has nine offices throughout the Southeast. The firm has clients from California to New York and employs about 20 people in Memphis.
“Obviously, our industry is constantly changing,” Lamanna said. “On the tax side, for example, we have a Congress at any point in time that can and does every year enact changes in the tax laws. And as most people are probably keenly aware for 2013, their tax rates were increased. Every year, there’s something there. Tax brackets have gone up for individuals, increasing from what they were in 2012. There’s also some additional phase-outs and additional taxes levied on top of that that will tend to affect more of your middle- and upper-income people.”
When he’s not helping clients navigate their financial landscapes, Lamanna is deeply involved in the Memphis community. He’s a past chair as well as a current member of the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis and the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, among several other boards on which he’s participated.
He’s also an avid outdoorsman and a board member of the Minnendosa Duck Club, a fundraising organization supporting the activities of Delta Waterfowl.