CFGI’s Robert Keep may be English by birth, but he’s a Bostonian through and through. He’s spent the better part of his professional life in Beantown, making a career, a family and a life here.
As the Boston office Managing Partner, Robert oversees that office’s Accounting Advisory practice, lending his considerable expertise around technical accounting and revenue recognition to help clients navigate those tricky requirements. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more knowledgeable than Robert on that latter subject: He’s followed the development of the new revenue recognition standard since its inception and led the firm’s efforts to help more than 500 companies get in line with those standards.
Of course, this is just one of Robert’s areas of expertise. He oversees a team of client-service professionals with all of the national office technical accounting, SEC reporting and finance expertise. And as one of CFGI’s leading subject matter experts, we can’t think of someone more qualified to lead both our Advisory Services department and our Boston office. His special mix of subject matter expertise, dedication and support ensures every client receives the assistance they need.
Moving across the pond
Robert’s journey begins back in merry old England, where his career began as a chartered accountant working for regional firms. After building up a reputation for himself, he had plenty of opportunities to move overseas, including offers to work in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and other tropical locales. Robert turned all of them down to pull up stakes and move to Boston.
Why Boston? It reminded him of home.
“What I really liked about Boston was the feel of the city,” Robert explains. “There’s no grid layout. It’s very organic, like a European city. So I immediately felt comfortable and at home.”
Working for PwC, Robert honed his skills in a Big Four environment. As part of PwC’s private company services group, he got a chance to work with a wide variety of clients from different industries. He also loved the opportunity to travel all over the country providing hands-on support to his clients.
When KPMG came calling with an opportunity in their accounting advisory group, Robert decided to make the leap away from audit and focus more on technical accounting. After a while, the nature of his work began to shift away from the technical assignments he valued, and he found himself spending a lot more time sitting in conference rooms all day.
Hoping to find a position that married the best aspects of his roles at PwC and KPMG, Robert reached out to CFGI, and the rest is history.
Solving technical accounting issues, one client at a time
Most of Robert’s time is spent working directly on client projects and addressing technical issues that come up. He also helps out with system implementations, business combinations, consolidations and other complex accounting and finance problems.
Robert’s expertise and willingness to roll up his sleeves reflect CFGI’s company culture, where partners and organizational leaders don’t just talk the talk. They can back it up with hands-on support.
“We have actual subject matter expertise up through the partner level,” Robert says. “I think that’s pretty unique in this industry.”
Delivering a better client experience
With so much experience working closely with clients, Robert knows a thing or two about forging successful business relationships.
“I always try to be as responsive as possible,” he says. “Even if I don’t always have the answer, I can find someone here who does.”
Making a good first impression is huge, and hitting it out of the park (apologies for the baseball lingo, Robert), right away helps build working relationships that stretch beyond that initial project.
“We work pretty hard at maintaining close relationships,” says Robert. “The easiest thing you can do is go out and do a good job. Be reactive, be accurate, be timely. Then clients will want to ask us back, tell their friends and take us with them wherever they go next.”
It’s impossible to understate how important that mindset is, especially in this business. CFGI has steadily built its reputation through referrals and word of mouth. When people like Robert are responsive to client needs and show they will do whatever it takes to get the job done, that reflects CFGI’s vision.
No wonder he’s been so successful leading our Boston office and building an advisory services product that delivers exactly what our clients need, when they need it most.