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The value in understanding site selection for CPAs

Written on Sep 21, 2023

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

When correctly done, site selection can add to a business’s potential, said one expert, but it’s easy to focus on the wrong things.  

“A great batch of incentives can't make up for a bad location,” said David Robinson, principal at Montrose Group. 

He’ll present “Corporate site selection” at the upcoming fall accounting shows, covering new strategies for business locations, benefits of site selection and more. 

Robinson said many companies focus too much on incentives such as economic development centers, tax credits, tax abatements and grants. And while he said that’s part of the process, what’s more important is finding the right site for the company that fits the intended use.  

Other areas to consider are whether a site is near a skilled workforce and has the necessary infrastructure. It’s helpful to do a macroeconomic analysis to understand if the area is developing in a positive direction.  

“If a business can't find the workers or skilled workforce they need for their company in a specific location, then they're probably in the wrong place or they're not paying their people enough,” he said.  

Incentives also don’t always offset high tax rates for an industry, either. Thinking strategically about site selection can make a difference for the business long term.  

“If they do it correctly, they can grow their business, whether it's a new location or consolidation of locations,” Robinson said. “For any company that has a lease ending and is growing, it’s valuable to see market opportunities.”   

Register for one of the fall Accounting Shows today! Oct. 25-26 or Nov. 15.-16.  

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