Randy Casey is the Founder and Managing Principal of the Ashland Group. A CPA, Randy’s vision was to build a consulting firm comprised of highly qualified and experienced consultants that offered income and franchise tax recovery services to large companies via a highly efficient and unintrusive process. Randy began working with companies in the early 1990s to assist them in recovering overpaid income and franchise taxes and improve their state tax operations. Starting with the Texas franchise tax and expanding into Louisiana Income and Franchise tax, Ashland grew under Randy’s leadership to the point of conducting state tax reviews in over 30 states.
Early on, Randy realized the benefit of having consultants with a depth of experience unmatched in the industry. Ashland began hiring only senior-level auditors that had retired from their respective states. Because they were state auditors or audit supervisors, these people had spent their entire careers (averaging over 30 years per consultant) working in and focused on issues that pertained to only one state. Thus, was born the term Single State Specialist.
“Our consultant’s depth of experience and knowledge (in their one state) is what sets Ashland apart from other firms in the tax industry.” Randy Casey
Another differentiator Randy developed early on was Ashland’s method for conducting reviews. Rather than send out a team of younger team members with checklists and standard questions, Randy sent seasoned consultants to the client’s offices to review the physical returns of their states of specialty, page-by-page. This “hands-on” approach allowed the consultants to better understand the client’s business and unique tax issues, dig deeper into potential refund issues and be face-to-face with the clients to explore the opportunities identified. Armed with the knowledge of their state’s issues and in many cases, knowledge of private settlements made with other taxpayers, Ashland consultants provided value beyond anything the other tax firms could provide.
Over time, under the direction of Jeff Thompson, the Ashland review team refined the review process by narrowing the focus to only the states and broad issues that provided the most benefit for Ashland’s clients. By limiting the scope, reviews became more efficient and less time-consuming for the client, yet they still delivered 80% of the benefit. With this carefully managed scope and a team that has been working together for over 15 years conducting these highly specialized reviews, the Ashland review team can now define the issues and financial benefits in only four days.