John W. Lucht, Smith & Howard’s Managing Partner from 2010 to 2018, left a lasting impact on the firm prior to his retirement. During his tenure, Lucht fostered an environment of innovation. In recognition of Lucht’s innovative spirit, Smith & Howard created the John W. Lucht Innovation Award. In December 2019, the inaugural award was presented. The recipient was Brad Swinsburg, Chief Investment Officer at Smith & Howard Wealth Management.
“Brad built out extensive valuation models that are automated, efficient and creative. This investment framework allows us to make portfolio decisions in a more efficient manner and takes the emotion out of decision making,” explained Tim Agnew, Managing Director, Smith & Howard Wealth Management.
Two other individuals and their innovations were also recognized in 2019. “We were so impressed by the number and creativity of innovations taking place across the firm that we could not stop at just one,” said Sean Taylor, Managing Partner. “We are proud of the innovative spirit that is such an important part of our culture and look forward to more great ideas in the coming year.” The two additional innovations receiving honorable mentions in December were:
Nick Patel, Tax Technology Manager in the Accounting and Advisory Group, implemented a robotics application called WinAutomation that allowed Smith & Howard to transform a compliance process from a time-consuming twenty-plus hours down to approximately 35 minutes, a mind-boggling achievement that resulted in a quick and efficient engagement for the client and freed-up capacity for the Smith & Howard team.
Another innovation resulted in the automation of the Assurance Department’s report drafting and review process. Erin Sak, Manager in the Assurance Services group, researched OneNote and successfully implemented the process and training for the program, resulting in the department effectively doing away with the paper reporting process and leading to improved realization.