[IMGCAP(2)]

Firms often look for something to differentiate themselves from the pack. It can range anywhere to being a tightknit, community-oriented business, to a specialization-heavy practice. For Philadelphia-area firm Drucker & Scaccetti, their distinctive element came in the form of a special identity: They are "Tax Warriors."

Drucker & Scaccetti has been in business for 25 years, specializing in tax advice, compliance, and strategy. Some 20 years ago, the firm started to use the idea of the "Tax Warrior" to represent the firm. Originally penned by writer and D&S client Reese Palley, the code of the "Tax Warrior" blends a bit of humor with the dedication D&S wishes to provide to their clients:

"When King Arthur of the Round Table sought to redress injustice, he sent out his Warrior Knights to do the job. When the ancient Emperors of Japan were required to impose justice in their realm, they called upon their Samurai Warriors. In 1215, when the King of England wielded excessive power, the Warrior Barons imposed the Magna Carta upon him. With few avenues for justice, when the Jews of the Middle Ages needed a protector, they conjured up the Warrior Golem. When God was in trouble, and the Devil was ascending, he summoned the Warrior Archangel, Michael, to do battle for the Lord. During difficult times in human history, when the chips were down and reason did not prevail, the ultimate call for help by those in need was to the Warriors - be they Knights, Samurais, Barons, Golems, or Archangels. It is the Warriors who stand between the governed and the unbridled power of the governors.  So be seated and comforted, your protector and advocate is near. Welcome to the realm of the Tax Warriors."

[IMGCAP(1)] 

"We knew we wanted to have fun in the business world," says Jane Scaccetti, shareholder and CEO at D&S. "We would like [our] people to come into the office and enjoy what they’re doing -- have a creative aspect to what they’re doing. It's part of our core values.”

"If we can make this place a little bit better to enjoy, that works for the firm and allows us to do it for more people," she adds.

Local Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist (and D&S client) Tony Auth painted five original watercolors for the Warrior creed, bringing Reese's mantra to life for D&S professionals and visitors alike. The art is displayed in D&S's main conference room, otherwise known as "The War Room" to the firm's professionals.

[IMGCAP(3)]

The firm didn't stop there -- In 2013, the D&S presented "Finding Humor in Taxes," an art exhibit in Philadelphia showcasing cartoons from Tony Auth, New Yorker cartoonist Joseph Farris, and others to over 100 guests and clients. D&S marketing director Eric Elmore says that the event further showcased the firm's good-natured attitude towards their line of work.

"We ran it like a museum exhibit -- with cartoons all over the place with that feeling that clients or potential clients get when we walk them through the [Tax Warrior] mantra," says Elmore. "If great editorial cartoonists can find humor in [tax], so can we."

[IMGCAP(4)]

What the "Tax Warrior" mantra seems to have ultimately given to D&S is an overall idea on what their firm stands for. What could have just been an inside joke for the firm has grown into a point of pride, turning D&S into a beacon for positive firm culture and values.

"Anytime I give away my business card, it sparks a conversation and immediately I can tell them what it means to me and how we advocate for our clients," adds shareholder Rosalind Sutch. "From a marketing standpoint, [it's] something unique that makes you stand out."

"It’s not about getting a tax return done, having good food, or a great client," says Scaccetti. "It’s about your people and giving them an environment they can do the best work they can do."

[IMGCAP(5)]

Click on the following to see large-scale images of the Warrior Barons, the Warrior Angels, the Warrior Golem, the Warrior Samurai, and the Warrior Knights of D&S.

Drucker & Scaccetti is just one entry in our ongoing series on intriguing accounting professionals. If you have a submission that we should know about, email sean.mccabe@sourcemedia.com.

Other entries include: