OWOSSO — Growing up poor in Gaines, Rob Dorcey readily admits he could have gone in any direction.
Dorcey chose to work hard and make something of himself.
Now 46, Dorcey holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northern Michigan University, and a master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan-Flint. Touting more than two decades of experience in public accounting, Dorcey took a leap in June, opening his own firm: Elite Tax and Financial.
Dorcey and his staff strive to help people with accounting, payroll and tax needs through preparation and consultation, with locations in Owosso, 1069 E. Main St., and Okemos 2162 Commons Parkway.
“I have a heart for people,” Dorcey said. “I’m not hardened to the world because of whatever happened to me and I want to help everyone that comes in.”
When asked what his firm has to offer to clients, Dorcey simply smiled.
“Friendship,” he said. “We offer friendship. You come in to us and we’re going to do the best we can to do whatever we can for you.”
Dorcey began his career in public accounting in 1998. His experience is broad, having spent time with regional and national firms, helping clients with multi-state tax and personal income tax, among other areas.
Dorcey admits his experience growing up poor is what ultimately steered him toward the field of accounting. His interactions with the financial aid office at Northern Michigan University served as the tipping point, he said.
When Dorcey arrived for his freshman year at Northern, he was under the impression his scholarship was a full-ride. The scholarship, as it turned out, only applied to tuition, leaving Dorcey stuck footing the bill for room and board.
The initial bill, somewhere in the $2,000 range, was tough to swallow. Dorcey had no one back home who could send the funds, and remembers the financial aid staff having little sympathy for his situation.
Nonetheless, Dorcey was able to get a loan and continue his education, setting his sights on an accounting degree.
“I got my bachelor’s in accounting because I knew there were lots of job opportunities, lots of different directions you could go,” Dorcey explained. “I like people and I knew I could work with people in the accounting field.”
Upon graduating in 1997, Dorcey worked briely for firms in Las Vegas and Colorado Springs, Colorado, before returning home to Michigan in 2002.
Dorcey became a partner at Demis and Wenzlick in just his 12th year in the accounting field. When the firm was acquired by a larger firm in 2014, Dorcey transitioned to Vogl and Meder as a partner.
While the experiences were incredibly valuable, Dorcey admits partnerships can, at times, be difficult. Having pondered the idea of launching his own firm for years, Dorcey decided to take the leap in June.
So far, things have been great.
“I feel extremely blessed,” Dorcey said, touting the outstanding efforts of his staff.
Dorcey said he will maintain his people-focused approach moving forward. He’s also an active member of the community, serving as president of the Shiawassee Goodfellows organization, which ensures children in need stay warm during the winter months.
Reflecting on how far he’s come, Dorcey offers this piece of advice: “You can do what you want to do. You just have to persevere.”
Elite Tax and Financial is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday. For more information, visit elitetax-mi.com.