Member Spotlight : Boulay

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This month, we spotlight Boulay, which is a renowned accounting firm with strong ties to the biofuels industry. Read our interview with Jadin Bragg, partner at Boulay, below.


Q. Please tell us about Boulay.

A. Boulay works with individuals, closely-held businesses, nonprofit organizations and public companies who are, or who aspire to be, successful. Our focus is to protect your business, build your wealth and secure your future by partnering with you and integrating our depth of experience in accounting, tax and financial consulting services designed to “help you get there.”

Founded in 1934 by Joseph A. Boulay, today our team consists of 29 partners and over 125 employees in Eden Prairie, MN. We’ve experienced a long history of consistent growth and rank 11th in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Book of Lists for accounting firms. We were also named a 2014 Best of the Best CPA firm by INSIDE Public Accounting.

Our professionals adhere to rigorous quality control policies and have a proud tradition of unqualified opinions in our peer reviews since the inception of the program in 1988. Again, we received an unqualified opinion and a rating of pass, the highest of the three potential opinions designated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Boulay is a member of PrimeGlobal, one of the Top 5 largest associations of independent accounting firms in the world. Boulay’s membership offers clients access to trusted people who can help you get your business done around the world — anytime, anywhere, any way.

Q. Please tell us about your company’s role within the ethanol industry in Minnesota and why the company is committed to supporting the ethanol industry now and in the future?

A. The renewable fuels industry is a highly complex environment that requires a strong commitment to understanding the current environment along with seeing the long-term picture. We have been long-standing advocates of the industry, from grass roots efforts as an unknown energy alternative through today’s dramatic political, environmental and economic challenges. Since we started serving the renewable fuels industry in 1997, Boulay has served 50 private and public renewable energy clients representing approximately 2 billion gallons of potential capacity nationwide. Manufacturing and distribution embodies approximately 200 clients for our firm with more than 20 professionals dedicated to servicing the renewable fuels industry.

This experience allows us to bring tried and true practices and support to you through the following financial services:

  • Assurance
  • Accounting Advisory
  • Business Consulting
  • Employee Benefits
  • ESOP
  • Estate and Trust
  • Public Company
  • Tax
  • Wealth Management

Specific services that may be of interest to ethanol companies include:

  • Member Tax Consulting
  • Cash Flow Forecasting
  • RIN Attestation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Retreat Facilitation

Whether understanding the construction phase, start-up of the plant or production efficiencies, we will be there for you with the collective knowledge of our renewable energy team. We also have a wide network of contacts that we use to assist you in resolving intricate operating challenges.

Through our immersion in renewable energy we developed a unique knowledge of ethanol and other alternative energy sources that you won’t find with other firms. Our professionals are passionate about the industry and work with producers to find tax incentives and other financial strategies that best serve your business. At Boulay, our clients’ goals are our goals, which is why we are committed to serving the ethanol industry and “helping you get there.”

Q. From your perspective, what would you like consumers to know about the ethanol industry and the fuel it produces?

A. Since 1997, when Boulay began serving clients in the industry, technology has come a long way. The industry and the plants used to create ethanol continue to evolve to efficiently produce a product that is a viable alternative to gasoline. The industry now uses less energy, water and other resources than ever before to create the same gallon of ethanol. It also gets more out of each bushel of corn as it converts into not just ethanol, but also oil and animal feed.

Q. What do you think is needed for the availability of E15 to grow?  

A. In order for E15 to grow, consumers need to have the ability to choose a blend at the pump. This expansion of infrastructure will lead to increasing demand and to further acceptance in the marketplace. Pricing and value will drive consumer demand.

Q. What do you see as the ethanol industry’s biggest challenge?

A. Dealing with the influence of fuel prices, commodity pricing, government support, limited supply of crop-based feed stocks and a limited distribution infrastructure are a few of the biggest challenges your industry faces. With these ongoing challenges, getting bogged down in financial reporting and tax compliance details is the last thing you have time for as an entrepreneur. That's why it's important to work with an entrepreneurial-minded professional services team who knows your industry and can help you navigate these pressures. With Boulay we know you'll experience:

  • Genuine, thoughtful, cooperative partners
  • Honest, down-to-earth, long-term relationships
  • Listen first, help next approach
  • Business advisors vs. transactional compliance providers
  • Better service with more partner attention than national firms
  • “Go the extra mile” mentality

We go beyond meeting your financial reporting matters and provide you sound business advice. When you want help understanding options and best practices regarding specific financial matters, you can count on your client service partner to weigh in with not only their knowledge and experience, but the collective expertise at Boulay.

Q. What does your company see for the future of ethanol and advanced biofuels?

A. The future looks bright for the ethanol and advanced biofuels industry. Climate change, energy independence, and new tax incentives and subsidies are opening up new opportunities, and growing concerns about the environment and fossil fuel dependence will likely lead to an increase of ethanol and advanced biofuels production in years to come.