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Firm History

Our Mission

To render to our clients outstanding service with the highest standards of ethical conduct.

To be a catalyst in our client’s success.

To provide exceptional opportunities for career advancement and personal growth of our team.

To be individually and collectively an outstanding citizen of the community.

Celebrating 60 Years!

In the Beginning

March 19, 1954: Mickey Sattell opens new accounting practice.

Three things occurred that day in the life of Mickey Sattell that will forever change the Milwaukee accounting community. 

His daughter Karen was born.  He purchased his first car, a 1954 Bel-Aire Chevy.  And he has decided to open his own accounting firm.  Mickey decided that evening after his boss told him to return from the hospital in one hour, that if he could ever afford to hire employees, he intended to treat them with the same respect as he expected in return.  “Family First” would be his Company’s motto.

The new business opened in May 1954.

With $200 borrowed from the bank, Mickey purchased an adding machine and filing cabinet, and opened the business in the Empire Building.

The phone began to ring.

The First Decade – 60s Entrepreneurs

The phone kept ringing!  The firm did in fact grow.  In 1959, Dale Johnson joined the firm, one year later Bill Appel came on board.  The three complimented each other famously.

The firm grew steadily in both revenue and employees.  “Automation” included punch cards and Thermo fax!

We called our homes The Marine Bank Building (now Bank One Plaza) and then Midland National Bank, 211 E. Wisconsin (now U.S. Bank).

The 70s – Hip & Growing

On January 1, 1976, the Firm’s name changed to Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co., S.C.  The firm continued to grow due to its individualized and personal service and the exceptional loyalty of our clients.

By the end of the decade, Barry Sattell and Bill Heilbronner, future Managing Partner and Partner, respectively, had joined the firm and were instrumental in its continued growth. We now found that more office space was needed, and the First Wisconsin Center, 777 E Wisconsin Ave (now U.S. Bank Building) became home to our 14 employees.

The Next 60 Years

We look forward to providing the same expert and attentive, high-level service to our clients and remaining a valuable community resource. With our added abilities in financial service and merger and acquisition consulting, we view the next phase on our life cycle with great optimism.

We wish the best for all of our clients and friends and look forward to being your partner in success.

Your success is our business, for the last 60 years and for the brighter future!

1980-2000: a Period of Substantial Growth

Though known as a traditional Accounting firm, Sattell, Johnson, Appel began to create a new consulting identity, with a focus on valuation and litigation support services.  We moved to a downtown home, 700 N Water, First Financial Center.  Mike Sattell, former Managing Partner, and Leanne Buttke, Partner, joined the firm in 1981.  Many of our current team members joined SJA during this time and we are proud of the fact that a majority of us have worked together for 15 or more years.  We believe this to be the most important factor in our exceptional client service.  And our clients have found that this dedication coincides with their success.

In 1999, Deppisch, Nehring, Javenkoski & Kohl became our west-side presence. 

We have associated businesses in fee only financial advisory and planning services.

Our team members provide thousands of hours of community service every year and we donate over $100,000 in accounting fees annually to assist local not-for-profits.

Our team had now grown by one-third overnight.  We were able to meld Downtown and Northwest-side practices into one, complementing each practices core strengths while maintaining our most vital assets: Our people!

Did You Know?

Today we are proud to assist over 3000 individuals, estates, and trusts in 21 states and foreign countries.

We assist over 1,000 area business entities, from wholesalers, retailers, manufactures, service providers, and not-for-profits.

2000 and Beyond: Our Next 60 Years

We moved into our Westside offices, 800 Woodland Prime in January 2004 and concurrently announced our association with financial resource services.  We were now able to offer the same level of service with financial planning and investment management that we have for fifty years at SJA.

Later in 2004, Bill Hauser, Partner, joined the team.  That summer SJA joined forces with Anderson/Roethle, Inc., a 40-year old investment banking firm, specializing in providing merger and acquisition advisory services to middle market clients.  We also provide fee only financial advisory and planning services, to help you decide on the right financial product for your needs. SJA’s tax and estate planning specialists complemented this addition well.  To this day, our team members focus on delivering expert consultation in their respective disciplines.

In the fall of 2014, SJA moved into our current office at 111 Heritage Reserve in Menomonee Falls.

Traditional Services, Accounting Tax and Audit, Plus:

Attestation Services, Business Planning, Business Valuations, Cash Flow Protections/Planning, Taxation Planning and Valuation, Estate Planning, Forecasts and Projections, Internal Control Reviews, Lease vs. Buy Decisions, Litigation Support, Mergers and Acquisitions, Ownership Succession Planning, Payroll Services

Specialized Industry Service Teams:

Litigation Support and Valuation Services, Medical/Dental Practices, Not-For-Profit, Real Estate, Retail, H.U.D. – Housing and Urban Development