South Orange native Don Cowan, co-founder and managing director of Cg Tax, Audit & Advisory in Tinton Falls and Toms River, is the first to admit that he never set out to become an accountant.
“I enjoyed history and actually wanted to be a history teacher,” said the 65-year-old Holmdel resident. “But in my sophomore year at Monmouth College, I changed my mind and decided to pursue accounting. I was good at math and ended up loving the field,” he described of a profession that soon proved to be “a perfect fit.”
“In 1980, we moved to Toms River and I worked for another accounting firm there for a year and a half until I decided that I wanted to go out on my own,” he said. After connecting with friend and former colleague Joe Gunteski, “we decided to become partners and started Cowan & Gunteski in 1982.”
Operating out of Cowan’s house for the first nine months of the venture, “we ended up moving our office four times over the next four years due to our rapid growth,” Cowan said.
Thirty-seven years later, the once two-man operation has been renamed Cg Tax, Audit & Advisory and now operates with six partners and 60 employees in two locations — a 12,000-square-foot office in Toms River and a 13,000-square-foot office in Tinton Falls, which the firm opened in 1999.
The firm has also acquired expertise in a broad range of specialties, from tax planning and preparation for corporations, partnerships and individuals to tax law, audits, financial statements, mergers/acquisitions, split-ups and divorces, business valuation, forensic accounting for legal proceedings, the securing of grants for nonprofit organizations, tax implications for charitable donors, and much more.