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Meet Joseph Sachetta

After earning his CPA in 1980, Joe helped to establish the firm in 1984 and has been working to grow it ever since. 

How did you come to work at SC?

Back in 1984, I decided that it was time to venture out on my own.  I wanted to control my own destiny and satisfy my entrepreneurial urge.  I called a friend/fellow CPA  I’d known since the 6th grade and asked him about starting something together.  It was a lot of hard work but we knew we would be successful.  After a short period of time, we changed the name from Joseph Sachetta CPA to Sachetta & Cataldo when he joined full time. Three years later my brother, Steve, came on board after gaining experience with KPMG.  Over time we continued to evolve: Cataldo moved on to be a lawyer; we met Mike Callahan who joined and later became a full partner; and now here we are!   

What’s your favorite thing about working at the firm?

My favorite part about my job is the people; both the people I work with, and the people that I work for. I’m not a really extroverted person but I get energy from people.  I enjoy meeting with people and talking with people.  I like impacting the lives of our clients through wealth management planning. 

What’s special about your SC clients?

Some clients have been with us since 1984.  We are like family to each other.  They know me and my family, I know them and their family.  We have seen each other’s kids get older, and some have kids of their own now too. 

We care about our clients as people, and always try to find a way to help them as best we can.    Sometimes we manage the firm from the heart instead of the head.  We enjoy seeing the impact of our work.  We’ve got a great group of clients. 

What’s your life like outside the office?

I have a tremendous life. If I look at my priorities, #1 is my own health, because, without that, nothing else matters. I exercise every single day. Once you skip one day, it’s easier to skip the next day.  

Priority #2 is family.  I enjoy spending time with my family. We enjoy taking trips as a family. Usually, we’ll get away 2-3 times per year.  This year we traveled to the Dakotas including a few of the US national parks.   It’s peaceful being out in nature.  We hike some of the shorter trails and enjoy the views.  

Next come my friends.  While my family takes up most of my attention, I think it’s important to try to maintain old friendships.  You can’t have too many friends in life.

I love music.  Although I don’t currently play an instrument, my wife recently bought me a piano. I plan to watch videos online to learn.  It will be something to keep me young, and later to fill my time when I retire.  

Finally, humor/comedy is a big part of my life.  I enjoy laughing and trying to make other people laugh.

Do you have a work/life philosophy?

Work/life balance and the importance of being involved as a father.  In the early days of the firm, the office was in Everett.  That was a 30 minute commute to our home in Lynnfield, so I couldn’t just come and go any time. I got a second office in Lynnfield so I could be home with my family for dinner and bedtime and then work again in the evenings.  It was always my goal to be home to watch Jay Leno’s monologue at 11:35pm.  

I try to put myself in the mind of an employee and give our team as much flexibility as possible.  We offer unlimited PTO for full-time, salaried employees, because for us it’s really about getting your job done, not when and where you do it.  If an employee needs to support a family member for some reason, that’s important, they need to tend to that.  The rest of the team pitches in to help.

Share a piece of professional advice most people could benefit from?

Most of us will work for 35-40 years.  Many may struggle to make ends meet while still working. But then there is also the expectation of surviving financially when the pay checks stop coming in.  My advice is to live for today and save for tomorrow.  Find the balance. If you don’t plan properly, you may find yourself having a difficult time in retirement.  That’s the thing that attracted me to wealth management versus tax.  I enjoy helping people make the decisions to get from Point A to Point B.  Those decisions that we help clients to make, make all of the difference in the world. It’s very rewarding. 

How did you end up in the field?

Neither my older brother nor my older sister went to college directly from high school.  I’m the middle child, and I didn’t intend to go to college either. That changed when one of my high school business course teachers recognized my ability to achieve academic success and literally chased my parents’ car down the street to encourage them to convince me to go to college.  I went to Bentley College.  It was amazing because I had a head start from the business classes in high school.  I think in life it’s all about momentum.  Success convinces you that you can be successful.    

What would you do if you didn’t do this?

Great question.  I rarely think of it.  I currently love what I do and can’t really imagine doing anything else.  If I had to find a different career it might be teaching.  I taught accounting and finance basics for Boston University corporate education center part-time for 17 years.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you choose?

My grandmother.  My father’s mother.  I have a watercolor of my grandmother in my office.  She is at the stove stirring the gravy.  I’d like to have dinner with her now because she died when I was in college. At that stage in my life, I didn’t spend much time with older people.  I grew up at a time when young people were seen but not heard.  Later you hear the stories of these people. She moved here from Sicily. She had 11 children.  She worked.  She walked everywhere.  She spoke Italian at home but insisted the family speak English outside the home. She valued love, sacrifice, and hard work.  I would like to meet her now and appreciate her as an adult.  I have so many questions I’d like to ask her.

We all need to realize that the people we love won’t be here forever.   Spend time together while you can.