Michael A. Procaccio still has his first computer, an IBM System 2 model 60, that weights 40 pounds and cost about $6,000 in 1987.
It was once known as the Ferrari of computers. It also transformed his tax preparation business, taking it from a pencil and briefcase to the computer age.
"I even used White Out during those early years, and that was considered high tech," said Procaccio, 64, of Schaumburg.
Procaccio, owner of Pro Financial Services Group Inc. in Roselle, marks his 40th anniversary this month doing tax preparation and financial advice for individuals and businesses across the United States and Europe. He went from using a briefcase and doing tax preparation in a client's home to a 3,100-square-foot office in Roselle with four other workers. His son, Michael II, and his wife, Denise, work at the firm.
As a 3-year-old, Procaccio came with his parents from Bari, Italy, and settled in Chicago. He graduated from Lane Tech High School and earned a bachelor's degree and MBA from DePaul University. He started preparing tax returns in 1977, using just a four-function Texas Instrument calculator. He also still has that calculator as well.
He would take his briefcase and some supplies and go to the homes of clients, often working on their kitchen tables, coffee tables or in their basements. Sometimes, he even prepared returns in his car, he said.
As his business grew, he opened a small, two-room office in Old Town Square Professional Building in Schaumburg in 1985. He later moved to Kingsport Plaza in Schaumburg in 1992 and then an office in Roselle by 2004, where his son, Michael II, designed the space.
Through those years, much changed in his profession. New technology kept making tax preparation faster and more efficient. And new privacy and security measures were taken to help protect client information.
Besides his keepsake professional items, Procaccio loves history and has other mementos around the office, including boxing gloves autographed by Mohammed Ali and George Foreman. There's also a piece of film that was taken during a mission by astronaut Gus Grissom. Elsewhere is a set of martini glasses used by singer and actress Barbara Streisand. Some items he received as gifts, others he bought in auctions.
But they all mean a lot. Because they were part of his life and career.
"After 40 years, I'm still doing what I love to do," he said.
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