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PhillyDeals: April 15 gives local accountants happy feet

Jane Scaccetti, a certified public accountant, the well-connected chair of Temple Health System, a director of Pep Boys, and ex-wife of State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, dances in front of City Hall.

Jane Scaccetti,

a certified public accountant, the well-connected chair of

Temple Health System

, a director of

Pep Boys

, and ex-wife of State Sen.

Vincent J. Fumo

, dances in front of City Hall.

Ronald Drucker, CPA and law school grad, steps lively in a video montage of bopping tax partners. Associates and interns bop out of cubicles, shimmy in hallways, and spill through the Market Street West skyscraper district, sort of in time.

It's not Soul Train, or American Bandstand, or the smooth dancers-in-suits show over the elevator banks at Comcast headquarters. It's the mostly button-down accounting firm of Drucker & Scaccetti in Center City, one of the many accounting outfits where staff is celebrating the end of extra-long hours and deadline stresses that come with the deadline for filing your taxes - April 15.

So pleased are they to see all those returns heading down the wires and through the mail to the IRS, the firm produced a video of its mostly casually dressed staff busting moves, scored to this year's ubiquitous Happy by Pharrell Williams, produced by Sam Rossman and uploaded here:

What's the message? "We had a great tax season," Scaccetti told me. "What we do is important and serious. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to do it with a smile, humor, and lightheartedness. Too many of us take ourselves way too seriously."

"I can vouch for the nontraditional character of this firm," says Eric Elmore, who joined Scaccetti's firm after starting his career at corporate-accounting giant Ernst & Young. "Though we are chock full of CPAs, we are not a traditional CPA firm. We do not do financial statement or audit work or bookkeeping, like most every other CPA firm."

But isn't a diet of straight tax work, well, boring? "Humor and fun are a large part of our DNA at Drucker & Scaccetti. Without it, taxes would be dull and dreary," Elmore says.

The firm has also tried to boost morale by supplementing the usual greasy office takeout with occasional theme meals for holidays that fall amid tax season, like Chinese New Year, and has sprung for occasional Cuban, Moroccan, Italian, or Jewish dinners - sometimes catered, sometimes staff-led.

"This video is not a departure of our character, rather an extension of it," Elmore explains. Last year, a few days before April 15, the firm sponsored a Tax Cartoon Exhibit displaying works by former Inquirer cartoonist Tony Auth, Joseph Farris of the New Yorker, and West Coast-based Theresa McCracken.

At its best, Elmore argues, taxes and tax-saving can be creative. The firm has adopted the moniker "Tax Warriors" to get the idea across: "Like samurai, we are skilled artisans at our craft of developing tax strategies for clients," Elmore contends.

OK, but keep the swords on the wall, please.