John, who writes often on tax issues for the Wilmington News-Journal, the New Castle County Business Ledger, and the Chester County Press, specializes in Representation of Clients Before Taxing Authorities, Tax Planning, Organizational Structures, Employee Benefit Plan Consulting, and Family Business Consulting.

John H. Sterling, CPA





John belongs to:

  • CPA Associates International, Inc. (Tax Committee)
  • Chairman Elect and Member of Delaware Society of Certified Public Accountants (Tax Committee)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Tax Section)
  • Wilmington Tax Group (Past President)
  • Associated Builders and Contractors (Legislative Committee)
  • Home Builders Association of Delaware


Q: Where are you from and what was your path to and from the University of Texas?

A: I'm originally from Maryland. After high school graduation, I entered the U.S. Air Force and spent four years in San Antonio, TX. My tour of duty ended and I enrolled at UT. My accounting career started in Texas and brought me back East with a transfer to Baltimore. In Wilmington, I left public accounting briefly to work directly for a client.

Q: How has your experience as a tax manager in the insurance industry helped?

A: It gave insight into a private company's tax department. The experience made me realize I missed doing public accounting.

Q: What is involved in representing clients before taxing authorities?

A: When we meet with the taxing authorities, our primary goal is to be our client's advocate, but not as the authorities' adversary. We explain our answers and our reasons for them. Our job is to be skilled negotiators.

Q: Is writing or speaking your preferred way to build your business?

A: No, my preferred way is to meet people face-to-face. I like the interaction better than any other way of marketing.


John graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Accounting from the University of Texas, worked with a Big Six accounting firm and as a tax manager at a major insurance company before joining the firm in 1994. John is the voice of Caravel Academy as the announcer for their home games and an avid coach of girls’ softball. His clients recognize his coaching strength as he leads them through complex issues.