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McKenzie Robinson | SBJ

2021 Trusted Advisers Accountant: Jennifer Agnew

KPM CPAs & Advisors

Posted online

A near 25-year veteran at KPM CPAs & Advisors, including the past six years as a shareholder, Jennifer Agnew has formed relationships with clients built on mutual trust and respect.

“My role at the firm can best be described as a valued consultant,” she says. “I take an advisory approach, looking at the big picture, to help clients achieve their long-term goals through compliance, proper reporting, tax savings and succession planning.”

As a member of the firm’s leadership team, Agnew provides accounting and assurance services to manufacturing, wholesale and retail clients, which include franchisees and franchisors. Additionally, she helps lead KPM’s employee benefit plan team, for which she performs auditing.

Agnew’s individual annual billings rose roughly 25% between 2018 and 2020, as she billed over $332,000 to 56 clients last year. She says learning the companies’ business models and processes helps her better understand their needs.

“To assist clients in making informed business decisions, I make it a priority to understand all aspects of their operations through collaboration with employees at all levels and time spent on location,” she says. “This helps me identify my clients’ key challenges and provide proactive and effective solutions.”

It’s all part of taking a proactive approach as a trusted adviser, she says.

“Many believe they provide great client service by merely doing their job,” she says. “However, for me, client service is much more than answering the phone when it rings or returning an email.”

Agnew is actively involved within her industry as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants. She’s also active with the Missouri Association of Manufacturers and employee ownership advocacy organization The ESOP Association.

Agnew says much like other accounting firms, KPM’s services were needed by clients of all sizes as the COVID-19 pandemic arrived last year. The firm navigated businesses through the daily changes in tax laws, such as those related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. She attended specialized webinars and constantly read news articles to remain apprised of the changing regulations.

“The onslaught of new acts, tax law changes, ever-evolving tax deadlines, and navigating the federal, state and local guidelines presented CPAs with many challenges,” she says. “At KPM, teams were established to analyze the changes and break it down, so clients could easily understand it via digital communications.”

Outside the firm, Agnew is a finance committee member and former board president of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Southwest Missouri. The graduate of Leadership Springfield Signature Class 28 also recently assumed a role with Greenwood Laboratory School’s PTA, for which she serves as its treasurer and vice president-elect.

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