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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2022 Trusted Advisers Accountant: Katie Aton-Jackson

Smillie & Jackson CPAs LLC

Posted online

Katie Aton-Jackson views her role as more than filing tax returns once a year.

“At Smillie & Jackson CPAs, our core values are relationships, family and financial security,” says owner Aton-Jackson. “The firm thrives because at our core, these three values are what’s most important for our clients and our team.”

For more than a decade, Aton-Jackson’s firm has provided accounting services to clients in industries including retail, manufacturing and construction, as well as tax planning and preparation for individuals and businesses.

Business advisory and financial security go hand in hand, Aton-Jackson says.

“Our focus is on working with clients to achieve their post-tax goals. This means meeting throughout the year to connect with clients on their big picture,” she says. “We sit down to draft goals, to prepare for the future, to make financial decisions and to create a detailed road map for how to achieve it.”

Aton-Jackson helps clients be prepared with tools that help their professional and personal lives. She’s often one of the first calls clients make when the unexpected happens.

“Because of the full understanding of who they are, we are able to holistically advise them on a solution they are comfortable with,” she says.

Aton-Jackson has been alongside clients who have bought and sold businesses, managed resources for retirement and planned charitable giving.

“The trusted adviser is listening to understand the needs, hopes, goals, challenges and frustrations that a client is facing,” she says. “They are presenting options, providing solutions and navigating seasons of life with a client. They will play an integral role in defining the outcome a client is looking to achieve.”

And when COVID-19 hit, Aton-Jackson’s experience helped her navigate the intricacies of available resources, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

“This meant learning and understanding the inner working of the employee retention credit program and Paycheck Protection Program to determine eligibility and financial impact,” Aton-Jackson says. “It is imperative that I stay current and able to implement quickly for the benefit of my clients.”

Kathi Cryderman is one of those clients.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with and being guided by Katie for many years now,” says Cryderman, owner of clothing boutique Harem & Co. “I’ve grown to respect, admire and appreciate her guidance through many different financial challenges over the years. Katie was instrumental in guiding my business through the extremely difficult COVID years, assisting and recommending monies that were available to the business and charting the best course of action for us to acquire this financial assistance.”

Aton-Jackson stays active with several professional accounting organizations to remain sharp on best practices.

“It takes a multitude of avenues to stay current in the accounting industry,” she says, “and it’s because of my clients and my own business that I am committed to excelling in this field.”

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