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Springfield, MO

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A certified public accountant, certified fraud examiner and shareholder with Kirkpatrick, Phillips & Miller, CPAs PC, Ellison specializes in the practice of forensic accounting and litigation services. "This is a different kind of accounting than the traditional CPA performs it involves working primarily with attorneys in dispute resolution; damage calculations in insurance, personal injury and wrongful death claims; white-collar fraud and theft investigation; business valuations and expert testimony in any financial litigation or investigation." Ellison said he is the only practicing certified fraud examiner in southwest Missouri. He also concentrates on accounting and taxation of legal firms, as well as a general accounting and tax practice. KP&M is a local firm that provides accounting, auditing, tax and specialized services for its clients. The firm was founded in 1966 and opened a second office in Branson in 1993. "The leadership from the firm's 10 shareholders has built a foundation of expertise and integrity, which is backed by its total staff of 52 employees," Ellison said. Ellison joined KP&M as a shareholder Nov. 1, 1996, when he merged his practice with the firm. KP&M is a member of CPA Associates International Inc. Ellison is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Missouri Society of CPAs; Association of Certified Fraud Examiners; American College of Forensic Accountants and the National Association of Forensic Economics. He also serves on the Litigation Services Committee of both the Missouri Society of CPAs and CPA Associates International.

Age: 53

No. of years in Springfield/area: Lifetime resident but for two brief periods away.

Education: Pleasant Hope High School; Southwest Missouri State University (bachelor's degree in accounting, 1967); University of Missouri-Columbia (master's degree in accountancy, 1968).

Early career: Ellison passed the CPA exam while pursuing his master's degree. Upon graduating, he joined a national CPA firm in Kansas City. In December 1968 he returned to Springfield to join Baird, Kurtz & Dobson, where he was promoted to partner in 1975. In 1982, Ellison left public accounting for eight years to go into private industry. He moved to Florida in 1990 and operated an accounting practice before returning to Springfield and opening a new practice in 1993, concentrating in the forensic accounting area. Ellison's practice was merged with Kirkpatrick, Phillips and Miller in 1996.

Current projects: The most recent public litigation was as an expert witness for the defense in the Revelle murder case where various analyses of income and debt amortization were presented along with testimony about other related financial matters. "This is also a very busy time for year-end tax planning matters for clients."

Management philosophy: "Put family and God first, work hard, treat others the way you want to be treated and everything else will fall into place. Also, never quit 'Success is failure turned inside out.'"

Spare-time pursuits: Ellison relaxes by working on his small family farm near Fair Grove where the whole family enjoys working with animals and showing registered Angus cattle. He also enjoys his church and reading murder mysteries and legal thrillers. He is treasurer of The Victim Center and is a case volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocates. In addition, he is a member of the Fair Grove Planning and Zoning Commission. Ellison has always been active in civic organizations and was voted Springfield's Outstanding Young Man of 1978 by the Springfield Jaycees.

Family data: Married for 32 years to Merrilyn (who gets equal credit for everything Ellison has ever accomplished). Two children: Kimberli Andrews has an accounting practice in Springfield and Kevin is a computer network systems engineer with St. John's Health System. Nearly 2-year-old Nicholas Andrews is Ellison's grandchild and his "special sunshine."

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