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Samek Fritz emphasizes service

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by Jan K. Allen

SBJ Contributing Writer

Changing tax laws and an evolving economy add up to business for Samek, Fritz & Associates.

CPA Edward Samek graduated from Southwest Missouri State in 1969, before the school became a university. He started his own accounting firm in 1979, after eight years working with Baird, Kurtz & Dobson.

With the help of his wife, Pat, he established his one-man practice on Sunshine, where he remained until 1990. As the firm grew through referral business, Samek purchased land and built the office building where the company is now located, just north of Sunshine on Ingram Mill Road.

Pat Samek still works as office manager and shares the work load with her husband, his business partner, Deborah Fritz, and their associates.

Fritz, also a CPA, graduated from Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville in 1981 and was employed by the firm in the early 1990s. She became a partner in the business in 1995 and shares Samek's primary goals to serve their clients well and grow in size and scope along with the community.

Both partners are native Ozarkers. Samek hails from Bolivar; Fritz has her roots in Monett.

The full-service firm does a lot of tax planning for both commercial and individual customers, Fritz stated. The firm does all its internal work on computer, though many of the records come in from clients in hard copy.

"Our work is customized to the client's needs," Fritz said. The firm can do payroll or work with a payroll service if the customer has one. Samek Fritz also works with pension plan administrators, although the company does not administer the plans itself.

"That is a highly specialized, technical field. We leave it to the professionals," Samek said.

There is more to accounting than just balancing books, he said. The first order of business in assessing a company's plans and goals is to review accounting records and analyze financial statements, he added.

Sales and cost of sales should have a reasonable ratio, he said. "Some people don't have a handle on their cost of doing business."

There are some business expenses that can't be avoided, such as rent and salaries, but other costs are more manageable. It helps the business owner to know where he can save money and increase his profit margin, Samek said. And a CPA can offer that guidance.

Like all good accounting firms, Samek and Fritz keeps up with changing tax laws and provides timely, accurate filings for its clients with the IRS and state agencies. The company receives weekly reports on tax-related issues and subscribes to industry publications both hard copy and on CD-ROM.

CPAs are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education each year, according to Fritz. "Clients expect us to keep up on things. Our job is to keep them informed," she said.

Last year the firm did a series of seminars on changing tax laws and how they affected certain businesses.

"We do that whenever something major is going on that they need to know about," Samek said.

Samek said he sees Springfield as a growing metropolis that is gaining momentum. In the local market, low unemployment has created a situation where businesses may have to raise prices to compensate for the higher wages people are demanding in today's economy.

"Springfield is going to catch up with the rest of the country," Samek said.

Samek and Fritz are contemplating the future in regard to the firm's offices. There is room to grow by adding on, but the partners are looking at all their options with an eye on future growth, as well as immediate needs. But whether the company stays in its present location or moves, the partners said they want to remain in the southeast area of town.

The firm has a staff of nine, one short of the number needed to spread the workload comfortably.

"We are actively seeking another accountant that shares our philosophy and expect to add even more people in the future, as the workload continues to increase," Samek said.

With most businesses using computers to keep track of everything from inventory to supplies, Samek and Fritz have familiarized themselves with the primary programs available in today's market. According to Samek, his company can usually integrate its accounting program with the customer's system, and the firm works with all types of programs so it can teach the business owner how to use his or her internal system more efficiently.

Samek, Fritz & Associates is a member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Missouri Society of of Certified Public Accountants, and the Greene County Estate Planning Council.


Edward Samek started the firm in 1979, and Deborah Fritz became a partner in 1995.[[In-content Ad]]


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