Starting a new business always brings challenges but SMB CPA founders Jacob Sanders, Chris Myers and Matthew Blackwell had no idea they would have to contend with a global pandemic when they decided to strike out and start their own CPA firm in December 2019. Despite the many challenges that came along with opening a new business during a pandemic, the firm has held on and continues to grow, recently celebrating its second anniversary.
SMB’s founders have over 40 years of combined public accounting experience in complementary areas of accounting. Sanders focuses mainly on tax and real estate accounting, Myers’ practice is more accounting and audit related, and Blackwell’s practice fills in any gaps that aren’t covered by the other two. The firm covers every area of accounting from bookkeeping to tax returns and planning, and auditing and consulting services for individuals, small and large corporations, and nonprofits. The firm represents individual clients and corporations that run the gamut from manufacturing, retail, food and beverage, to hotel and hospitality, and it boasts a large audit portfolio specializing in real estate development including low income housing tax credits, historic tax credits and more.
In addition to individual and corporate clients, SMB CPAs also represent several area nonprofits. “There aren’t many firms around that do the level of audit we do,” said Sanders. “We’re heavily entrenched in not only the real estate side of things but also the nonprofit side. So many nonprofits are in need of guidance and assistance or accounting needs and many are required to perform annual audits.” The three founders are also heavily involved with local nonprofits outside of work.
Myers mentioned that the firm is a full-service accounting firm, not just a company you think of when it’s time to file taxes. “A lot of firms our size are very heavily tax focused,” said Myers. “We have expertise in so many other areas.” Myers added that this big-firm expertise in a small firm environment allows SMB’s CPAs to have a much more personal connection to their clients and their accounting needs.
The firm currently services over 800 clients with an eye on expansion while still staying true to the ideal of maintaining that personalized service to clients. “Obviously we were surprised that we had to deal with a pandemic at the same time we’re trying to grow this new firm,” said Sanders. “But we feel like we’re positioned well now for the growth that we’re expecting and hoping for, but we’re still able to provide that high level of service for our clients.”
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