With a handful of committed clients, a supply of ledger paper and pencils and an intense desire to succeed, Jim Howard and Joe Smith left a national CPA firm in 1971 to start Smith & Howard. They didn’t have a written mission or values statement at the time, but they knew exactly what they wanted to do: develop loyal relationships with their staff and with Atlanta businesses, business owners and families by providing quality CPA services with a level of attention that few seemed to be experiencing.
We believe that they succeeded beyond their wildest imagination (and yes, accountants do have imaginations).
Today, we are proud of our client family that includes the South’s most successful and entrepreneurially-driven individuals and businesses, among them some of the largest companies in the Southeast. Our staff has grown in tandem with our client base, and includes the best and brightest accounting professionals around.
What’s next? We are excited about the future. We have transitioned from our founding partners to our current generation of leadership – each of whom has been with the firm at least a decade. Growing from within as much as possible and spending significant time providing our entire staff with development opportunities and training pays dividends for all of us. We see local and global growth opportunities for our current and future clients, and we eagerly anticipate helping our enthusiastic young staff grow into roles to serve those clients.
“Clients always come first.” (Smith & Howard Values Statement)
When we talk about client loyalty and longevity in our firm, we’re not just paying lip service to it. We mean it. A great example is in the photo below. Joe Smith, our co-founding partner and Jerry Bowden were out celebrating their shared birthdays this month (February) at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Jerry and his wife, Minnie were original clients of Smith & Howard in 1971! Joe, Jerry, Minnie and Ann spent a fun night reminiscing and celebrating long friendships and good times.