Celebrating 70 Years of Growth Through Client Service
By Rhonda Skiles, CPA, Partner
It was January 2000 when I began working at Bernard Robinson & Company. All the “Y2K” projects to ensure that computers could successfully handle the date change from 1999 to 2000 were behind us, and many wondered what all the concern had been about. I had been working for a large corporation as a State Tax Manager, but industry was not where I saw myself long-term. I was offered a job at BRC for a specific reason: I had real estate partnership tax experience in the highly specialized area of affordable housing. I had worked with Tim Smith at another public accounting firm several years earlier, and Tim was the newest audit partner at BRC. At the end of 1998, Tim was recruited by Dan Hayes to join BRC to work with a new client who managed and developed affordable housing. After one tax season without a dedicated tax person, two of the tax partners at that time, Pat Price and Wes Stallings, decided to look for someone who knew the technical side of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. When I met Tim, Pat and Wes for lunch one day, it was apparent that they placed priority on client service and that they valued the employees of the firm. I decided that BRC would be a good fit for me to continue my accounting career.
That was over 17 years ago, and our firm has grown over the years, due in part to our practice in the affordable housing industry. Affordable housing clients are individuals and entities, both for profit and not-for-profit, that develop, manage and maintain housing for low to moderate income families, seniors and those with disabilities. BRC now serves almost 50 distinct client groups who collectively own or manage over 1,000 properties. We work with developers, investors, management companies and governmental agencies from the planning and development stage, through construction, leasing and finally disposition. The people working in the affordable housing industry believe that everyone deserves a decent, safe and affordable place to live, and they are dedicated to providing this housing. In many ways, this dedication mirrors BRC’s dedication to serving these clients by not just providing audit and tax services, but being their trusted advisor.
As the affordable housing area of our practice has grown, other areas of our practice have grown, such as services provided to high net worth individuals, closely held businesses, real estate and construction entities, non-profit entities, and employee benefit plans. We firmly believe that our commitment to providing the highest quality service possible has been the driving force behind this growth, and this growth provides opportunities for all our employees. As we celebrate our firm’s 70th anniversary, I am proud to have been a part of the success of the firm over its last 17 years and look forward to continued success in the years to come.