This year marks the 40th Anniversary of our firm. Ed Whitcomb had provided outstanding service as a CPA in Ashland for many years before meeting newly-minted CPA Jim Hess in 1983. As the need to serve clients grew beyond Ed’s capacity and longevity, the two CPAs joined forces. On September 1, 1983, in a 2nd floor office in downtown Ashland at 43 West Main Street, Ed and Jim founded Whitcomb & Hess, Inc.
The original Whitcomb & Hess team consisted of Ed, Jim, and a receptionist. As the client work grew, so did we, and moved to 1020 Cleveland Avenue in 1985. Fast forward to 2007, when we added an additional wing onto the building to accommodate our growing team. Today, our team is nearly 30 people!
In 1983, the CPA firm focused on accounting, tax, and business advisory work. As time passed and our client’s needs changed, this advisory approach spread to other areas of finance. Many clients were requesting help with investments and financial planning, so in 1995 we added wealth management and investment services. From that point on, our team of experienced CPAs expanded to bring in other financial planning professionals: Certified Financial Planners, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a National Social Security Advisor. These diverse areas of expertise allow our team to advise clients holistically by addressing their accounting, tax, and investment needs seamlessly, reducing time and complexity for our clients.
We believe that our primary role as advisors is to constantly advocate for our clients. As we look to the future, we will continue to use the latest in technology to address the evolving client expectations for accurate and meaningful information in real time. It’s our passion for extraordinary client service and these ever-changing dynamics that give us energy and opportunity to help clients manage their financial lives, and hopefully, provide them with peace of mind.
From the beginning, our firm’s focus has been to place clients’ needs at the forefront of everything we do. So many business owners and higher net worth individuals need proactive advice, so that is what we strive to provide. It’s often said around the office that our best work starts where most accountants or brokers stop. Naturally, many client needs have changed over the years, but one remains the same: the need for an advisor that understands your personal situation, who can effectively analyze the available information, and is committed to seeing your situation through. Our mission is to improve the lives of our clients by serving as their most trusted financial advisor, and that has been a constant throughout our 40 years.