On a car ride to Columbus, Ohio in 1983, CPAs Ed Whitcomb and Jim Hess agreed to form Whitcomb & Hess. They believed they could provide clients with a high level of accounting and tax services. The new firm began with just a banquet table and folding chairs in an office space on Main Street in Ashland. In 1983, accounting was still done on handwritten ledgers, and tax forms were also filled out by hand. Their initial work was focused on accounting and tax services for approximately 75 businesses and individuals.
Over the past four decades, the continual transformation of our firm using best-in-class technology has always been a priority. Jokes are often made about the time our board debated whether or not we should invest in a fax machine. We did get the fax machine – and that was only the beginning. The majority of our team now uses convertible stand-up desks and two high-definition monitors. We use state-of-the-art software and technology to enhance our client service. Today, the firm prepares nearly 800 individual tax returns and 200 business returns.
Our services have also expanded through the years. In addition to taxes and accounting, we now manage investment assets for more than 1000 families. We have added services such as wealth management, estate planning, business advisory, and business succession planning to our areas of specialization. As client needs evolve, we strive to meet them.
Naturally, our team has grown as well. The firm that started with two CPAs has become a team of specialists that have earned professional designations for investments, financial planning, trust administration, managerial accounting, and Social Security planning. We now have 28 employees with diverse skill sets, allowing us to serve our clients at the highest level. That one room on Main Street was quickly outgrown. Our current building on Cleveland Avenue has been expanded twice to house our team.
We always believe the best is yet to come, but the past 40 years have been an amazing journey. We are incredibly grateful for all of our clients – past and present – who have given us the opportunity to serve them. It’s a joy and an honor to do the work we love for such incredible people!