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Baird Kurtz & Dobson largest CPA firm: company has five Arkansas offices.

BAIRD KURTZ & DOBSON, with offices in five Arkansas cities, is the largest accounting firm in the state with almost twice as many professionals as the second-largest firm.

It has 124 professionals in its offices in Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Dumas. Of those, 61 are certified public accountants.

The Little Rock and Pine Bluff offices have about the same number of professionals, says Keith Moore, marketing coordinator for Baird Kurtz & Dobson.

According to Arkansas Business rankings, compiled by contacting firms throughout the state, Ernst & Young is No. 2 with 66 professionals, including 45 CPAs.

The largest firm without an office in Little Rock is Beall & Co., with 39 professionals in its 13,000-SF office in Fort Smith.

In 1990, Beall Beattie & Thompson CPAs merged with Taylor Carroll & Frye to form what is now Beall & Co. John Taylor had left the Taylor Carroll & Frye firm several years before to work with Merchants National Bank.

"If you try to say Beall Beattie Thompson Carroll and Frye, it's just too long and cumbersome," says Warren K. Thompson, managing partner of Beall & Co. "And Bill Beall is the oldest partner in the firm and had been at it the longest, so we thought we would name it after him. He was embarrassed about it a little, but we finally convinced him that it was good for the firm."

Thompson says Beall & Co. has considered opening offices at other locations but has decided to focus on the Fort Smith area.

"We service an area within a 100-mile radius of Fort Smith," Thompson says. "We have a number of clients outside the Fort Smith area, all up and down the Arkansas River valley. Our main goal in life is to service our clients."

Standards Overload

Thompson says the major challenge facing most clients of accounting firms is the complexity of the law.

"From the accountant's perspective, a major problem is the standards overload," Thompson says. "There are just so many accounting standards that are being put on the small business person. It is very tough to comply for those folks and that is the reason they need a CPA.

"We spend a great deal of time reading publications and a great deal of time in continuing education courses to keep up."

Five firms almost made the list. Barclay Yarborough & Scott P.A. in Rogers has nine professionals on its staff, all of whom are CPAs. Freeman & Co. in Jonesboro also has nine professionals, including five CPAs.

Brown & Deskin in Bentonville has eight professionals, including seven CPAs.

Kremer & Associates Ltd. in Little Rock and Carl E. Warren & Associates in Little Rock both have eight professionals and four CPAs.
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Author:Smith, David (American novelist)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Feb 8, 1993
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