Depending on how you look at it, 2007 would have been an interesting year to start a business with a focus on tax and accounting assistance. But looking back, it didn’t really faze Ours, Lawyer, Lewis & Company, PLLC (Ours)—one of the largest CPA firms in the Eastern Panhandle.
The firm is the product of the merger of Chad R. Lawyer, CPA PLLC; Thomas Ours, CPA PLLC; and Eric Lewis, CPA; as well as the acquisition of Smith & Associates CPAs & Consultants, PLLC. Boasting a wide range of business experience outside of public accounting—including banking, manufacturing, real estate development, construction, law, and equity financing—the partners behind Ours have run their own companies and finance departments, have had to make payroll, and have dealt with economic cycles, just like their clients—and they feel like this connection to their customer base is what distinguishes them.
“Even in down years, companies and individuals need high-quality tax and accounting assistance,” says Lewis, who heads the Charles Town office (205 West Liberty Street). “Early on, we made some sacrifices and accommodations for those clients who were experiencing difficulty, and most of them got through it. We believe they appreciated that we were there for them during the tough times.”
With offices conveniently located in both Jefferson and Berkeley Counties (Martinsburg—1107 Winchester Avenue), Ours continuously offers comprehensive, responsive client care. “Our clients seem to appreciate that they can count on nearly immediate call-backs or email responses, and we don’t nickel and dime them,” Lewis explains. “Ten-minute phone calls that solve a problem don’t generate an invoice. We like to say that we are in this business for clients for the next twenty-five years, not the next twenty-five days. And we’re entrepreneurs too, and they appreciate that we can apply our experience to help them manage and grow their own businesses.”
Helping the economy grow in the Eastern Panhandle by helping its businesses is a special point of pride for Lewis. “The beauty of this area is that while it is rapidly growing and evolving, its core values of hard work and entrepreneurism, as well as its rural nature has not gone away (and hopefully never will). The new residents who move into the area bring their own knowledge and experiences and add to the vibrancy of the Panhandle.”
Lewis also admits that the tax code is often cumbersome and complicated, which gives his business an opportunity to help clients navigate it. “We love what we do because we love variety and we love helping people. We take pride in our ability to help the business owner focus on generating revenue—while we focus on controlling expenses and compliance with all of the various laws and regulations.”
As far as new clients are concerned, Lewis urges folks to ask around before choosing an accountant. “The tasks you are using a CPA for are too important to leave to chance. We take great pride in the fact that our clients are such a great referral source for us, and we are confident we can serve our new clients just as well.”