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Williams-Keepers LLC is a regional certified public accounting and business consulting firm with offices in Columbia and Jefferson City.

 

With 14 members, more than 50 Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and nearly 100 total associates the firm offers a variety of audit, assurance, accounting, tax and business consulting services to individuals and businesses that represent a variety of industries.

 

link to general brochure

 

Our History

Williams-Keepers LLC has a rich tradition of providing exemplary client services to clients located throughout Missouri and the surrounding region. In 2018, the firm was named to Inside Public Accounting as one of the Top 300 public accounting firms in the United States. Since its formation in 1923, WK has grown to include office locations in Columbia and Jefferson City and become one of the largest independently owned firms in the state of Missouri.

We built our practice on traditional audit, accounting and tax services, but we have much more to offer our clients. We provide estate planning, employee benefit consulting, business valuations, litigation support, cost segregation studies and numerous other services. WK serves the needs of clients in a variety of industries, including financial institutions, real estate developers, construction companies, healthcare organizations, governments, agribusinesses, not-for-profit organizations, higher education institutions and family businesses.

WK is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Allinial Global, an association of legally independent public accounting and consulting firms.

Do you work with an accountant, or a
trusted business advisor?

 

If your business is small and relatively uncomplicated, hiring an accountant who prepares your tax return and assists with basic accounting functions might work well. However, if your business is growing quickly, has more legs than an octopus, and faces multiple challenges each day, you might need something more – a trusted business advisor.

WK’s vision is to cultivate high-trust relationships with our clients so we can serve as your most trusted business advisors. We want you to view your WK advisors as helpers who can guide you whenever you are wrestling with an issue, no matter what it is. With the depth and breadth of resources we have at WK, it’s likely we can help you. But if we aren’t the best source of assistance for your problem, we can refer you to a banker, insurance agent, business broker or other consultants with the expertise you need. Our most fulfilling work comes from solving our clients’ problems in whatever way we can.

An accountant looks back, an advisor looks forward.

An accountant could be viewed as a historian, looking backward to help you understand what already happened. Your tax return is a picture of the previous year. Financial statements describe assets and liabilities from prior periods. Bookkeeping functions report activity that has already occurred.

But a trusted business advisor can help you look ahead to future opportunities. How can you minimize your tax liabilities going forward? What can you do to plan for growth, or to plan for the succession of your business? How can you structure your various business entities to minimize risk? We can work with you to ensure you make business moves with intention and advance planning.

Being proactive instead of reactive can save you time and money.

For example, we have spent months helping one client unravel an accounting mess, which we are happy to do when it’s needed. But we’d much rather help clients set up their accounting system the right way from the start, so you’ll have the accurate information you need to make better business decisions.

The traits of a truly beneficial trusted advisor relationship

  • We encourage face-to-face contact with our clients whenever possible.While we are never afraid to utilize technology to aid in communication with our clients, we think that direct contact is the foundation that best supports the trusted advisor relationship. Seeing you at your workplace and learning about your organization first-hand equips us to help you more efficiently and effectively.
  • We provide frequent interactions with our clients throughout the year.We like to see our clients more than just once or twice a year. We like to keep in constant contact with our clients because we know that their concerns constantly change. We want you to feel comfortable contacting us when you need advice, no matter the size of the problem or when it arises.
  • We ask questions, and we listen.When we get together with our clients, we typically like to start by asking, What keeps you up at night? We want to know the issues you are most concerned about so that we can help address them and help mitigate your fears.
  • We bring ideas to you.By staying abreast of trends in your industry and the latest legal and regulatory changes, we can help you take advantage of available tools. Whether we’re communicating in person, by phone, or via our Client Alerts and newsletters, we want you to be aware of what’s new. More than once we’ve heard a new client say, “You’re the first person who has ever mentioned this to me.”

Let us match you with a WK advisor.

The members and associates at WK are passionate about the work we do. We derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from helping our clients be the best they can be. By helping you fulfill your needs as a business owner, we find fulfillment ourselves. So, if you are ready to work with a trusted business advisor, let us know a little about you, and we can match you with the WK advisors that best fit your industry, your needs and your personality.

Email us, or call (573) 442-6171 or (573) 635-6196. We can’t wait to get started!

Here are a few of our awesome people

  • Lee Merrick, CPA

    Audit Manager

    Lee Merrick, CPA

  • Danielle Stafford

    Audit Manager

    Danielle Stafford

  • Troy D. Norton, CPA / ABV

    WK Member

    "I’ve chosen public accounting as a career because I enjoy helping clients succeed - assisting them with complex financial and operational matters. The variety of the clients, and their different industries and challenges, keeps it interesting and creates a continuous learning environment. I equally enjoy working with our great WK team members, watching them develop and grow and helping create great career opportunities."

    Troy D. Norton, CPA / ABV

  • Debra Harrington, CPA

    Tax Manager

    Debra Harrington, CPA

  • Jeffrey T. Echelmeier, CPA

    WK Member and Chief Executive Officer

    "There is great satisfaction in knowing that you are helping others. I feel like we are making a positive impact on the lives of our clients and staff every day at WK. Likewise, our commitment to the Mid-Missouri communities helps ensure that this continues to be a great place to live."

    Jeffrey T. Echelmeier, CPA

  • Diane S. Smith

    Tax Manager

    Diane S. Smith

  • Jon C. Class, CPA

    WK Member

    Jon C. Class, CPA

  • Sara A. Palmer, CPA

    Tax Manager

    "I came to WK more than 30 years ago because of the quality reputation of the firm. I have stayed with WK because I have the opportunity every day to do challenging work with people that care about each other and care about our clients. I can’t imagine my professional life any way other than the WK way."

    Sara A. Palmer, CPA

  • Beth M. Fitzgerald, SHRM-CP

    Director of Human Resources

    Beth M. Fitzgerald, SHRM-CP

  • Heidi A. Chick, CPA

    WK Member

    Heidi A. Chick, CPA

  • Jeremy E. Morris, CPA

    WK Member

    "I get to work with a team of bright, caring professionals who work to make a positive impact on our communities. This team takes great pride in not only making that impact through service to our clients, but through active involvement in community-wide leadership and service. I am blessed to work alongside a wide variety of outstanding clients and professionals who are deeply committed to leaving our communities better than we found them."

    Jeremy E. Morris, CPA

  • Kathy A. Graessle, CPA

    WK Member

    Kathy A. Graessle, CPA

  • Lyle S. Rosburg, CPA

    Lyle S. Rosburg, CPA

  • Ken Lange

    Director of Information Technology

    Ken Lange

  • Amanda M. Schultz, CPA

    WK Member

    "Developing strong relationships with my clients and co-workers is very important to me. I take great pride in those relationships because they allow me the opportunity to help others in a variety of ways, both personally and professionally."

    Amanda M. Schultz, CPA

  • Shawn Barnes

    Director of Business Development and Recruiting

    "I truly enjoy working with people who place a high degree of value on helping the firm’s clients, each other and the communities we call home. That spirit is ingrained in everything we do at WK, and it provides me with a great sense of pride, confidence and optimism for our future."

    Shawn Barnes

  • Ashley Fangmann, CPA

    Audit Manager

    Ashley Fangmann, CPA

  • Ryan P. Henry, CPA

    WK Member

    Ryan P. Henry, CPA

  • Michael J. Oldelehr, CPA

    WK Member

    Michael J. Oldelehr, CPA

  • Jessica M. Lehmen, CPA

    WK Member

    "At WK I have the privilege of working with clients and colleagues who are successful members of our community. I get satisfaction from helping our clients plan for and work through complex tax and financial issues so that they can focus on the things that they enjoy. At WK, every client and every day is unique and full of opportunity."

    Jessica M. Lehmen, CPA

  • Nancy Hill, CPA

    Tax Manager

    Nancy Hill, CPA

  • Jennifer Backes

    Director of Marketing and Communications

    "I am so proud to call WK my home. The spirit of giving and our commitment to our clients, communities and colleagues is unparalleled. "

    Jennifer Backes

  • Rhonda K. Bowne, CPA

    Tax Manager

    Rhonda K. Bowne, CPA

  • Leslie “Trae” Lorts, CPA, CVA

    WK Member

    "Every business and every business owner is unique. My best days always involve making a difference for them. Their decisions can be as simple as the timing of an operating transaction or involve the structure of a business sale. Knowing we make a difference and hearing their appreciation brings me back day after day. "

    Leslie “Trae” Lorts, CPA, CVA

  • John P. Vaclavek, CPA, CFE, CGMA

    WK Member

    "There’s always a new project with a new challenge. If yesterday’s project wasn’t challenging there is always a new one to look forward to. "

    John P. Vaclavek, CPA, CFE, CGMA

  • Chris Schneider, CPA, CVA

    Tax Manager

    "Working with and helping small business owners in Central Missouri is extremely rewarding and gives me a great sense of purpose in my career. I especially enjoy working alongside the energetic and exceptionally talented team at WK. "

    Chris Schneider, CPA, CVA

  • Arlys R. Kremer, CPA

    Tax Manager

    Arlys R. Kremer, CPA

  • Kirk Duncan, CPA

    Tax Manager

    Kirk Duncan, CPA

  • Nicholas J. Mestres, CPA

    WK Member

    "The culture at WK mirrors our core values of Integrity, Caring, Helping, and Expertise. I often say we are a family at WK and firmly believe this is true. We truly care about each other and focus on serving each other and our clients. WK is my family, home."

    Nicholas J. Mestres, CPA

  • John E. Weaver, CPA

    WK Member

    John E. Weaver, CPA


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