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From left: John Helms, Andrea Battaglia, Bill Dunton and Teri Wingo
Rebecca Green | SBJ
From left: John Helms, Andrea Battaglia, Bill Dunton and Teri Wingo

2023 Economic Impact Awards 21-35 Years in Business: Abacus CPAs LLC

People Culture

Posted online

Springfield-based Abacus CPAs LLC started in 1998 with $300,000 in revenue and five employees. Last year, the company had more than $14 million in revenue and some 130 employees, as well as six offices in Missouri and Arkansas.

For Managing Partner Bill Dunton, the certified public accounting firm’s success comes down to “great people, planning and processes.”

Company officials say Dunton leads with an entrepreneurial management style, building “a sustained culture of creative thinking, employee empowerment and sustained growth that results in an environment to serve clients and drive business success.”

The company’s growth led by its people-based culture has been recognized on the national level.

In 2022, Abacus ranked No. 344 on Inside Public Accounting’s list of the top U.S. accounting firms. It was one of only three Springfield companies to make the list.

“It shows the level of our capabilities,” Dunton says. “That we’re big enough to be in the top 400 firms, we have resources and capabilities that are big enough to serve larger clients and small ones, too.

“We’ve grown to a size that we have resources and capabilities that are substantial.”

Abacus in recent years has expanded its portfolio of services to include wealth advisement, drug and alcohol clearinghouse solutions, consulting, chief financial officer and human resources duties, and strategic planning.

Its Abacus App, launched in 2022, allows clients to track tax projects in real time, contact company professionals and upload and review documents. In its launch year, the app won Boomer Consulting’s “Bridging the Gap” Innovative Project Award. The app now has more than 3,400 active clients.

Abacus isn’t done growing, Dunton says.

“We grow typically 20%-30% a year. We’ll continue that pace,” he says. “The biggest thing is a good focus on serving our current clients and serving them well.”

When considering growth opportunities, Abacus aims to spot niches, Dunton says.

“Typically, it’s really more of a firm than a market,” he says of the company’s strategy in identifying potential markets. “We like to find firms that have a specific niche – either ones that we already have that will enhance those or ones that we would like to be involved in.”

For example, a deal in Lee’s Summit got Abacus into serving the specialized needs of McDonald’s owner/operators.

Beyond the regular call of duty, Abacus also encourages employees to be involved in the community. Staff members have a say in which organizations are supported by Abacus, officials say.

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