Jones CPA Group is celebrating its 40th year in business this year. Judy Imdahl-King, director-in-charge of the Newport News office, shared her opinions on this important milestone and what she thinks contributes to the company’s success.
Imdahl-King has been entrusted with running this office and servicing clients on the Virginia Peninsula. The firm works with individuals, nonprofits and small to mid-sized businesses. From its inception in 1979, Jones CPA Group has grown to be one of the region’s most respected certified public accounting and advisory firms with offices also in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Imdahl-King says, “Our staff volunteers in the community, helping those in need. In addition, many on our management team serve on non-profit boards and civic organizations. We try to be in front of people, increasing our visibility. One key to our firm’s success is by always being accessible to our clients.”
The particular needs of a business are very likely to change over its lifespan. “When a business starts small, it may not need a CPA firm but as the business grows, the accounting requirements become overwhelming,” Imdahl-King says. “Say you’re a contractor and suddenly you have all these contracts; that’s good for you because contracting is what you do, but keeping up with the increased amount of financial data is also important.”
Jones CPA Group handles the changing needs of its clients across the different stages of its business. The early days might include business plans, budgeting, buy-sell agreements and loan proposals. The final chapter could be about business valuation appraisals, transitioning and business continuation agreements.
If Imdahl-King could give one piece of advice to business owners, it would be to pay attention to the numbers. “A lot of times small business owners don’t spend enough time looking at their financial data or their financial statements,” Imdahl-King says. “In fact, they might not even be getting financial statements at that point. They need to know the numbers of their business and what it’s costing them.”
When asked about the high failure rate of businesses in the first 18 months, Imdahl-King explains that people are not trying hard enough to control costs. They are too heavily focused on getting jobs and don’t have a clear plan of how to move forward. “They need a plan, and that’s where we help in the beginning. We’ll help develop a plan and move through it strategically,” she says.
People don’t always seek the services of a CPA of their own volition. At times, a business owner might be led to a CPA at the behest of his or her bank. When someone seeks a loan, the bank may request CPA-prepared financial statements.
Other changes in the accounting business stem from updates in the tax law and changes in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Jones CPA Group’s involvement in the American Institute of CPAs, Virginia Society of CPAs and Tidewater Chapter of CPAs enables it to keep up with efforts to effect positive change in the profession.
Jones CPA Group serves 31 industries and keeping pace with the changes in those fields is possible because of the different specialists within the firm. “Even though we’re all considered generalists, we have certain people who are qualified to do specialized services, and with our three offices, we can go into the server and make use of all of our resources.”
Imdahl-King has worked at Jones CPA Group since 2001. She moved from the Norfolk office to the Newport News office when it opened five years ago. A licensed minister, when not working, she spends a great deal of time teaching. As a single parent of two, she appreciates the family-friendly attitude of Jones CPA Group.
TO THE POINT:
Jones CPA Group
Address: 11837 Rock Landing Dr., Ste. 202, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Judy Imdahl-King CPA, CGMA