For the better part of four decades, many local residents and businesses have had their financial and tax work done with George Williams, CPA, a longstanding Bolivar financial operation.
After 40 years serving the Bolivar area, Williams has decided he will be stepping out of the financial industry and looking into retiring in the near future. Feeling a sense of dedication and professional courtesy for the individuals, businesses and interests he has served for over a decade, Williams said he began to seek interest from reputable members of the local business communities. He crossed paths with El Dorado Springs mayor pro tem and local business owner Cory Gayman.
Gayman is a certified public accountant by trade, a local business owner and calls El Dorado Springs home. He graduated from El Dorado Springs High School and then from Missouri State University in Springfield.
He owns The CPA Firm, a business he started about half a decade ago. In the past few years, the company has experienced growth, opening offices in El Dorado Springs, Nevada, Springfield and Stockton.
Gayman said when he heard the Williams’ family — a longtime CPA and financial services presence in Bolivar — possibly would be looking to transition into retirement, he reached out and things seemed to fit almost immediately. Within a matter of weeks, a deal was struck, and Williams’ entire operation has now become part of Gayman’s local company as it continues to expand.
The CPA Firm also will remain in the same offices of Williams' current location at 495-B S. Main Ave., Bolivar.
While the transition is already underway, The CPA Firm will continue offering the same services and attention to customers as they have come to expect in past years.
“Speaking from an operational standpoint, when CPAs retire, it usually is a gradual thing,” Gayman said. “When I approached George (Williams) about potentially purchasing his business, he was looking to slow down, and he knew a retirement or buyout process would require some transitional time. He also wanted things to stay the way they are now. I saw a lot of opportunity in that, and we were able to come to an agreement fairly quick.”
While buying a business is itself an undertaking, transitioning through the inherent changes and continuing to preserve things people find comfort in has been a focal point for both Gayman and the Williams' family.
Both Williams and Gayman confirmed there was interest from some substantial corporate entities based out of larger cities; however, neither side was too inclined to “sell out and go corporate.”
“I'm staying on and working through the purchase, I’m just not going to be doing the 80-plus-hour weeks anymore,” Williams said with a chuckle. “We truly feel Cory and his existing business are a great fit here. He’s local and understands what that means more than most why that still matters today.”
Agreeing, Gayman made it clear keeping the duo on was a tremendous resource for this expansion, citing the Williams’ years of experience, long-tenured client relationships and the added value of Williams staying on through the actual transition itself.
“It's just another way we want to show all of these clients we share the same goal and will continue to give them unchanged services,” Gayman said. “We’re not changing rates on anyone and we’re going to treat everyone with the same attention George and Elaine have for decades. They’re both great people, incredible to work with and there’s much to learn from them as we move forward together.”
Ultimately, the collective goal is for the process to go largely unnoticed, changing nothing about the customer experience and maintaining all existing relationships, both professional and personal.
Gayman reiterated his intent to stay local, pointing out where his roots are and focusing on local growth, which he said always has translated into professional success.
“I’m building something with a generational mindset,” Gayman said. “We’re growing as a company and don’t have plans to slow down anytime soon. I want this to be something one of my children could step into if they chose to later in life.”
Gayman said he is looking forward to being a part of the community and continuing to offer an array of financial services to the greater Bolivar area as he extends his company's professional reach.
Brite is a reporter for BH-FP sister newspaper the Cedar County Republican and contributes material to other publications within the Phillips Media Group family.