Clarksville, Tenn. (July, 17, 2003) -- Facing its first flat year in a long time as it prepares to turn 50, the CPA firm of Stone Rudolph and Henry has still managed double-digit growth for several years running, is already outgrowing its new office space, and is on track to grow its staff of 25 to 40 within the next three years.

What’s their secret? Putting the client first, having a fairly traditional but complementary set of niche services, and “always having a plan,” according to managing partner Tom Henry.

“We are right near a military town but with them gone and the economy the way it is, things haven’t been as busy as they have been,” Henry said. “Still, we are growing. We have built redundancy in the firm so if someone leaves things don’t slow down. This has long been our emphasis and probably why we’ve been around this long.”

Stone, Rudolph and Henry had occupied a 3,300-square-foot office in Clarksville, Tenn. for many years and now plans to double its already 7,000-square-foot space to accommodate current and future needs. All of this, Henry said, is part of the firm’s philosophy of staying proactive and having a plan.

Henry also feels that its “complementary mix” of niche services has kept clients coming back to the firm year after year. In addition to regular tax work, the firm is also heavily involved in technology consulting, partnering for online payroll, and human resources work.

“We work a lot on the technology needs of small businesses and prove that we are reliable,” Henry said. “When you do tech work, you need to know what the end user is after more than anything. You get people to trust you with this work, they are likely to call you in for other things.”

The firm also holds seminars for the surrounding business community, which have also served as a major marketing tool.

“We offer you something for coming to our seminars, like sitting down afterwards and doing some tax work,” Henry said. “We always prefer to be more proactive, even with something as basic as tax planning, which can get neglected by a lot of small businesses.”

The firm was formed in December 1954 by the late Hal Stone, who retired in 1988. Bill Rudolph joined the partnership in the 1970s and also retired. Then, in the 1980s, Henry Martin, Linda Stone Marchant and Henry came on board. Today, Henry and Martin are the two owners.

-- Seth Fineberg

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