The American Institute of CPAs recognized Birmingham-based Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith with a public service award during its 2010 Spring Council on Sunday.

The firm received the Institute’s 2009 Public Service Award for Firms for its commitment to the community. Only one member firm is honored for this reason every year.

John Shank, a firm founding shareholder and partner, accepted the award – which is in its seventh year.

“Over the years many opportunities have presented themselves to us and it just seems right to give back to our community,” Shank said. “On a practical level many of the initiatives and events we’ve supported have helped to bring camaraderie amongst our people. It will also help you to realize why you are in accounting and not in construction. This spirit of giving back has become second nature to our people and for that we are thankful.”

Founded in 1991, Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith has held major roles in supporting nonprofits located in Birmingham. The firm began working with Habitat for Humanity in 2000 and has donated more than 800 hours to building homes for needy families, aside from making significant financial donations. As a result of their service and contributions, nine lower-income families have had the opportunity to become homeowners in the greater Birmingham area.

The firm also participates in activities to help the Linda Nolen Learning Center holiday party for mentally disabled adults, the Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run and the Holy Family High School Cristo Rey Network. And, for the last five years, BMSS has sponsored blood drives with the American Red Cross.

Olivia Kirtley, chair of the AICPA’s awards committee, presented the award. She also told the audience that BMSS gives its employees three paid days a year off to engage in volunteerism.

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