Phillip W. Cox of JPMS Cox (Lifetime Achievement in Accounting)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 12:00 am  

Phillip W. Cox

Phillip W. Cox, who has worked in public accounting since 1970, says the biggest challenge in his career was learning that clients want more in an accountant than a “numbers person.” People, Cox said, “want someone they can connect with on a truly personal basis.”

Clients expect the accountants of JPMS Cox, the state’s third-largest accounting firm, to be skilled at the nuts and bolts of accounting. “Where we add value to our clients’ business is in the ability to translate the numbers into meaningful communication with the client that helps them manage their business,” Cox said.

“The ability to communicate is by far the most important element of what we do for our clients. It is truly the key to our world, communication is. Once our clients know that we are personally interested in their business and not just doing a job with their numbers, we become their highly trusted and valued business adviser.”

Cox agreed that for many people, the subject of money is an intimate one. “And that is one of the reasons that I constantly preach to students who are still in school to take as many communication courses as they possibly can,” he said.

Cox, 64, was born in Hot Springs and raised in Malvern. His father worked for Reynolds Metals Co. in Jones Mill, and his mother was a bookkeeper for a radio station in Malvern. Cox graduated from Magnet Cove High School and went on to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.

While at Tech, he encountered an accounting professor whose influence led Cox to pursue accounting as a career. The professor “modeled a vision of what I wanted to be in terms of character and professional conduct,” Cox said.

“From the moment I walked on campus, he took me on as a mentee, serving as a valuable mentor throughout college and even beyond,” Cox said.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University, graduating with honors, and received his Certified Public Accountant designation in 1972.

Cox began his accounting career with KPMG (formerly Peat Marwick Mitchell) and was a founding partner of Cox James Boschetti, which evolved into Lloyd & Co. He went on to join Deloitte & Touche, helping to open its Little Rock office in 1983. While there he became a partner and director of tax services. In 2004, he merged Deloitte’s tax practice with Jeffrey Phillips Mosley & Scott to form JPMS Cox.

Cox’s clients include health care entities, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, and construction and real estate firms.

Cox called his greatest accomplishment the development of high levels of trust on the part of both clients and staff. He specifically cited the culture of JPMS Cox and its mentoring program.

“I have always believed that the accounting profession gives one an opportunity and a responsibility to touch lives in many different ways with both clients and in the development of the culture of your firm. That’s a great responsibility that I take very seriously, as do my partners,” Cox said.



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