Ervin & Co. CPAs

City: Fayetteville
Category: Category I (1-25 Employees)
Year: 2001

It wasn't an overnight success for Ervin & Co. CPAs.

In 1978, John Ervin worked out of a termite-infested office in Fayetteville, where he grossed about $40,000 and his net income

was $7,000.

It wasn't until a fire at a neighboring building forced Ervin to relocate in 1980.

"It helped upgrade our image, from a dump to a nicer office," Ervin said. "People think of you differently."

Now the firm has a staff of 19 in the Fayetteville office and five in its Harrison office. This year, revenue is expected to reach $2 million.

The key turning point for the firm, which offers tax planning and compliance services, technology consulting and implementation as well as forensic and fraud accounting, came in 1991. Ervin decided to focus his practice more toward audits.

"Tax season was so heavily oriented toward February, March and April that you had to make all your income during that time frame," he said. "That was a pretty stressful way to live. By adding audit to my practice,

I could spread my income out over the year."

At that time, several firms were leaving the auditing business because of rule changes in the industry.

Ervin & Co. exploded since then.

In 1996, its revenue was $500,000, and last year, it was just less than $2 million, he said.

"Part of our success is we've been at the right place at the right time," Ervin said. "God has richly blessed us."

Ervin is currently on the Quality Review Committee of the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy.

"We have never wanted to be the biggest firm. We've just wanted to be the best," he said. "We felt, to be the best, you had to offer quality services at reasonable, fair rates."

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