Dixon Hughes Adds Associates in Memphis

By Andy Meek

Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, the largest certified public accounting firm based in the Southeast, is continuing to grow in Memphis.

The firm has added six new associates to its team of CPAs, advisers and auditors. The new class of associates at the firm represents recent graduates from Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, Rhodes College, Millsaps College and Christian Brothers University.

“Every year we are really excited to see what the new graduates of accounting programs in the area have to offer,” said Dixon Hughes managing partner Anthony Clark. “And this year I think we’ve really done a great job recruiting the best graduates in the field.”

Members of the firm’s new associate class are Ashley Kershaw, Matthew Frank, Garrett Bizzell, Samantha Abel, Jenna Lea Presley and Kelly Nolan.

“It’s been a good year, and what we’re seeing is it’s getting kind of harder to find these good folks,” said Jay Oliphant, a CPA at Dixon Hughes. “I think they’re getting a few more options as the economy grows. I think other firms, other companies are growing too. So when we go back to these college campuses and recruit for our program, we’re finding out a lot of these interns have a lot of options, at least at the accounting schools and where students are getting a degree in accounting.

“We’ve got more competition for these accounting students, so we’ve got to show them all the great things about Dixon Hughes Goodman.”

Dixon Hughes employs more than 1,700 people in 11 states and is the 14th largest certified public accounting firm in the country. In addition to comprehensive accounting and advisory services, the firm focuses on eight major industries and serves clients in all 50 states.

Dixon Hughes generally recruits for two kinds of groups. The company has a constant cyclical recruiting process on college campuses, where it recruits heavily from schools across the company’s footprint.

“That’s one place where we’re always looking to grow, to find folks to come in at that entry level and work their way up,” Oliphant said.

The other area the company is frequently looking to hire in involves experienced hires. When Dixon Hughes finds professionals with experience and accountants and CPAs with specific industry expertise like state and local taxes or estates and gifts, Oliphant insists the company can almost always find a place for them.

“So we’re always keeping our ears open for those experienced accountants who have specific expertise either in an industry or a particular service line like litigation support or business valuation,” Oliphant said.

Dixon Hughes’ roots run deep in Memphis. Dixon Hughes joined forces with one of Memphis’ oldest and well-respected accounting firms, Rhea & Ivy PLC, in 2008. That combination followed Rhea & Ivy’s more than 50-year tenure in Memphis serving clients with accounting and business advisory services.

In 2011, Dixon Hughes merged with Goodman & Co. LLP, a 600-person firm located primarily in Virginia, with offices in the Washington area.